You are currently viewing France and Italy take major step to Reach Interoperability of European Land Industries

France and Italy take major step to Reach Interoperability of European Land Industries

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News

Written by: Gaia Durante Mangoni

Edited by: Zoi Sofologi

Supervised by: Syuzanna Kirakosyan

On 29 April 2024, the Italian Minister of Defence Guido Crosetto and his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu met at the military camp Raffalli in Calvi, Corsica, to sign a Letter of Intent boosting military cooperation between their respective land forces. The two Ministers signed the Letter as part of their commitment to enhance Europe’s defence posture by integrating industrial bases. This partnership allows French and Italian defence companies to share their financial, personnel and technological expertise and build more competitive industrial centres in the domain of Land Forces. By harmonising their standards, equipment, procedures and training protocols during joint operations and missions, the two countries will enhance the effectiveness of Europe’s ground defence capabilities (Ministère des Armées, 2024).

During the press conference, Minister Crosetto affirmed that Italy and France possess large and sophisticated military arsenals. Yet, when comparing their stocks to countries like China, it becomes evident that Europeans need to invest further their defence capabilities in combining critical technological resources and expertise (Ministero della Difesa, 2024). Similarly, the Minister of French Armed Forces reiterated that European land forces often share military objectives and operational needs. Encouraging in-house collaborative programmes like this is essential to achieve the longer-term goal of fostering interoperability of land forces and consolidating Europe’s ability to navigate an increasingly volatile security environment (Ministère des Armées, 2024).

This visit occurred shortly after The French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech at Sorbonne University in Paris, where he expressed his concerns regarding Europe’s risk of being overwhelmed by military superpowers such as the US and China if it does not advance its own strategic autonomy and curtail its security reliance on the US (Macron, 2024). The Letter of Intent perfectly echoes the French President’s appeal to reduce the fragmentation of Europe’s defence industry by enhancing army interoperability. Similar to previous joint initiatives, it promotes industrial cooperation between European defence firms and boosts innovation capacity.

This strategic alliance was an opportunity for Italy to reiterate its interest in joining the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) tank program, which was revitalised on 26 April by an intergovernmental agreement between the German Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius and Lecornu (Khatsenkova, 2024). This platform, which focuses on strengthening the ties between German and French defence companies, aims at renovating their battle tanks, particularly by replacing the Leopard 2 and the Leclerc tanks with newer land combat weapons (Ruitenberg & Sprenger, 2024). If Italy becomes a member of this project, they will commit to supporting the integration of cutting-edge technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), to improve the resilience of the European ground defence architecture (ibid).

Finally, given that multiplying the synergies between land forces is also one of NATO’s pillars, the Alliance has not only welcomed but also encouraged these joint initiatives, acknowledging that more EU-NATO collaboration would significantly contribute to the strategic imperative of building a more robust and autonomous European defence apparatus (Ruitenberg & Sprenger, 2024).


Amante, A. (2024, April 29). Italy and France sign letter of intent to boost European defence industry. Reuters.

Macron, E. (April 25, 2024) Speech on Europe [Video]. France 24

Khatsenkova, S. (2024, April 26). ‘Tank of the future’: German and French defence ministers sign billion euro arms projects. Euronews.

Ministère des Armées. (2024, April 29). Communiqué de presse du ministère des Armées [Press release]. Paris, France.

Ministero della Difesa. (2024, April 29). Difesa: Il Ministro Crosetto incontra omologo francese Lecornu. Firmata lettera di intenti sul Polo Industriale Europeo. Calvi, Francia.

Ruitenberg, R. & Sprenger, S. (2024, April 26). France and Germany sign off on future battle tank system. DefenseNews.