Defence budget 2010
GDP 2009
Land area
Life expectancy
Population growth rate
58 million
Euros 15.5 billion (US$18.9 billion)
Euros 1,510 billion (US$1,842 billion)
301,338 sq kms (116,346 sq miles)
Rome (Population 2.7 million)
0.13 per cent
Total Armed Forces  

Air Force



Reserves: About 40,000 ready reserves the majority of which are assigned to the army.

Conscription was abolished in 2004.




Contact Details


Ministero of Defence
Palazzo Baracchini
Via XX Settembre 8 - 00187 Rom3




Army Strength: approximately 104,000

 1 x Land Force Headquarters

 3 x Operational Commands
 3 x Regional Headquarters
11 x Operational Brigades
 5 x Support Brigades


Italian Army Outline Army Structure


Italian Army Outline Army Structure

(1) This is the NATO headquarters for a Rapidly Deployable Corps (RDC) operating under the direct command of the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). There are 5 x NATO RDC and in any emergency various NATO nations would assign troops to these RDC as required.
(2) There are 5 x brigades providing support to HQ Land Forces Command: Air Defence Brigade (Padua); Engineer Brigade (Udine); Logistics Brigade (Treviso); Signal Brigade (Anzio); ISTAR Brigade (Anzio)


HQ 1 Command Defence Force

This formation has the ability to produce a divisional sized headquarters should the need arise.


HQ 2 Command Defence Force

This formation has the ability to produce a divisional sized headquarters should the need arise. Bersaglieri units are generally highly mobile light infantry formations.

HQ Alpine Command

(1) Command troops include 4 Alpini (Parachute) Regiment (Bolzano) and 6 Alpine Regiment (San Candido).

Once again this formation has the ability to produce a divisional sized headquarters should the need arise.




Main Battle Tanks 200 x Ariete C1
  120 x Leopard 1A5 (in store)
Reconnaissance (Recce) 300 x B1 Centauro (Wheeled)
Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles (AIFV) 200 x Dardo (tracked)
  60 x VBM Freccia (total of 249 planned)

Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)

540 x Puma (wheeled)

  1,000 x VCC-1/VCC-2 (estimate in service M-113 type)
  250 x M-113 (estimate remaining in service)
  200 x Bv-206 (tracked)
  1,260 VTLM Lince (wheeled FCLV)
Self Propelled Artillery 70 x 155 mm PzH 2000
  90 x 155 mm (many in store)
Towed Artillery 160 x 155 mm FH-70
Multiple Rocket Launchers 22 x 122 mm MLRS
Mortars (Mor) 200 x 81 mm
  200 x 120 mm
Anti-Tank (Atk) 250 x I-TOW (ATGW)
  1000 x Milan (ATGW)
  Some Spike reported
  400 x 80 mm Folgore RL (estimate)
  2,000 x 110 mm Pzf-3 (RL)
Low Level Air Defence (LLAD) 36 x MIM-23 Hawk SAM
  32 x SPADA 2000 (SAM)
  60 x Stinger (MANPAD)
Army Aviation 60 x A-129 Mangusta (attack)
  20 x CH-47C (transport - being replaced by 16 x CH-47F)
  10 x TTH NH-90 (transport 30 more on order)
  21 x Bell-412 (utility)
  40 x AB-205 (utility)
  40 x AB-206 (utility)
  3 x Do-228 (fixed wing transport)
  3 x P180 (fixed wing transport)





Navy Strength: approximately 34,000

Principal Units:


  6 x Submarines
  2 x Aircraft Carriers
16 x Destroyers and Frigates
14 x Patrol Vessels


Italian Navy Outline Structure

Italian Navy Outline Structure

(1) The Amphibious Forces includes the 1,300 personnel of the San Marco Regiment. This unit includes 1 x Assault Battalion, 1 x Logistic Support Battalion; 1 x Special Forces Company; 1 x Operations Company (for marine detachments on naval vessels).





