At the end of July 2022, the Italian Ministry of Defence presented to the Parliament the yearly Documento Programmatico Pluriennale (DPP), a policy paper outlining both the provisional and final defence budget for the 2022 fiscal year and the 2022-2024 triennia. The document offers insight into the activities involving the Ministry of Defence, as it defines the political priorities that the Ministry’s technical and administrative apparel must implement through the management of the allocated financial resources.
Following the recognition by Italy of space as a domain for military operations, the country must increase the robustness and the protection of its satellites. This decision aligns with international and transnational organisations of which Italy is a member, such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The problem to be tackled is active attacks in space and the always present issue of space and orbital debris.
On 1 February 2022, the second satellite of the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) constellation was successfully launched at 00.11 CET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida (USA), with a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrier. COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) is the first dual system civil and military, of terrestrial observation radar satellites. It is the Italian component of an Italian-French system resulting from the Turin agreement, a bilateral intergovernmental agreement signed in 2001. In its final configuration, the bilateral system ORFEO has 4 Italian X-band radar satellites, COSMO-SkyMed, and 2 French optical satellites, Pleiades, thus increasing overall capacities.
Loitering munitions are nothing new on the battlefield, but cheaper versions could soon be a game-changer. They first started to appear in the 1980s as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) weapons, and they were soon dubbed as “suicide drones” and “kamikaze drones”.
Following years of financial instability, the Italian Armed Forces now lack competitiveness and preparedness on the technological aspect. According to the think tank Centro Studi Internationali (CeSI), this struggle has been mostly due to funds for procurement given to fulfil modernization in navy and air forces but not for the Army.