In the mid-90s the Italian Air Force found itself in the need to urgently replace the F-104ASA-M interceptors, now at the limit of their operational life and with very poor operational performance. A fighter was needed to act as a bridge in view of the introduction into service of the EFA and to be kept in line only for a certain number of years while waiting for the new aircraft. The solution was found with the leasing acquisition before Tornado ADV (24 specimens for 10 years) sold by the Royal Air Force and then by the American F16ADFs of the Air National Guard (34 specimens as part of the Peace Caesar XNUMX-year program).
The example of the Air Force could today be followed by the Italian Army, in order to have an efficient and suitable armored component in a short time to be operational and ready for any combat. The current line of tanks Ram and infantry fighting vehicles Dartin fact, it has a limited efficiency, as well as no longer being at the state of the art of modern tanker technology. The armored vehicles in question are at the center of a planned modernization plan, with the involvement of the national industry which, however, has a long construction time, with completion expected in the XNUMXs. The proposal is to lease tanks Abrams Books and armored combat vehicles Bradley surplus of the US army in order to temporarily re-equip the “Ariete” and “Garibaldi” brigades and in this way make them operational in all its main players quickly.
Given the increasingly critical situation in Ukraine, it seems appropriate to take precautions and take measures capable of strengthening and making ready for combat the brigades most suitable for use in a high-intensity conflict on flat land. The leasing acquisition would have the advantages of requiring a limited economic outlay and of placing the Italian armored component on a par with that of NATO nations, even of the second tier such as Slovakia, Austria and Hungary which are currently superior, as, already or shortly, equipped with Leopard-2, CV-90 e Lynx. With a number of Abrams Books the reduced quantity (125 units) of Aries-2 (in 2035 if all goes well ..., ndd), barely enough to equip the three tank regiments and the school of Lecce, but which does not allow to have even a minimum reserve of means.
It would not be the first time that the Italian Army would have resorted to the loan of US armored vehicles more performing than those supplied for immediate use in operational contexts. In fact, as early as 1993, about ten M-60A3 tanks of the US Marine Corps were taken in charge for the needs of the mission. Ibis. in Somalia, which at its end were returned to the American authorities. This version of the M-60 RISE was more advanced than the Italian A1, as it was equipped with stabilized armament, updated visors and above all with additional explosive type armor tiles, able to withstand the fire of RPG hollow-loaded rockets. supplied to local militias.
Photo: US Army