Submarines (SSK)

4 x Sauro

  2 x Tadaro (Type 212A 2 more on order)
Aircraft Carriers (CV) 1 x Garibaldi
  1 x Cavour
Destroyers (DG) 2 x Andrea Doria
  2 x Lugi Durand de la Penne
Frigates (FF) 8 x Maestrale
  4 x Artigliere
  6 x FREMM on order (deliveries start in 2014)
Amphibious (Amphib) 2 x San Georgio (LPD 350 troops)
  1 x San Giusto (LPD 350 troops)
  15 x Landing Craft (various types)
Corvettes (FS) 8 x Minerva
Mine Countermeasures (MCM) 4 x Ponza (minehunter)
  12 x Lerci (minehunter)
Patrol and Coastal Combatants (PCC) 6 x Cassiopea (helicopter capability)
  6 x Commandante (helicopter capability)
  4 x Esploratore
Miscellaneous 3 x Replenishment Vessels

4 x Oil Tankers

  2 x Water Tankers
  6 x Vehicle Transports
  1 x EW Vessel
  4 x Training Vessels
  1 x Submarine and Rescue Vessel

Naval Aviation

30 x AB-212 (ASW)


8 x EH 101 (ASW)

  4 x EH 101 (AEW)
  8 x EH 101 (support)
  56 x NHI NH 90 (support on order)
  15 x AV-8B Harrier II (fixed wing)
  2 x TAV-8 Harrier (training fixed wing)
  22 x F-35B (on order to replace Harrier)




Air Force Strength: approximately 44,000

5 x Fighter Squadrons
2 x Fighter Ground Attack Squadrons
2 x Transport Squadrons
1 x Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron
4 x Training Squadrons

Italian Air Force Outline Structure

Italian Air Force Outline Structure

Operational Forces Command Detailed Listing
Combat Forces Command Naples  
2 Wing Rivolto Spada SAM Systems
4 Wing Grosetto Eurofighter Typhoon
5 Wing Cervia F-16ADF
6 Wing Ghedi Tornado IDS
32 Wing Amendola AMX FGA & Predator UAV
36 Wing Gioia Eurofighter Typhoon
37 Wing Trapani F-16ADF
50 Wing Piacenza Tornado ECR
51 Wing Istrana AMX FGA
313 Aerobatic Squadron Rivolto MB339 (Frecce Tricolori)
1st Special Air Brigade Padua  
9 Wing Grazzanise AB 212
16 Wing Martina Franca Security Battalion
17 Wing Cerveteri Special Forces Group
46 Air Brigade Pisa  
Transport Squadrons Pisa C-130J and C-27J
14 Wing Practica de Mare Boeing KC-767, G.222RM/VS,
P180, P166, MB-399A
15 Wing Stefano Cagna AB-212, HH-3F SAR
31 Wing Ciampino Airbus A319, Falcon 50 and SH-3D
41 Wing Sigonella Breguet Atlantic MR





Fighter (Ftr) 22 x F-16A/B (on lease from USAF)
  45 x Typhoon (76 more on order)
Fighter Ground Attack (FGA) 70 x Tornado IDS
  66 x AMX
Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) 16 x Tornado ECR
Transport (Tpt) 21 x C-130J
  10 x C-27J
  4 x KC-767 (tanker)
  3 x A319 Airbus
  7 x Falcon 50/900
  15 x P 180
Maritime Patrol (MP) 8 x Atlantic
Training (Trg) 80 x MB-339
  30 x SF 260EA
  20 x AMX-T
Helicopters (Hel) 48 x NH 500E (training and utility)
  30 x AB-212AM (utility)
  8 x HH-3F (SAR)
Air launched missiles (ALM) AMRAAM (AAM)
  Iris-T (AAM)
  Storm Shadow (ASM)
Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) SPADA (towed)
Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) 5 x Predator RQ-1A
  4 x MQ-9 Reaper


Strength: 107,000

The Carabinieri is a branch of the armed forces under the command of the Ministry of Defence. The force is organised on a territorial basis for law enforcement missions and criminal investigation. There are 19 x regional commands and 102 x provincial commands which account for about 80 percent of the total force personnel. Specialist units include:

Mobile Unit Command: this consists of two brigades configured to assist in national defence and take part in overseas operations in support of the Armed Forces. This command has a major reinforcement input into areas where the local Italian police are unable to cope during an emergency or crisis.

ROS: This is the special operations group which deals with terrorism and the more sophisticated types of organised crime.

Cuirassiers: Are an elite group within the Carabinieri who guard the President of Italy.

(over platoon strength 30 personnel. These are approximate figures)

NATO (ISAF) Afghanistan 3,300
NATO (KFOR) Kosovo 1,450
EUFOR Bosnia 300
UNIFIL Lebanon 2,500