Italy has revealed plans to bolster its military with new tanks, drones, and anti-ship weapons. A budget document released this week showed the country’s defense procurement budget will increase 43 percent by 2025.
The document lists 21 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) as one of Rome’s top priorities. The US-made HIMARS are expected to cost 137 million euros ($145 million) over the next seven years, with total military expenditures reaching 960 million euros ($1 billion).
Italy also allotted 100 million euros ($105 million) for the purchase of Leopard 2 A8 tanks in 2024.
Decommissioning the Italian Armed Force’s Dardo tank fleet is also scheduled, with new armored fighting vehicles up for purchase and development next year for 48 million euros ($50.8 million).
Additionally, a drone swarm technology program will be established in 2024, with a 76-million euro ($80.5 million) research and development budget.
Balancing NATO Requirements
Sources have also spoken with Defense News about Italy’s plans to acquire 133 new tanks to meet NATO requirements.
The European country’s military budget increase comes amid its declaration of support for Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia.
So far, Italy has contributed about 390 million euros ($413 million) in assistance to Ukraine.
Source: The Defense Post