On 16 and 17 November, the commitment was renewed which brings together, twice a year, NATO's national armaments directors at the Alliance Headquarters in Brussels, better known as Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD). Italy was represented by general of the army corps Luciano Portolano, general secretary of defense and national director of armaments, who, in the light of the current international context - affected by a plurality of crises of different nature - confirmed the the country's commitment to supporting an active role in the framework of NATO procurement activities.
Italy's participation in the international forum has made it possible to safeguard national interests in the continuation of some important capacity development programs such as theAir Command and Control System (ACCS) - integrated command and control system for air operations within NATO - and the related program called NATO Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), aimed at developing the skills of command and control of the Alliance's missile defense assets. During the CNAD, the need was also recognized to immediately start the project for the technological modernization of the aforementioned systems of command and control, so that in the future they fully meet the requirements of modularity, scalability and interoperability, capable of effectively supporting multi-domain operations.
The comparison of various programs has also allowed, on the Italian side, to send clear messages to ensure a space of visibility for the Italian defense industry also on the occasion of exercises of absolute importance and to demonstrate the strong national interest in contributing to the initiatives of the NATO aimed at allowing the Alliance forces to have space-based products and services to support operations.
As part of NATO's Implementation Strategy on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, for which the program was recently launched Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), Italy has also proposed, for the benefit of the world of the many Italian start-ups operating in the context Space e Underwater, the inclusion of such domains/environments in the context of way ahead aimed at advancing NATO's innovation and capability development.
Other items on the agenda regarded the updating of the main issues dealt with in NATO Armaments Groups in the land, naval and air domains.
The conference also offered General Portolano the opportunity to conduct a series of bilateral meetings with France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States of America in order to discuss some cooperation programs of mutual interest.
On November 18, General Portolano also took part in the meeting of Defense Contact Group of Ukraine (Ukrainian Defense Contact Group – UDCG). Participants, 45 National Armaments Directors from NATO and Partner countries, were able to discuss their efforts to scale up production of critical systems, explore modularity and interchangeability of systems, and ultimately understand the long-term needs needed for support for Ukraine.
The CNAD is consolidating, over time, an increasingly important role in the governance process of future complex programs better known as Complex Armaments Programs (CAPs). The conference, chaired by the NATO secretary general and the assistant secretary general – Defense Investment, has since 1966 brought together senior national officials responsible for defense procurement in NATO member and partner countries, with the task of facilitating dialogue, promoting industrial cooperation transatlantic and identify opportunities for collaboration in the research, development and production of military equipment with a view to multilateral cooperation.