Letter to Defense Online: "About Aries..."


Dear editor, regarding the letter to Difesa Online Are you "conveniently" missing a beat?, for what it's worth, know that I totally agree with you.
Unfortunately, I add, because I wish it wasn't like that, but after 35 million spent to have 3 (three!) "prototypes" in a long time, with updates that would not make the Ariete up to the task even if by some miracle today those "updates" were already operational on the entire fleet, another 848 million (!) to have around ninety Aries at that standard (it would be better to say "in those conditions") at the end of the decade (perhaps), but - be careful! - with an option for a further 35 (well!) which by then I don't know how much each will cost, it's worse than a waste, it's a scandal.

From Crosetto, despite the due attention to the Italian industry that derives from his personal history, I expected something more than a re-edition of the M13/40, M14/41 and M15/42 die. His culture and political culture made me hope for something better. Has no one told him about masterpieces like the F-104 ASA-M coupled with the Tornado ADV? To then arrive twenty years later at the rental by the hour of the F-16, a solution that could have been pursued immediately. Or the AMX: I would like to know the name of the "genius" who proposed/imposed the Rolls Royce Spey as an engine, despite the presence of much more valid alternatives.

By putting that money thrown into the so-called Ariete upgrade (2 horsepower forty years after the first Leo-8, a real leap forward!) on the Leo-1.500A2 plate, we could not only have significantly increased the quantity ordered, but we could probably have negotiate a preferential lane for deliveries, and above all negotiate more favorable conditions for the Italian industry in the future German tank project (as done with the U-212s). This would have really attracted the interest of both the Armed Forces and the Italian industry by including it in an avant-garde project. With the Tempest it was done: the (virtuous) example is not lacking.

I know very well that I haven't told you anything new, on the contrary, but honestly, after all the past disastrous experiences (loads of money for outdated and numerically insufficient systems), another step so illogical, thoughtless, and moreover under the eyes of everyone, in the twenty-first century, I really hoped not to see it.

To partially rebalance, or if we want to "sweeten the pill", at the beginning of September, as we know, the unexpected news arrived of the German proposal to Italy, Sweden and Spain to join forces, of course under German leadership, for the construction of the new pan-European wagon. This project would probably be carried out at the expense of the previous Franco-German program, a program for which the Germans at an unofficial level had already let their frustration and dissatisfaction filter through for some time, due to the difficulty of carrying forward any program in "condominium" with the French.

This decision and change of course, still to be verified in its concreteness and to be subjected to verification over time (as well as potential Franco-German "backfires", all in a political key), would be a logical and desirable path for Italy , given the well-known experience and undisputed capacity of the German industry in the field of heavy armor, and goes (if confirmed) in the direction of the hope I referred to above.

This unexpected development, even more so, does not change the assessment on substantial waste of resources in the questionable "revitalization" of Aries, an evidently impossible mission (as well as useless, given the estimated times), at least for the Italian industry, it seems. A reorientation of the resources thrown into this useless revitalization, allocating them partly in further lots of Leo2A8 and partly in investments to place Italy in the position of "first level partner" for this future pan-European wagon, would have been a title of honor for the Director of Armaments and the Minister of Defense: saving us this waste to the detriment of Defense as a whole.

Best regards



Dear reader, I share your doubts. I would like to hear the Minister's opinion on these and many other points. The national director of Armaments is a military man and, as such, he must continue to organize weddings with dried figs (and champagne in the toilets?) Without overflowing in the evaluation exquisitely political: "How much is the skin of Italian soldiers worth?".

Since formally "Italy is a democratic Republic" (and that for many, many, many months we have repeatedly forwarded a request for an interview), I am sure that, sooner or later, we will see our questions satisfied. From this or from the next minister (the historical average of Italian governments, although they always dream of "millennial" durations, is - from 162 years - 1 year and a few months...).

Andrea Cucco

Photo: Italian Army