Rome, Stockholm discuss defence. On Tuesday, representatives from the Italian and Swedish Armed Forces met in the Roman headquarters of the Defence Secretariat, which later issued a communiqué. General Luciano Portolano, Secretary General of Defence and National Armaments Director, led the Italian delegation, with Carl Göran Mårtensson, National Armaments Director, heading the Swedish one.
- Having extended the greetings of Defence Minister Guido Crosetto to his Scandinavian counterpart, Mr Portolano highlighted how the excellent relations between the two countries, whose relations have always been marked by cooperation and stability, facilitate a fruitful exchange of information.
- Mr Mårtensson, expressing his satisfaction with the topics discussed during the bilateral meeting, brought greetings from Defence Minister Pål Jonson, with the hope that relations between the two countries could be further strengthened.
Everything, everywhere, all at once. The bilateral committee touched upon several topics in the area of defence procurement.
- In the land domain, officials discussed some European cooperation, such as the Multinational Cooperation on All-Terrain Vehicles (MATV) and the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).
- In the naval domain, the focus was on fostering the exchange of information in the area of heavy torpedoes, with the hope of future cooperation between the respective naval forces.
- In the space domain – and more specifically in the area of military cooperation on Earth observation capabilities –, Rome and Stockholm will develop a collaboration to assess the possibility of using the Esrange Space Centre site in Kyrun, in the Arctic Circle, to increase the operational capabilities of Italian defence satellites.
… and in the air domain, the conversations encompassed the Global Combat Air Programme, the joint sixth-generation fighter jet project that Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom launched in December – which Sweden is strongly interested in.
- The GCAP has long been considered an extremely valuable initiative that will determine future operational and industrial capabilities in the sector, defining the levels of operational and technological sovereignty that the participating countries will be able to express.
- In recent weeks, Japan and Sweden signed an agreement on technology and defence transfer that could pave the way for the latter’s entry into the GCAP, whose objective is the merger between the Japanese F-X and the Anglo-Italian (and somewhat Swedish) Tempest.
Going at it together. In closing, the Italian and Swedish officials discussed the opportunity of joint procurement to pitch projects (to be financed within the European Defence Industry Reinforcement through the common Procurement Act, aka EDIRPA). This will also allow the two nations to cope with the growing difficulties in the procurement of equipment and resources – especially given this historical juncture, which pushed Sweden to officially request to join NATO as a result of an increased perception of Russia threatening the Scandinavian area.