At the outbreak of the Second World War, despite the powerful assets available, the Italian ships lacked air support and technological equipment, such as radars and sonars.

Besides, the efforts made by the Italian Royal Navy to launch the construction of aircraft-carriers were hampered in 1937 by a law that limited the employment of naval personnel on board aircraft only as spotters.

According to the lessons learnt during the first harsh stages of the conflict, in March 1942 order was given for the conversion of passenger ships Roma and Augustus into Aquila and Sparviero aircraft carriers respectively, which, however, never entered service.

The Peace Treaty (1947) imposed very hard restrictions on Italy. The construction and the acquisition of aircraft carriers, battleships, submarines and aircraft were forbidden.