The war in Ukraine saw the consecration of the drone as a fundamental and indispensable weapon system on the battlefield. Used for long-range reconnaissance already in the Vietnam War by the US, the drones or unmanned aerial vehicles, as they were known at the time, had their first extensive use also in the tactical field during the 1982 Lebanon war by Israeli side in battlefield surveillance, target acquisition and electronic warfare. In the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (and even earlier in Syria and Libya) killer drones or loitering munitions have also emerged, the large-scale deployment of which was decisive for Azerbaijani victory.
The Italian Army boasts a certain tradition of using drones, as they were already in service in the "Aquileia" missile brigade in the XNUMXs. Canadair CL-89 by photographic reconnaissance with a pre-programmed fixed flight path and a range of over 100 km. Currently the drones component is concentrated in the tactical information brigade of the Broadcasting Weapon.
Based on the experience of the conflict in Ukraine, each maneuvering regiment (infantry and cavalry) should have a reconnaissance platoon equipped with Lince armored vehicles for close-range exploration and short-range drones for observation and acquisition of targets. At brigade level, a regiment equipped with medium-range drones and killer drones capable of operating alongside the 155 artillery regiment should be set up as direct or decentralized support if necessary for battery to maneuvering regiments. The division / corps level should have a large elemental artillery unit intended for general fire support to locate and hit targets at great distances. This large unit should follow the formation of the 3rd “Aquileia” missile brigade of the time of the Cold War.
Established for the use of nuclear ammunition as a priority, this brigade was equipped in its latest staff with: command department, Lance surface-to-surface missile group with a range of over 100 km, 2 groups of 203/39 self-propelled artillery, battalion-level infantry for close array defense, engineering battalion, transmission battalion, reconnaissance drone group, helicopter squadron group, specialist department, target acquisition group (special operations forces), logistics battalion.
It would now be a question of replicating this formation by updating it with the assignment of an MLRS regiment, two self-propelled groups of 155/45 firing Vulcano ammunition, a heavy drone regiment for reconnaissance and long-range target acquisition (possibly armed with guided missiles and bombs) , a regiment of long-range killer drones and support departments, such as paratroopers to infiltrate behind enemy lines for target acquisition and laser tracking, battlefield surveillance radars, anti-aircraft and anti-drone systems, helicopters attack, etc.
This large unit should belong to the artillery weapon, in order to reduce the intervention times between the identification of a target and the launch of ammunition to eliminate it.