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World of Warships Final Review: Italian Tier VIII Premium Aircraft Carrier Aquila

8 min read

Buongiorno a tutti! Aquila, the very first Italian carrier is about to hit the Armory and the Premium Shop so it is time to see how the ship is performing.

Aquila will be available starting from the 22nd of July in the Armory for a minimum of 12 300 doubloons or in the Premium Shop for a minimum of 40,46€.
Is she worth it? Are her squishy planes able to pull their own weight in battle? Here is my opinion.

Historical Background

Aquila was a never-completed aircraft carrier from the Regia Marina. The ship started life as SS Roma, a trans-Atlantic passenger liner. She was launched in February 1926 and completed in September of the same year.

Initially, Aircraft carriers were a heavily debated topic in the Italian Navy. Mussolini didn’t see much point in building carriers as he was expecting conflicts to mostly happen in the Mediterranean, close enough for land-based aircraft to strike. However, shortly after Italy entered World War II, plans were made to convert the aging liner into an auxiliary aircraft carrier. After multiple defeats and with the Raid on Taranto to rub salt on the wounds, it was decided to go for a much more ambitious plan. SS Roma would undergo a full conversion into a fleet carrier and the ship was renamed Aquila as the battleship Roma was under construction at the time.

Due to the origin of the hull, her armor protection was particularly thin with, at best, 80 mm platings protecting the magazines and fuel tanks. A layer of up to 8 cm of concrete was also added to the bulges to work as splinter protection.
The machinery was completely replaced and went from 36 000 horsepower to 151 000 horsepower. Her old engines were replaced by those of the Capitani Romani class ships Cornelio Silla and Paolo Emilio, both under construction at the time. The hull was also lengthened to take advantage of the stronger engines.
In total, she was planned to be able to carry 51 aircraft.

Sadly, as she was approaching completion, things would meet an abrupt end as Italy surrendered to the Allies on the 8th of September 1943. German forces took control of the ship and she was damaged in June 1944 by Allied bombings on Genoa. To prevent her from being used as a blockship, a commando frogman unit was sent by the Italians to scuttle the ship on a safe location in April 1945.

After the war, the ship was raised and while there were thoughts about completing her, in the end, she was scrapped in 1952.

In World of Warships, Aquila appears as she would have been completed. She carries fast planes with either torpedoes dealing high damage and with high flooding chances or large numbers of AP rockets with low damage per unit.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

Ship’s camouflages

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Third fastest aircraft at tier VIII after those of Graf Zeppelin and Indomitable
  • Torpedo drops with tight spread
  • Torpedo bombers are able to make 180° turns while attacking
  • Torpedoes with high damage per hit
  • Torpedoes with high flooding chances
  • Attack aircraft dropping a total of 60 rockets per attack
  • AP rockets with low arming threshold and short fuse timer
  • Four charges of Engine Cooling on the Attack aircraft
  • High reserves, especially for the Attack aircraft
  • Fast plane restoration time

The Bad

  • Planes with the lowest amount of HP at tier VIII by a long shot
  • Small number of attacks per squadron
  • Large amount of planes per attack group on the Attack aircraft, leading to important loses
  • AP rockets with low effective penetration
  • Attack aircraft require an early spotting if you want to drop destroyers
  • Slow torpedoes with a 30 knots base speed
  • Particularly vulnerable ship with thin armor protection
  • Weak anti-air, making her easy to snipe

Modules

Hull
Torpedo Bombers
Attack Aircrafts
Propulsion
icon_module_Hull_installedAquila

‎Reggiane Re.2001

‎Reggiane Re.2001
icon_module_Engine_installedPropulsion: 151 000 hp

General Characteristics

Tier VIII
Health 51 100 HP
Torpedo damage reduction 13 %
Displacement 28 800 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 233.07 m
Beam 35.0 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 31.25 m
Freeboard 15.76 m
Aircraft on deck
Torpedo Bombers 18
Attack Aircraft 24
Secondary Armament
135 mm/45 Model 1938 on a shielded mount 8 x 1 135 mm
Maximum Firing Range 6.625 km
Anti-Air Armament
65 mm/64 Model 1939 on a Model 1939 mount 12 x 1 65 mm
20 mm/70 Breda Model 1941 on a sextuple mount 22 x 6 20 mm
Maximum speed 30.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 950 m
Rudder Shift Time 12.7 s
Surface Detectability 13.44 km
Air Detectability 10.97 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Fighter
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 600 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Patrol Radius: 3.0 km
Planes in a squadron: 4

While Aquila might appear as a not particularly appetizing ship due to her planes having the lowest HP pool of all tier VIII aircraft, let me tell you that there is a bit more than meets the eye.

To begin with, the ship has high reserves as well as a short restoration time. It isn’t Kaga or Enterprise level of forgiveness but combined with pre-dropping and smart target selection, Aquila will be able to handle even tier X matchmaking. Another thing to keep in mind is that both the Attack aircraft and the Torpedo bombers are some of the fastest planes at this tier. This not only reduces the time you will spend inside of the AA range of enemy ships but will lead to short downtimes between strikes. No matter what though, managing the reserves carefully and determining what target to go for will be vital and don’t make me start talking about dodging flaks.

