World Aircraft Carriers List: Italy

Revised 26 November 2001
Version 2.07
Compiled and Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
World Aircraft Carrier Lists Main Page:

Europa auxiliary seaplane carrier
Giuseppe Miraglia seaplane carrier
Aquila fleet aircraft carrier
Sparviero auxiliary fleet aircraft carrier
Bolzano aviation & transport cruiser

Andrea Doria Class helicopter cruisers
Andrea Doria (C553)
Caio Duilio (C554)
Enrico Dandolo(C555)
Vittorio Veneto Class helicopter cruisers
Vittorio Veneto (C550)
Trieste aviation cruiser

Giuseppe Garibaldi VSTOL aircraft carrier
San Giorgio Class small amphibious assault ships
San Giorgio (L9892)
San Marco (L9893)
San Giusto (L9894)
Andrea Doria (C552) VSTOL aircraft carrier

Europa auxiliary seaplane carrier

Displacement: 6,400-8,805 tons
Dimensions: 403.5 x 46 x 19-25 feet/123 x 14 x 5.8-7.6 meters
Propulsion: VTE, 1 shaft, 2,594 ihp, 12.2 knots
Crew: ??
Armor: none
Armament: 2 3/30 AA
Aircraft: 8 seaplanes

Concept/Program: A small merchant ship purchased in 1915 and converted as a transport for seaplanes, but with the ability to operate aircraft as well. Also fitted as s submarine depot ship.

Design/Conversion: Large hangars built up fore and aft.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Disposed of postwar.

ex merchant Quarto, ex Salacia, ex Manila
Photos: [Europa as converted].

Built by Chas Connell, Glasgow. Laid down ??, launched 4 Aug 1895, completed ???. Renamed 1898 and again 1911. Purchased 6 Feb 1915, converted, renamed and commissioned 6 Oct 1915.

Stricken 1920. Fate unknown.

[Back To Top]

Giuseppe Miraglia seaplane carrier

Displacement: 4,880 tons
Dimensions: 377 x 49 x 17 feet/144.9 x 15 x 5.2 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 boilers, 12,000 shp, 21 knots
Crew: 180
Armor: none
Armament: 4 102 mm SP
Aircraft: 20 seaplanes

Concept/Program: A merchant ship taken over and extensively converted for the seaplane carrier role, becoming Italy's first truly effective naval aviation ship. She was used mostly as an experimental catapult vessel.

Design/Conversion: Taken over prior to completion. Completely reworked from the deck up. She had large hangars with a seaplane deck above, a catapults forward and aft. The original bridge and funnels were retained, with the hangar and seaplane deck built around them. Repair facilities were fitted.

Modifications: 11 14 pound AA were added by the mid-1930's.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Designated as an aircraft transport by 1940.

Giuseppe Miraglia
ex merchant Citta de Messina
Photos: [Giuseppe Miraglia as converted].

Builder unknown. Laid down ???, launched 20 Dec 1923, converted 1924-1927, prior to completion as merchant ship.

Used mainly as a catapult trials/experimental ship. Designated as an aircraft transport by 1940, then served as a training ship and a seaplane depot ship. Served as a submarine depot ship following Italian surrender 1943. Fate unknown.

[Back To Top]

Aquila fleet aircraft carrier

Displacement: 28,350 tons full load
Dimensions: 680 x 96.5 x 24 feet/207.3 x 29.4 x 7.3 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 759 x 96.5 x 24 feet/231.3 x 29.4 x 7.3 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts, 151,000 shp, 30 knots
Crew: 1165 plus 243 air crew
Armor: partial 3.1 inch deck
Armament: 8 5.3/45 SP, 12 65mm/64 DP, 22 6-barrel 20 mm AA
Aircraft: 51

Concept/Program: A passenger liner taken over and converted to a carrier. She was initially intended for an austere conversion, but plans were changed and she was totally rebuilt for her new role. She was designed with extensive German assistance. Her completion was prevented by the events of WWII.

Design/Conversion: Very extensive conversion. Hull totally gutted out and rebuilt. Cruiser machinery replaced the original machinery, the hull was strengthened and fitted with concrete-filled bulges, and all other necessary internal changes were made. A single hangar and full-length flight deck were fitted, with a conventional island. Her aircraft would have been non-folding-wing modifications of land-based types.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Never completed; taken over by Germany upon the Italian surrender. Completion postwar was considered but not proceeded with.

ex merchant Roma
Photos: [Liner Roma as completed], [Aquila in 1944].

Built by Ansaldo. Laid down ???, launched 1926, completed 9/1926. Taken over 10/1940, reconstructed at Ansaldo, Genoa 1941-1943, renamd 2/1942. Nearly complete at the time of the Italian surrender in 9/1943; sabotaged by the Italians to prevent use by Germans.

Bombed 16 June 1944, damaged by limpet mines 19 April 1945. Scuttled by the Germans 4/1945. Raised in 1946 and laid up pending decision on possible rebuilding. Scrapped in 1951-52.

