Cruise missiles on the Fremm, how the Italian defense will arm itself

Cruise missiles on the Fremm, how the Italian defense will arm itself

Not only did the Defense decide to arm the Air Force drones, the Navy is now targeting cruise missiles on the Fremm, multiplying the range of its attack systems.

Cruise missiles for submarines and Fremm of the Italian Navy.

As reported by Gianluca Di Feo in Repubblica , the Navy intends to adopt cruise missiles, multiplying the range of its attack systems. In fact, the currently insurmountable limit of the Otomat missiles would be exceeded.

This is the second major defense strategy in the context of the equipment systems of our Armed Forces adopted in the last two months.

The Air Force is ready to arm its drones. As Rid reported, the confirmation came from the 2021 Multiannual Programming Document. The Defense therefore decided to transform unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft into guided bombers.

Now the news that the Navy intends to embark on its own ship, first on submarines and then also on frigates, cruise missiles capable of hitting targets within a radius of over a thousand kilometers.

“A strategic turning point that will revolutionize the capabilities of our defense”, remarked Di Feo on Repubblica .

However, there is still no funding to launch the Navy's “operational requirement”. Although the Defense General Staff has already received it, and Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone has already talked about it in an interview with Rid .

"The Chief of Staff of the Navy explained the need to improve the instruments of" naval diplomacy "in the possession of Italy, located by geography in one of the most incandescent areas of the planet: the Mediterranean", underlined the Subsidiary .

Without forgetting that cruise missiles are the same type of weapon that will be embarked on Australian nuclear submarines at the center of the international debate these days.

The programs of the 2021-2023 Dpp include "Update of the MQ-9 payload" where MQ-9 is the acronym that indicates the Reaper drones, at the moment the inclusion of cruise missiles for the naval force is not foreseen in the Defense Dpp .

All the details.


The Navy plans to equip the Navy's new submarines and Fremm frigates with cruise missiles: weapons with a range of more than a thousand kilometers, which will revolutionize the possibility of intervention.

The cost is around one million dollars each.

The initiative is not yet funded, but is included among the "operational requirements" of the General Staff.


Currently, Italy's Otomat missiles have a maximum range of 200 km and are supplied only to surface units.

Cruise missiles – first embarked on submarines and then on Fremm according to Navy plans – have a range of over a thousand kilometers.

"In this way, the deterrence capacity against threats of all kinds and the possibility of protecting the national interest would expand – for example – to include the entire Libyan territory", underlines Repubblica .


“For our armed forces, the introduction of cruise ships would represent another strategic change. Combined with the recent decision to arm the Air Force's Predator drones, it would allow the possibility of attack over currently inconceivable distances, providing government authorities with a range of deterrent actions never seen before. From the theoretical point of view, the guided bombers and the cruise ships aboard submarines will change all the concepts of our Defense, making it capable of garrisoning the entire "enlarged Mediterranean": the area of ​​national interest defined in the government documents, which goes well beyond the borders of the sea ”pointed out Repubblica .

To date, only the US and the UK use cruise missiles in military operations.


However, at the moment the Defense has not made it clear which cruise missile model it intends to adopt.

It is therefore not known whether US Tomahawk missiles will be used as an alternative to European projects to arm the Navy units.

“For the future we are thinking of the Franco-British FC / ASW, an innovative project that is still in the study phase and risks being cut short by the dispute between Paris and London over the Australian submarine contract. The immediate alternatives on the market are the Scalp Naval, produced for France by the European consortium Mbda, and the latest version of the US Tomahawk, which on paper seems the most probable solution ”remarked Repubblica .

At the moment the Scalp Naval will be supplied to the French Fremm but not to the Italian ones.

The Tomahawk made by the American Raytheon, the first of the cruise ships, represented a turning point. The rockets remain on until impact and the missile is guided by a system that uses GPS, ensuring absolute accuracy.

“The problem with the Tomahawks is that they rely on the military GPS III network so it is the US that must provide the window of opportunity to launch. Therefore, it means sharing the target and the launch position if you do not want to repeat the story of the 1st Scalp launch ”, commented via Twitter the analyst Aurelio Giansiracusa, animator of Ares Osservatorio Difesa.


Finally, it should not be forgotten that unlike the decision to arm the Air Force drones, the provision of resources for the missiles of naval units is lacking.

"In the 2021-2023 Defense Multiannual Programming Document, the financing for deep strike missiles still does not fit, however, it is a need that the Navy has formalized, that the Defense has accepted, a consolidated need", he commented to the Adnkronos Pietro Batacchi, director of Rid , on the intention of the Navy to adopt cruise missiles on submarines and frigates.

“We will see when the funding arrives, it is a weapon that the Navy and Defense in general need. It is used in the early stages of the conflict, which are then the decisive ones, when it is necessary to neutralize the opponent's strategic objectives and if you do not have these weapons you play a lesser role ”noted the director of Rid .

“In fact, more and more states, such as Pakistan, Korea, are equipping themselves with such weapons, as well as the Americans, who have had a monopoly on them for years, the British and the French. The main world powers have equipped themselves with long-range cruise missiles so Italy cannot be without it ”. "The same thing happened for armed drones, Italy was the only power that did not have them, also for political sensitivity, but now they have been included in the multi-year planning document", concluded Batacchi.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 11:57:17 +0000.