The Italian Army has launched a strategy and technology blueprint that stresses the role of civilian emergency operations and gives details of planned helicopter and vehicle procurements.
Launched in Rome on Feb 9, the document could win back the attention of policymakers who have recently focused more on Navy and Air Force modernization and spending.
Drawn up with the help of industry and strategy specialists, the document follows the passing of a law granting over €5 billion (US $5.7 billion) in funding in funding for new Navy ships and continued funding for the Air Force’s flagship Joint Strike Fighter program.
While the Army has performed the largest share of work in recent deployments, including Afghanistan, Army procurement “has remained behind,” said Germano Dottori, one of two academics involved in the writing of the document.
The Army may receive more attention now that Army Chief Gen. Claudio Graziano is due to become Italy’s military chief of staff. On the funding front, the procurement of 381 armored vehicles has also been approved by Italy’s parliamentary defense commission. The Freccia armored vehicles, built by an all-Italian consortium of Iveco and Finmeccanica unit Oto Melara, will equip an Army brigade, which will add to an existing brigade that has already been equipped with Freccias thanks to a previous order of 249 vehicles.
The new document states that the Army currently has 11 brigades, 3,800 combat vehicles, 7,300 support vehicles, 226 helicopters and 103,000 military personnel, joined by 9,800 civilian personnel.
Read More:Italian Army Lays Out Future Vision.