Generally speaking, the Torpedo bombers will be your main loadout. Thanks to their tight spread and the agility of the planes, they will be very effective against both battleships and cruisers. If you feel extra confident, you can even go for destroyers with them. The Attack aircraft are rather niche as they are mainly designed to deal with thinly armored cruisers or, if it’s possible, destroyers.

Positioning with Aquila is also very important as she has paper-thin armor, making it very easy to bring the ship down.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a commented gameplay:

Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo bomber – Reggiane Re.2001

Tier VIII
Hitpoints per plane 1 150
Cruise speed 169 knots
Maximum speed 204 knots
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Size of attacking flight 2
Aircraft per squadron 6
Torpedo type 450 mm F200
Torpedoes per plane 1
Maximum torpedo damage 7 133
Maximum torpedo range 3.5 km
Torpedo speed 30 knots
Torpedo arming time 5.0 s
Flooding chance 61%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 68 s
Aircraft on deck 18
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 5
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Repair
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 180 s
Repair speed: 10% HP/s

The torpedo bombers of Aquila can almost be summarized as the budget version of those on Shokaku. Each attack run is done by two planes at a time and the spread is very tight. The torpedoes also have high damage per hit and one of the highest flooding chances for airborne torpedoes.

Fully aimed reticule of Aquila’s Torpedo Bombers

However, unlike with Shokaku, the torpedoes are slow, barely reaching 30 knots. This makes dropping fast maneuvering targets fairly difficult at times unless you can set up and cross drop.

While these torpedo bombers lack the squadron size or the survivability of those of Shokaku, they compensate by the size of the reserves, the restoration speed as well as the speed of the planes, allowing you to quickly cycle squadrons. Another gimmick that they have is their capacity to make full turn while being on attack mode. For those who played Franklin D. Roosevelt, it’s the same thing. This is particularly useful when you need to strike a ship by surprise while its hiding behind an island.

Attack Aircraft

Attack Aircrafts – Reggiane Re.2001

Tier VIII
Hitpoints per plane 1 030
Cruise speed 169 knots
Maximum speed 209 knots
Engine boost time 5 s
Engine boost reload time 10 s
Size of attacking flight 5
Aircraft per squadron 10
Rocket type RZ.65 (76 mm)
Rocket per plane 12
Machine gun sequence 2.45 s
Maximum rocket damage 1 150
AP penetration 122 mm
Detonator fuse timer 0.022s
Detonator threshold 19 mm
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 58 s
Aircraft on deck 24
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 4
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 4.0 km

The Attack aircraft of Aquila are very unique in terms of behaviour. Firstly, compared to other AP rockets, those of Aquila are able to slap destroyers pretty hard thanks to the low arming threshold and short fuse time. Obviously, due to the attack distance, the destroyer needs to be spotted in advance but when the guy is lit, you can easily get 4 or 5k damage per drop.

Fully aimed reticule of Aquila’s Attack Aircraft

Other than that, they are heavily focused on dealing with thinly protected light cruisers as the penetration is nowhere near sufficient to get citadels on anything bigger. Thankfully, you aren’t completely naked against larger ships. Due to the large number of ordinances that get launched at the target, you will still get big chunks of damage out of pure penetration damage.

Secondary Armament

8 x 1 135 mm/45 Model 1938 on a shielded mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.625 km
Reloading Time 10.7 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 135 mm proiettili HE 1938
Alpha Damage 1 950 HP
HE penetration 23 mm
Explosion Size 0.48
Chance to Cause Fire 9 %
Projectile Speed 875 m/s
Air Drag 0.29
Projectile Mass 32.7 kg

The secondaries of Aquila are pure decoration. With only four guns per side and a long reload time, don’t expect anything out of them.

Anti-air Armament

8 x 1 65 mm/64 Model 1939 on a Model 1939 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.7 km
Hit chance 100 %
Sector’s damage 56
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 196
22 x 6 20 mm/70 Breda Model 1941 on a sextuple mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 95 %
Sector’s damage 88
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 308

Due to Aquila lacking any sort of long-range AA, she is fairly vulnerable to enemy planes. If there is a CV that wants you dead, especially with the lack of armor, it will not go well for you.

The Armor

The armor protection of Aquila is about as tough as lasagna pasta, especially when it comes to the citadel that, on top of that, sits high above the waterline. If you get spotted and there are battleships in range, you can start praying.

External armor protection

Citadel armor protection

Final Opinion

Overall, Aquila ends up being a decent premium. While she suffers from fragile planes that will not forgive you for a poor target selection, her damage output is quite good, may it be by T-posing light cruisers with rockets or getting solid drops with the torpedo bombers.

The ship is also saved from being completely forgettable by the high speed of her planes as well as her strong reserves. In the end, in my opinion, she is more than fine for random battles but definitely not as your first carrier.

Recommended Build

For the Aquila, I recommend using the following captain build and upgrades:

This concludes my review of Aquila. Thank you for reading this article!

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Have a good one and see you soon!

Also if you are new to the game or want to get back to it, feel free to use my Recruiting Station code for free goodies such as Premium ships, premium time, and more: https://warships.net/yuzorah

Have a good one and see you soon!

2 thoughts on “World of Warships Final Review: Italian Tier VIII Premium Aircraft Carrier Aquila

  1. Are there any benefits to using Special Commander Luigi Sansonetti on this carrier?

  2. Nope. Swift Fish is useless and none of his special talents work on carriers.

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