The Italian Air Force is an impressive fighting force by European standards, featuring modern types and robust local defense-related production.
POWER INDEX SCORE
(Ranked 13 of 53)
The Italian Air Force relies on a mix of combat warplanes making up over 36% of all inventory. The fleet is led by the Eurofighter Typhoon and backed by a collection of strike platforms that includes the AMX International and the PANAVIA Tornado (IDS variant). Further strengthening the ranks is the arrival of the F-35A/B models which will considerably modernize the service.
The rotorcraft force accounts for 11% of all strength and includes mostly local designs and the venerable Bell 212. These are equipped to handle a variety of tasks from utility and transport to Search and Rescue (SAR) and scouting. The transport force sees about 8% of total strength committed and involves the C-130J Super Hercules and C-27J Spartan twin-turboprop types as well as a mix of others to cover VIP transport roles. Heavy hauling (at the strategic level) is not addressed however. The tanker force is useful, made up of two types - KC-767A and KC-130J - whcih adds an inter- and intra-theater tactical/Strategic flexibility to the force. Special mission platforms revolve around Maritime Patrol (MPA) and specialist platforms set up to handle EW, AEW, and SIGINT as needed.
Like other modern air services, the Italian Air Force places a premium on training and this is exemplified by its stock of Advanced Jet Trainer types, fighter trainers, helicopter trainers, and general trainers.
The order sheet is headlined by the F-35A strike fighter and M-345 ADJ. The F-35B VTOL form of the F-35 is also on the horizon. Beyond this is a commitment to modernizing or strengthing the rotorcraft, training, and patrol fleets.NOTES: The WDMMA.org Power Index (PwrIndx) score looks at various qualities of an individual air power (or service branch). While total aircraft certainly influences the rating, aircraft variety (force balance) also plays a key role in determining an air service's placement on the list. Other focused qualities include local industry (aerospace-related) capability, future outlook, and current/recent combat experience. All this is worked into a formula which provides an analytical approach to resolving a force's fighting state in the modern world. This approach to fighting strength is highly theoretical and does not take into account a nation's available manpower or resolve in the face of conflict nor does it involve land and naval fighting strength. The top achievable PwrIndx score belongs to the United States Air Force with its rating of 242.9. As of now, UAV systems are not taken into account due to reporting differences between publicly-available sources (these will be integrated as some point). Navy aviation branches do not take into account the fighting capacity of naval ships.
253 Total available aircraft assuming a Below Average Readiness Rate of 50%.
354 Total available aircraft assuming an Average Readiness Rate of 70%.
380 Total available aircraft assuming an Above Average Readiness Rate of 75%.
405 Total available aircraft assuming an Excellent Readiness Rate of 80%.