Re.2002 Ariete file photo [5110]

Re.2002 Ariete

Primary RoleFighter
Maiden Flight1 October 1940


ww2dbaseUpon winning a contract from the Italian air force Regia Aeronautica, Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio headed up a project to create the next fighter design following the relative success of Reggiane's Re.2000 Falco I design. In Oct 1940, the first prototype of the Re.2002 Ariete design took flight, only three months after the maiden flight of Re.2001 Falco II design. Because the design allowed a relatively high payload, it was immediately decided that the design would make a good attack aircraft. In Sep 1941, an order for 200 aircraft was placed, and delivery began in Mar 1942. The design also interested the Germans, who ordered 300 units in late 1942.

ww2dbaseOn 29 Jun 1941, the prototype of the Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft took place. Based upon the Re.2002 design, the prototype had a lengthened fuselage so that a second seat could be installed, under an elongated canopy. In Dec 1941, an order for 200 of the reconnaissance aircraft was issued by the Italian military, but it was canceled in 1942. No Re.2003 was ever manufactured.

ww2dbaseThe Re.2002 Ariete fighters saw significant service during the Allied invasion of Sicily, Italy. They were deployed to strafe Allied naval vessels supplying the invasion force, but suffered 14 losses in the air in the first four days of the invasion, plus several more on the ground. On 3 Sep 1943, they operated against the British landing in Calabria in Southern Italy, losing three in combat.

ww2dbaseWhen Italy surrendered, only 255 Re.2002 Ariete fighters were built. Since that number was not even enough to satisfy Italian needs before the war ended, none of the units ordered by Germany was ever delivered. However, the Germans did operate them starting in Sep 1943, taking control of serviceable machines after the Italian surrender. Many of the German-operated Re.2002 Ariete fighters were used in ground attack roles against French Resistance fighters.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Oct 2007


Re.2002 Ariete
MachineryOne Piaggio P.XIX RC 45 Turbine radial engine rated at 1,175hp
Armament2x12.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, 2x7.7mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, 3x100kg or 3x250kg bombs
Span11.00 m
Length8.16 m
Height3.15 m
Wing Area20.40 m²
Weight, Empty2,400 kg
Weight, Maximum3,240 kg
Speed, Maximum530 km/h
Service Ceiling10,500 m
Range, Normal1,100 km


Re.2002 Ariete aircraft at rest, date unknownPrototype of Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft, which was based on the Re.2002 Ariete design, photo 1 of 3Prototype of Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft, which was based on the Re.2002 Ariete design, photo 2 of 3Prototype of Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft, which was based on the Re.2002 Ariete design, photo 3 of 3
See all 5 photographs of Re.2002 Ariete Fighter

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