Italy will also have its own armed drones. This had been in the air for some time and the confirmation came from the 2021 Multiannual Planning Document of the Ministry of Defense, as underlined by the specialized magazine Rid, which links this novelty to the emergence of new scenarios. New operational theaters which, “from Nagorno Karabah, to Libya, have shown the importance of the armed drone on the battlefield” and have brought down “uncertainties and resistances of an ethical nature that had hitherto prevented the completion of this step”.
The Defense has not provided further details and the type of weapons that will be integrated on the aircraft is not known. It is only known that Reaper drones will also be equipped with new electronic warfare equipment.
UAVs, an acronym for remotely piloted aircraft, i.e. drones, have been indispensable tools for many years in the various areas of operation, but which Italy has so far only used in an unarmed version, essentially for reconnaissance and intelligence activities. and surveillance. According to Pietro Batacchi, editor of Rid, the Italian defense magazine, this limitation has had serious consequences in the past. “The unavailability of weapons aboard the Predator / Reaper, for example in Afghanistan, has put the lives of our soldiers on the ground at risk, with losses that could otherwise have been avoided.” But now that the Defense “has decided to arm their Male Reaper class UAVs, our commanders on the ground will have a fundamental option to protect the forces on the ground and to neutralize any threats before they can manifest themselves”.
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