Letter to Defense Online: "Did General Serino fight and lose?"


Dear Director, regarding the sudden change at the top of the SME which will put an end to the mandate of General Serino on February 27th without the possibility of renewal, I would like to ask you a couple of questions considering that your newspaper was the only one that has highlighted in recent years the continuing unsustainability of the line of combat tanks and armored fighting vehicles for the infantry of the Italian Army.

1) General Serino perhaps paid for his firm position for the acquisition of two proven platforms already available on the market such as the LEOPARD 2A8 and the LYNX (or equivalent), in contrast with the national industry which once again wanted to impose a native choice (despite being totally devoid of skills and commercial successes in the armored/tracked sector)?

2) In the alternative, General Serino was the loser in his firm request to keep the platforms to be acquired intact with respect to the interference of the national industry which wants to replace some essential systems, with ad hoc creations made in Italy, such as to potentially compromise their overall functioning (repeating the case of the heavy self-propelled PzH2000 155/52 which we know jams)?

I also attach one of the articles taken from one international specialist newspaper, where the declarations of LEONARDO's top management are reported in these hours, flaunting that the Leopard 2A8s will be "Italianized".

We are perhaps at the da you prefigured “LEOPARDOTTO”?

I look forward to your kind response, thanking you for the careful action carried out by your newspaper.


Giancarlo Corona


Dear reader, I thank you for the declaration of esteem and how much we have always been against the grain in the work of disseminating information on Defense. The fact that, even today, this newspaper does not enjoy support (except sporadically and symbolically) from national defense companies and that every politician in office in Italy promptly supports this boycott, must also say something about the logic, dynamics and royal hierarchies "behind the scenes"...

But let's get to the question you rightly raised.

We never even had a coffee with General Serino because interviews - in the Italian post-monarchy - are "granted" to subjects more faithful and obsequious, not the constitutional right of citizens of a democratic country. And if they are, so is the "ask a question and give an answer" it could mean putting you in serious difficulty (better to ask the interviewee the questions first).

Despite this, on some occasions, it was possible to speak with the general on the sidelines of events. Technical preparation, honesty of spirit and serious concern for the lives of his men were the positive impressions received. The mere fact of having fought (we saw him respond in kind to some pro-Leopardotti henchmen...) is a sure medal on the chest of the outgoing chief of staff.

The fact that more than twenty years have passed since the acquisition of the PZH2000 and, like it or not, a world war is underway, gives rise to hope for the possibility that the Leopard2 A8 remain so and do not become autarchic (and tragicomic) "Leopardotti".

Regarding the renewal of theeven more important armored combat component for infantry, IFVs (Infantry fighting vehicles), the situation is worrying and for the following reasons:

  • in its absence, tanks (of any generation) are vulnerable;
  • in their absence, the soldiers are... "at risk" (read "gone");
  • in their absence, political-industrial responsibilities increase exponentially day by day.

In the latter case, however, we won't have to worry.

At the moment the completion (on paper) of the programs for the armored force ranges by 2034 to 2037. Given how much was exceeded for only 3 prototypes of theRam (35 million allocated in the period 2017-2019) delivered in 2022 (!), I doubt that we can hope for advances in deliveries.

One point is dramatically present at the (military) leaders of our country: the war has begun and will probably be over for a decade by 2037. Too many naive people hope that it is a passing rain, we know that the storm will arrive soon. Unfortunately, not understanding the urgency, we will face it with few valid means, few soldiers... but with the usual (usual, usual, usual) political rhetoric.

This is a time in which Italian citizens must put aside divisions of ideas, party, caste, lodge and personal (anyone even the crowbar...?) to prepare for the worse and provide the meglio to the true servants of the State: those who wear a uniform and who put their lives at risk every day and will put their lives even more.

The worst enemy of Italians is at home. We start to fight it, admitting to ourselves certain defects and trying to improve, or we silently continue with a "mmm... excellent and abundant Mr. General!", moreover knowing that it is not the military who decides?

Andrea Cucco

Photo: Italian Army