Rome has delivered the SAMP/T. The advanced anti-air system, consisting of radars and satellites to track incoming missiles and mobile launchers to take them down as far as 120 kilometres away, is currently being deployed on the field in Ukraine. That fulfils Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s promise to continue delivering military aid to protect Ukrainians from Russia’s war of aggression.
- It took several weeks to ready the SAMP/T unit and all its components, which Italy produces jointly with France. And the delivery was conducted in secret, in line with Rome’s overall approach to supply equipment to Kyiv.
- Meanwhile, the Italian Armed forces trained twenty Ukrainian specialists in Sabaudia, near Rome, to operate the system.
A welcome addition. During Saturday’s visit to Rome, where he met with PM Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella, as well as Pope Francis, Ukrainian President Volodynyr Zelensky explicitly thanked the Italian and French governments for supplying the SAMP/T unit – and highlighted that such defences prevented more Ukrainian victims.
- “Italy has already completed its part, we are waiting for the French to do so as well. There is no exact date of [the system’s] field operation yet, but it seems very close indeed,” said Ukraine’s Ambassador to Italy Yaroslav Melnik to Corriere della Sera.
Ongoing support. Both President Mattarella and PM Meloni assured the Ukrainian leader that Italy would continue supporting its resistance against the Russian aggression, including by sending military equipment. “We bet on the victory of Ukraine,” said the latter, “our support will be at 360 degrees for all the time necessary, and beyond.”
- Rome is also working to make the Italian industry and business community participate in Ukraine’s reconstruction. That’s why the Italian government held a Reconstruction Conference in Rome in late April.
- “We are grateful to Italy for its incredible support in weapons, in words, and in deeds,” said President Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak in an Atlantic Council op-ed.