Procurement: Italy Rearms


March 2, 2024: Like many other NATO nations, Italy is upgrading and expanding its armed forces to deal with any future aggression from Russia or anyone else. This rearmament means purchasing a lot of American made weapons. The United States is a major supplier of weapons to its NATO allies and many non-NATO allies. The recent sales to Italy included M-120C-8 AMRAAM Air-to-Air Missiles as well as the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB-II). These two weapons were a significant part of Italy’s military modernization efforts. Italy is also a licensed manufacturer of F-35 aircraft. Italy produces F-35s for itself and other European NATO countries.

F-35s are equipped to use American weapons like the Stormbreaker, which can identify, track, and hit a moving target on the ground in any weather and at night.

Stormbreakers cost about $200,000 each. As an air-launched weapon, Stormbreakers weigh 93 kg with a 48 kg warhead. Range against stationary targets is 110 kilometers and against moving targets about 72 kilometers.

Stormbreaker is widely available and popular with many export customers, including Italy. So far Italy has spent $220 million on the AMRAAM and Stormbreaker purchases. Both will be used on its 90 F-35A and F-35B fighters built in Italy under license. The F-35A is the conventional landing and takeoff version while the F-35B can take off or land vertically.

The AIM-120C-8 missiles will equip the Italian Air Force with the latest air-to-air munitions, enhancing its ability to counter contemporary and future aerial threats. The initial sale was for 24 AMRAAMs, providing Italy with an arsenal to ensure regional aerial strength.

Italy's naval and air forces are receiving $150 million worth Stormbreaker guided bombs. This includes 173 Stormbreaker bombs for use with the F-35 aircraft. These advanced munitions augment Italy's offensive capabilities, providing accuracy in neutralizing targets while minimizing collateral damage.




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