Monday, March 27, 2023

Vogon Today

Selected News from the Galaxy

Not only Leonardo, all business in the pipeline between Italy and India

Not only Leonardo, all business in the pipeline between Italy and India

Expected as the guest of honor of the Raisina Dialogue, Prime Minister Meloni will have a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit is expected to dispel old tensions and usher in new bilateral defense cooperation. Leonardo file

India and Italy ready to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is expected in New Delhi as guest of honor at the Raisina Dialogue conference from 2 to 4 March. On this occasion, Meloni will have a bilateral meeting with the Indian premier Narendra Modi.

“A general agreement on bilateral defense cooperation [is under discussion],” revealed The Indu. Former Indian ambassador to Italy, Anil Wadhwa, told the Indian newspaper that in recent years "there has been a continuous effort by both sides" to overcome past controversies and focus on economic efforts.

“Over the past decade, Italian-Indian relations have had to step over two obstacles that have blocked commercial and diplomatic dialogue for too long: the long saga of the marines and the AgustaWestland scandal, which had suspended Finmeccanica's contracts, including those for missiles torpedo Leonardo of the Scorpene-class submarines of the Indian Navy”, recalls Repubblica .

Since 2014 Leonardo was ousted from the country due to this court case. But in November 2021, India's defense ministry lifted the ban on the Italian defense company.

"Now that the legal issue of the marines has been resolved and that the scandal of the accusation of bribery for the helicopters of VIP politicians has faded […], business and bilateral relations have rediscovered a flourishing harmony", adds the newspaper directed by Maurice Molinari.

The memorandum expected to be announced next week is the first of its kind between Italy and India and is related to Italy's strategy in the Indo-Pacific.

All the details.


Last November Meloni had already had a bilateral meeting with Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali. At the center of the talks is the strengthening of relations between the two nations so that the potential of both can be exploited to the fullest, reported a note from Palazzo Chigi.

Furthermore, the two heads of government had an exchange of views on the stability of the Indo-Pacific and on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its repercussions, particularly in terms of food and energy security.


And now the two countries are ready to deepen defense cooperation between India and Italy.

Already last week, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had talks with Undersecretary of Defense Matteo Perego Di Cremnago (representing Defense Minister Guido Crosetto) in Bengaluru on the sidelines of Aero India, the biennial show hosted in Bangalore, the first visit like that for several years. Perego also met with the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Anil Chauhan, with whom he discussed collaboration in the areas of air, underwater and electronic warfare.

"Trade with our country at around 14 billion, albeit up 42% compared to the previous year, is decidedly below potential" declared the undersecretary in Bangalore. “Our two great countries” continued Perego “share a millenary history and strong roots that make them both important geopolitical players in the areas of our greatest influence. India is a leading power in the Indo-Pacific and, in the defense sector, the progressive diversification from Russian dependence and the make in India strategy must be seized as an opportunity for our national companies from the sectors from the field naval to air, electronics, munitions".

"My presence here, and above all the upcoming meetings of the top management of the Italian government, together with the work for the signing of a new defense cooperation agreement, mark a new season of deepening relations between our two countries", he concluded Perego.


India and Italy also have a Military Cooperation Group (MCG), a forum set up to encourage defense cooperation between the two countries through regular talks held between the two countries' various defense headquarters. The 11th MCG meeting was held last June in New Delhi. India and Italy are also engaged in multilateral forums in the Indian Ocean region and the Indo-Pacific.


On the other hand, our country is looking more and more to the Indo-Pacific. Italy and Japan recently upgraded their relationship to a "strategic partnership" in the wake of joining the UK in a joint project (known as GCAP) to develop the sixth generation fighter jet.

As already mentioned, Minister Crosetto is expected to travel to Tokyo in the coming months. “In this sense, also thinking of the reopening of the trilateral collaboration between India, Italy and Japan, a development of several Italian projects in the Indo-Pacific is conceivable. And it is to be hoped that already in this visit by Meloni to Delhi, or during the G20 in India in September, a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the defense sector can be signed which will widen the doors to more exchanges with what is the fifth largest economic power in the world and which, according to the economist Nouriel Roubini, will become the most important country in the world, possibly undermining not only China, but also the United States. A partner with whom Italy should therefore strengthen its alliances” commented Repubblica .


Finally, the leading national industries in the defense sector, Leonardo and Fincantieri, are ready to do their part.

Although bilateral ties have been affected by the AgustaWestland scandal, Italy is involved in India's defense industry through naval giant Fincantieri, the provider of know-how for technology upgrades and capability enhancements for India's first aircraft carrier , the INS Vikrant, commissioned in September 2022.

And Leonardo is also ready to return to the Indian market.

As BusinessWorld reconstructed, Leonardo's return to Aero India was deliberately discreet and subdued, and group executives distanced themselves from the media. If the ban on Leonardo was lifted by India in November 2021, this is the first time that the Italian group has participated in a public aerospace and defense exhibition in India.

Leonardo's exhibition at Aero India attempts to project his willingness to align with the Make in India agenda. The focus of its exhibit is on radar and systems for surveillance, detection and protection against threats posed by unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and promotion of sensors such as RAT 31DL and TMMR. Leonardo has sold over 50 RAT 31 DL systems worldwide. Radar is NATO's primary air defense sensor.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Tue, 28 Feb 2023 07:58:51 +0000.