In 1946 Italy became a republic and the “Regia Marina” changed its name into “Marina Militare”. After joining NATO (1949), ITN naval role changed dramatically, becoming the link between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Since then, the Italian Navy has been involved in many initiatives: protection of sea lanes of communication, coastal defense and mine countermeasures operations, control of migration flows and fishing activities. Manifold have also been the international theatres where the Italian Navy has been playing a key role, taking part proactively in NATO- and UN-led operations: Lebanon, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Adriatic Sea, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, Indian Ocean, just to name a few.

In the last decades, the Italian Navy fleets has undergone a profound upgrading made possible by the progressive introduction of new sophisticated helicopters, state-of-the-art systems, sensors and equipment, missile destroyers, radars and fighters.


21st Century Navy: The Challenges Ahead

The ongoing modernization of the ITN fleet promotes the industrial excellence and competitiveness in strategic sectors, such as energy, shipbuilding, engineering and automation.

Mention is to be made of a number of eco-friendly initiatives to face modern-day challenges. Within the Green Fleet Project, research is being carried out on innovative  ecological bio-fuel to propel naval vessels. The Green Fleet Project provides for:

  • 2016 – Green Fleet at sea: a formation of naval units powered by 50% alternative fuel;
  • 2020 – A 40% carbon and air pollutants reduction compared with current levels.

The Green Fleet will include:

  • New units, currently under study according to the most innovative design parameters;
  • The existing units will undergo specific interventions on energy requalification.

In the future, eco-efficient military units will allow to lower the use of oil delivered fuel, thus contributing to meet the international EU requirements, as well as our National Energy Policies, concerning the reduction of air pollutant emissions.

Other eco-friendly initiatives will involve the adoption of antifouling products based on silicone rubber to coat ships’ bottoms and the testing of fluorine-free foam for fire-fighting systems.


Dual Use Vessels

More and  more frequently, the naval instrument is called to take non-military actions: from civil protection intervention, to disaster relief, to the safeguard of human lives at sea and the maritime environment.

The new civil and social scenarios, where the Italian Navy is called to operate, require multipurpose ships capable of performing a wide range of civilian duties. The current research is focused on flexible and modular dual-use vessels that, besides performing the institutional naval duties, may be used as a floating hospital in case of disaster relief or in support of environmental protection and archeological research.