Skip to comments.Obama set to arm Italy's drones in milestone move
Posted on 05/29/2012 3:11:04 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
President Barack Obama's administration appears set to notify the U.S. Congress of plans to arm a fleet of Italian MQ-9 Reaper drones, a step that may spur a wider spread of remotely piloted hunter-killer aircraft.
The administration could move ahead within two weeks on the proposal to let Italy join Britain in deploying U.S. drones with weapons such as laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles, American officials said.
Italy has a fleet of six Reapers. The sale of the technology to arm them, including bomb racks and "weaponization" kits costing up to $17 million, would help the United States redistribute the burden of its global military operations as the Pentagon's budget is being squeezed by deficit-reduction requirements.
Aides to Obama have been informally consulting the House of Representatives' and Senate's foreign affairs committees about the proposed sale to Italy since last year, congressional staff said.
The latest such period of "pre-consultations" ended May 27 without a move to block the sale, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the coming formal notification to lawmakers.
A transfer to Italy would make it harder for the United States to deny armed-drone technology if asked for it by other members of the 28-country NATO alliance or by close U.S. partners such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, arms-sale analysts said.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Considering Italy’s current economic state, one has to wonder about what military purpose Italy might have for this equipment.
Should we recall that in 1935, Mussolini invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and much was made of the early testing advanced weaponry that would become mainstream in just a few years?
Just a thought.
Yep, this is weird.
No, it’s not.
If everybody has the predator drones (read, the futre move), then US won’t be that special.
Further downgrade of our great nation.
Wouldn’t you like to bet how much ChiComm want to get their hands on those???!!!
But that’s ok, they are our ally./
And, I have never been a defender of crony-capitalism toward our domestic military contractors. We work with them to develop the hardware we need, for our security requirements - NOT IN ORDER TO CREATE JOBS.
If it is a technology we developed and that we need to keep a handle on, “foreign defense contracts” do not sway me as good enough reason to weaken that control.
O is using the Italian-NATO role in Afghanistan as (1) an excuse to weaken our own control on our own technology and (2) to maybe deflect some of the “blame” for “errors” with drone strikes in Afghanistan, from the U.S. to Italy.
33% of the USAF is drones
combine that with the revelation that Chinese intel has built back doors into chips...
and the ‘wonderment’ of how 3 of our spy drones landed safely in enemy hands...
and then ponder arming in it all.
the Chinese have a forward deployed air force just waiting to be activated
“the Chinese have a forward deployed air force just waiting to be activated”
So the 30 IQ Chicomm apes have finally figured out how to anneal a bolt.
That’s news to me.
Last I heard, the ChiComm carrier barely limped back into port after their pilots tried to land on the deck and opened numerous holes below the waterline.
i guess you’re right... after all.. we have president supah smaht leading us... what chance do they have?