ROME (AP) _ Ruggero Orlando, RAI state television's first correspondent in New York and its voice from America for 16 years, died today at 86.

Orlando died of lung cancer in a Rome hospital, RAI said.

He began his journalism career with the British Broadcasting Corp. in London, where he was forced to move because of anti-Fascist activities in the 1930s.

At the end of World War II, Orlando became the London correspondent for RAI radio.

He moved to the United States in 1954, and was known for his signature sign-on: ''This is New York, Ruggero Orlando speaking.'' He returned to Italy in 1970.

Orlando is survived by a son, Raffaelo.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.