With the transmission to Parliament in the last days of November of another five ministerial rearmament decrees to be approved by the end of the year, the total number of programmes that Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini has sent to Parliament for 2021 has risen to 23 (an all-time record). These are procurement requests worth a total of over €12 billion and annual expenditure authorisations of over €300 million in 2021 and almost half a billion in 2022.
The latest requests to the Defence and Budget Committees of the House and Senate concerned a new inter-force tactical communications system, the purchase of precision projectiles for both the Army’s self-propelled guns and the Navy’s naval guns, a new command outpost for the Air Force’s missions abroad, and a new training platform for Navy raiders. Previously, the requests had been transmitted to Parliament in a drumbeat over an eight-week period between the end of September and mid-November (two transmitted in August), with favourable opinions always expressed unanimously.
The lion’s share of the funding goes to the Air Force, with programmes worth over 6.5 billion euros in total: from the start of the research and development phase of the new sixth-generation Tempest fighter aircraft (2 billion of the 6 billion planned) to the new MALE class Eurodrones, from the new Gulfstream electronic warfare aircraft to the new KC-46 in-flight refuelling tankers, from the new NATO air defence system to the new space radar centre at Poggio Renatico.
A large slice of the cake, around €2.4 billion, is taken up by joint programmes: kamikaze drones for special forces and, above all, the new anti-aircraft missile batteries based on Aster missiles (the most expensive programme, costing over €2.3 billion).
The remaining programmes are the responsibility of the Navy and the Army, with allocations of around one billion per weapon. For the Navy, there are the new auxiliary and logistic support ships, the new missile radars for the Orizzonte frigates, and the new coastal radar network. For the Army, there are the new Lince 2 armoured vehicles, the new AW-169 helicopters, and the new command post for missions. The same helicopters and armoured vehicles, as well as trucks and lorries, are also to be provided for the Carabinieri, who are trailing behind with two programmes worth just over EUR 300 million.
The Italian version of this analisys can be found here