[Back To Top]

Sparviero auxiliary fleet aircraft carrier

Displacement: ???
Dimensions: 664 x 83 x 30 feet/202.4 x 25.3 x 9.2 meters
Propulsion: Diesels, 4 shafts, 28,000 bhp, 18 knots
Crew: ???
Armor: none
Armament: 6 6 inch SP, 4 4 inch DP
Aircraft: unknown

Concept/Program: A liner initially proposed for conversion in 1936 but rejected; plan revived in 1942. The ship was to be converted as an auxiliary carrier, much like the original concept for Aquila. War prevented completion of the conversion.

Design/Conversion: This was to be a minimal conversion; the only modification to the hull would have been fitting of large bulges. The superstructure was to be removed and replaced by a single hangar and flight deck; there would not have been an island. The flight deck would have been very narrow forward, only wide enough for a single aircraft. Conversion work stopped after the superstructure had been removed.

ex Falco, ex merchant Augustus
Photos: [Liner Augustus].

Builder unknown. Laid down ???, launched 1927, completed 10/1927. Taken over 1942, conversion started 9/1942 at Ansaldo, Genoa but work proceeded slowly. Work stopped upon Italian surrender 9/1943.

Hulk scuttled by the Germans as a blockship 5 Oct 1944. Hulk salvaged in 1946 and sold for scrapping in 1947.

[Back To Top]

Bolzano aviation & transport cruiser

Displacement: approx. 15,000 tons full load
Dimensions: approx. 646 x 67.5 x 17.5 feet/196.9 x 20.6 x 6.8 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts, 120,000 shp, 25 knots
Crew: ??
Armor: 2.7 inch belt, 1-2 inch decks
Armament: 10 3.5 inch AA, 20 dual 37 mm AA
Aircraft: 12

Concept/Program: A former heavy cruiser, extensively damaged by submarine torpedoes and proposed for reconstruction to a hybrid carrier/transport design. The vessel was intended to serve as a fast military transport for ferry runs to Africa, and to provide minimal air cover for the fleet and convoys. The aircraft would have been catapulted off to land ashore; she had no landing deck. In the event litte or no work was undertaken.

Design/Conversion: Torpedoes caused massive fires which totally gutted the forward half of the ship; the forward funnel melted and the bridge superstruture was destroyed. The conversion would have removed two boilers and rearranged the remaining eight to make space for cargo holds; all superstructure from the aft funnels to the bow would have been removed. An aircraft platform, wide enough for a single aircraft, would run from the aft funnel to the bow, with two catapults angled out at the bow. Aircraft would be stored on deck, rolled forward to the catapults for launch, and would land ashore. The forward funnel would have been replaced by a pair of smaller funnels to either side of the aircraft platform. The original armament was to be removed and replaced with intermediate and light AA batteries.

Photos: [Bolzano as completed], [Burning], [Sunk in port].

Built by Ansaldo, Genoa. Laid down 11 June 1930, launched 31 August 1932, completed 19 August 1933. Torpedoed 1941, repaired. Torpedoed by HMS Unbroken 1942 (date?), suffered massive fire and sank.

Taken to La Spezia for repairs, but little work was done; captured by the Germans 9 September 1943 upon the Italian surrender. Sunk by the Italians 21 June 1944 to prevent use. Hulk salvaged and scrapped postwar.

[Back To Top]

Andrea Doria class helicopter cruisers

Displacement: 6,500 tons full load
Dimensions: 489.5 x 56.5 x 16.5 feet/149.2 x 17.2 x 5 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 boilers, 2 shafts, 60,000 shp, 30 knots
Crew: 485
Armor: none (?)
Armament: 1 Terrier SAM (40 missiles), 8 76 mm AA, 6 12.75 inch torpedo tubes
Aircraft: 4 helicopters

Concept/Program: The first major Italian warships of postwar design and construction, these were combined AAW/ASW ships featuring a large helicopter facility. A third ship was planned, but deferred in favor of a larger ship.

Design: Hull based on an enlarged destroyer design. Helicopter deck and above-decks hangar aft, cruiser weapons forward. Intended to operate 3 heavy ASW helicopters but were too small; operated 4 light ASW helos instead.

Modifications: Recieved SM-1ER missiles in place of Terrier during late 1970's refits.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Both discarded late 1980's/early 1990's.

Andrea Doria
Photos: [At launch], [Andrea Doria as completed].

Built by CNR, Riva Trigoso. Laid down 11 May 1958, launched 27 Feb 1963, completed 23 Feb 1964.

Major refit and modernization 1976-78. Stricken for disposal 19 July 1991, presumably scrapped.

[Back To Top]

Caio Duilio
Photos: [Caio Duilio as completed].

Built by Castellammare. Laid down 16 May 1958, launched 22 Dec 1962, completed 30 Nov 1964.

Austere refit and conversion to training cruiser 1979-80. Decommissioned to reserve 15 Nov 1989, stricken for disposal 19 July 1991, sold 31 December 1992, but had not been scrapped as of April 1998.

[Back To Top]

Enrico Dandolo

Cancelled in favor of Vittorio Veneto.

