Italy to supply Ukraine with artillery and Israeli-sourced drones, media report says
Flag of Italy (Photo:juliacasado1 / pixabay)
In addition to previously-announced SAMP-T and Aspide air defense systems, the Italian government has decided to provide Ukraine with artillery and Israeli-made UAVs, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Jan. 26.
According to the report, the upcoming package of Italian security assistance may include a batch of Hero-30 loitering UAVs, which are assembled from Israeli-made parts. It’s unclear if Israel has signed off on the transfer.
The article goes on to say that Ukraine’s anti-air capabilities will be substantially improved with Italy and France jointly providing one SAMP-T battery – a European equivalent of U.S.-made Patriot system. SAMP-T has a range of 100 kilometers, and is capable of intercepting even ballistic missiles.
Besides SAMP-T and short-range Aspide SAM systems, Rome will also deliver an unspecified number of artillery systems to Ukraine.
The aid package is expected to get finalized within two weeks, and signals Western partners transitioning from merely “helping save Ukraine” to “helping it win,” the newspaper writes.
“Italy will continue its role in supporting the Ukrainian people amid the Russian attack,” the article quotes Deputy Defense Minister Matteo Perego.
“Apart from the training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the national territory, Rome provides particular assistance to the Ukrainian military engaged in the field: their operations against the Russians are guided ‘remotely’ thanks to intelligence information and satellite systems,” Corriere della Sera outlines Italy’s role is NATO allies sharing battlefield intelligence with the Ukrainian military.
On Jan. 24, Italy’s lower parliamentary chamber approved the government’s plan for 2023 military aid to Ukraine.
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