The United States has asked Italy to speed up the transfer of the next package of military aid to Ukraine, which may include SAMP-T anti-aircraft missile systems, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported on Jan. 7, citing its own sources.
According to the newspaper, the issue of supplying air defense systems was discussed during a telephone conversation between the U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Diplomatic Advisor to the Italian Prime Minister Francesco Talo.
The conversation between Sullivan and Talo took place on Jan. 5.
La Repubblica writes that Rome has not yet approved its sixth military aid package for Ukraine, but may do so soon.
Italy has five active SAMP-T batteries and one training battery (without a launcher). But the work on modernization of the latter has been going on for several months.
SAMP-T is an air defense system that can destroy aircraft at a distance of up to 100 kilometers. When shooting down ballistic missiles, the system’s maximum target distance is 25 kilometers.
In late December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. It was officially announced then that Rome was considering the transfer of air defense systems to Ukraine.