[Back To Top]

Vittorio Veneto class helicopter cruisers

Displacement: 8,850 tons full load
Dimensions: 589 x 63.5 x 20 feet/179.5 x 19.4 x 6 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 boilers, 2 shafts, 73,000 shp, 30.5 knots
Crew: 550
Armor: none
Armament: 1 Terrier SAM/ASROC ASW, 8 76 mm AA, 6 12.75 inch torpedo tubes
Aircraft: 9 helicopters

Concept/Program: A greatly enlarged and improved version of the previous class. A second unit was cancelled. In addition to the AAW & ASW roles, this ship served as fleet flagship until replaced by Garibaldi.

Design: Similar to Andrea Doria but with a larger and deeper hull; the hangar was fitted below the flight deck, within the hull. The missile magazine had a third drum, increasing missile capacity by one third.

Modifications: Modernized 1981-84 with 4 Otomat SSM and 3 twin 40 mm AA added, SM-1ER replaced Terrier.

Operational: Served mostly as a training ship post-1985, when her fleet flagship role was taken over by Garibaldi.

Vittorio Veneto
Photos: [Vittorio Veneto - bow], [Vittorio Veneto - stern], [Vittorio Veneto in the 1990's].

Built by Castellammare. Laid down 10 June 1965, launched 5 Feb 1967, completed 12 July 1969.

Modernized 1981-84; served mostly as a training ship post-1985.

[Back To Top]



[Back To Top]

Trieste aviation cruiser

Concept/Program: A large missile cruiser/carrier project. Cancelled before any ships were ordered.

[Back To Top]

Giuseppe Garibaldi VSTOL aircraft carrier

Displacement: 13,850 tons full load
Dimensions: 591 x 78 x 22 feet/180.2 x 23.8 x 6.7 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 591 x 99.5 x 26.5 feet/180 x 30.3 x 6.7 meters
Propulsion: 4 LM2500 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 80,000 shp, 29.5 knots
Crew: 550 plus 230 air crew plus 45 flag staff
Armor: none
Armament: 4 Otomat SSM, 2 Albatros SAM, 6 40 mm AA, 6 12.75 inch torpedo tubes
Aircraft: 12 VSTOL

Concept/Program: The first Italian carrier to become operational, this is a typical small VSTOL ship. She originally carried only helicopters due to political problems, but now has Harriers. She serves as fleet flagship and provides an communications interface between Italian Air Force and Naval units. A second ship remains a long-term goal, but is very unlikely to be realized in the near future.

Design: Typical VSTOL design, with a large island, axial deck, 2 elevators, full hangar.

Modifications: Circa 1990 the 4 Otomat SSMs were replaced by 8 Otomat II SSMs, but only 4 missiles are normally carried.

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Photos: [Giuseppe Garibaldi].

Built by Italcantieri, Monfalcone. Laid down 26 March 1981, launched 4 June 1983, completed 30 Sept 1985.

[Back To Top]

San Giorgio class small amphibious assualt ships

Displacement: 7,665 tons full load
Dimensions: 437 x 67 x 17 feet/133 x 20.4 x 5.2 meters
Propulsion: 2 diesels, 2 shafts, 16,800 bhp, 21 knots
Crew: 170 plus 400 troops
Armor: none
Armament: 1 76 mm AA, 2 20 mm, 2 12.7 mm MG
Aircraft: 5 helicopters

Concept/Program: Small multirole amphibious ships with full-length flight decks. Similar to LPH in appearance, but design is derived from LSD practice. The first two ships are scheduled to be modified with rearranged superstructures and improved flight decks to allow operation of four helicopters at the same time; work will be completed in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

Design: LPH-type configuration with docking well and large island. Landing craft are stored on the flight deck opposite the island. Air wing is typical; more could be accomodated if needed.

Variations: The third unit has her landing craft stored on a sponson, rather than on deck, enlarging the usable flight deck area considerably. There are numerous differences in outfit.

San Giorgio
Photos: [San Giorgio].

Built by Fincantieri. Laid down 26 May 1985, launched 25 Feb 1987, completed 13 Feb 1988.

[Back To Top]

San Marco
Photos: [San Marco].

Built by Fincantieri. Laid down 26 March 1985, launched 10 Oct 1987, completed 6 May 1989.

[Back To Top]

San Giusto
Photos: [No photos available].

Built by Fincantieri. Laid down 9/91, launched 3 Dec 1993, completed 1994. Configured as a training ship.

[Back To Top]

Andrea Doria VSTOL aircraft carrier

Displacement: 26,660 tons
Dimensions: 756.8 x 124.8 x 24 feet/236.5 x 39 x 7.5 meters
Extreme Dimensions:
Propulsion: 4 LM2500 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 120,000 shp, 28+ knots
Crew: 450 + 250 air wing + 360 troops + 140 flag + 90 transient
Armament: VLS for 32 ASTER-15 SAM, 2 76 mm OTO, 3 25mm AA
Aircraft: 8 Harriers or 12 EH-101

Concept/Program: A new VSTOL carrier to replace Vittorio Veneto. Planned to enter service 2007 or later.

[Back To Top]

The World Aircraft Carrier Lists
Compiled and Maintained by Andrew Toppan (
Copyright © 1995-2003 by Andrew Toppan
Reproduction, reuse or distribution without permission is prohibited