The Reggiane Re.2002 Ariete was an Italian fighter-bomber developed during World War II.
The aircraft was a further development of the Re.2000, with some of the modifications that already had been introduced in the Re.2001.
The aircraft was mainly used by the Regia Aeronautica, it also saw limited use with the German Luftwaffe, who used it against the French resistance.
The Re.2002 project began with the conversion of the Re.2000 to Regia Aeronautica specifications including a redesigned wing and conventional fuel tanks.
A contract for a single conversion resulted in the Reggiane company using this as the basis of a new aircraft.
The Re.2002 was designed by Roberto Longhi and Antonio Alessio, who took a modified and strengthened Re.2000 fuselage, mated to Re.2001 wings and a more powerful radial engine, the Piaggio P.XIX R.C.45 Turbine (1,175 hp).
The decision to go back to radial engines was partly made due to the difficulty in obtaining German made Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines and Longhi’s preference for radial engines.
The first prototype flew in October 1940, approximately three months after the Re.2001.
The evaluation period showed some reliability problems with the Piaggio engine and therefore the aircraft served primarily as an attack aircraft instead, as it could carry a considerable payload, by Italian standards.
1 x Prototype fitted with Re.2005 wings.
18 x Dive bombers.
1 x Prototype fitted with a Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine.