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World of Warships Supertest: Italian Tier VIII Premium Aircraft Carrier Aquila

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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

For the classic reminder, this is a ship in testing, anything can change so don’t look at her like she would already be released.

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 26
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 13.96 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

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 8
Torpedo type 450 mm F200
Torpedoes per plane 1
Maximum torpedo damage 8 367
Maximum torpedo range 3.5 km
Torpedo speed 30 knots
Torpedo arming time 5.0 s
Flooding chance 71%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 68 s
Aircraft on deck 26
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

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: 2
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

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

Anti-air Armament

8 x 1 65 mm/64 Model 1939 on a Model 1939 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 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 – 2.4 km
Hit chance 95 %
Sector’s damage 88
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 308

The Armor

The armor protection of Aquila is particularly thin, especially when it comes to the citadel that, on top of that, sits high above the waterline.

External armor protection

Citadel armor protection

Personal Opinion

Right now, Aquila looks fairly interesting. While the planes are particularly squishy compared to aircraft of the same tier, they can at least reach a higher speed, and their ordnances pack a serious punch. Also, the reserves of Aquila should offer some nice freedom of action because of the high number of planes and the fast restoration speed.

When it comes to the torpedo bombers, they work in a similar way to those of Shokaku drops of 2 torpedoes. While you will not be able to get as many drops out with a squadron because you don’t get an improved Repair consumable and the planes are a lot more fragile, the torpedoes themselves hurt a fair bit more. These torpedoes also have a very high flooding chance compared to other plane-dropped torpedoes. The closest, outside of tactical squadrons from carriers should be the torpedoes of Audacious with 51% (20% less). Of course, they still have the problem of low speed which might be problematic to handle for people lacking experience.

When it comes to the rockets, I discovered something quite interesting when looking in the game files and I have my little theory on how they might work. So… according to shonai from Wargaming, while the raw penetration of the rockets is 122 mm, it will be more along the lines of 100 mm against belt armor and 38 mm against deck armor. While it will be enough against some light cruisers’ belt armor, it will not be anywhere near enough against the rest.
Now here comes the interesting part. Unlike the rest of the attack aircraft with rockets, those of Aquila remain high in the air when attacking. Their attack angle is, in fact, similar to that of the American Tiny Tims, making it more likely for the rockets to hit the deck and upper belt and get penetration damage there. Considering the high amount of rockets that you drop on the target (60 on a full attack run), we are talking about a theoretical 22 770 damage if all 60 rockets deal penetration damage.
THAT’S NOT ALL! These rockets, as you saw, have a low arming threshold and a relatively short fuse. This means that they will be perfectly able to also nail destroyers. Since these are AP rockets with a short machine gun sequence, it will be piss-easy to get the proper lead on them.
Finally, I have one last theory. It is what I call the Marceau effect. Quite a few times, people report getting weird citadel hits with Marceau’s AP on broadside cruisers (usually, it happens with things like Des Moines, Salem, simply put, cruisers with all-or-nothing armor scheme) at 10 km or more. The reason is simple. The shells, with their ballistics, actually hit the water in front of the ship and have enough momentum to reach the bottom of the citadel where the armor is far thinner (30 mm on the Des Moines-class). With normal AP rockets, something like this can’t happen as the rockets have a far too flat trajectory. However, with how high Aquila’s attack planes drop, it might actually be possible with her. This is of course only a theory and I very much could be dead wrong about it.

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