It took time, at least four governments, the will to break habits, resistance and bureaucratic rigidity. But now the Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini, with the support of the General Secretariat – National Armaments Directorate, led by Luciano Portolano, has made the Gtg (government to government) take off: outside the jargon, the export of the national military industry is guaranteed from the government signature. It begins with a C27J Spartan fixed-wing aircraft of the Air Force, purchased from Slovenia. But that’s not all.
A strategic achievement
The GTG is not just a question of insiders. It can be a determining process for the national development of military and high-tech exports. Billionaire contracts and related repercussions. With a lot of consequences in international power relations. It has been discussed in Italy since the prime minister was Paolo Gentiloni. The rule eventually entered the budget law for 2020. But then it had to be made operational. Lorenzo Guerini explains how it is “an essential tool for the relaunch and growth of our industry, but also in the strength of relations between governments”. The agreement just signed with Slovenia, moreover, is an operational signal in implementation of the directive on industrial policy issued by Guerini himself last July.
The next steps
The intention of the minister, we can say of the government chaired by Mario Draghi, is to go ahead with his head down. In the pipeline there is already an agreement with Austria for a contract for the supply of helicopters of our production. It is expected for the next few weeks. But the basic idea is to extend the Italian GTG as soon as possible, first of all to the 27 countries of the European Union. The General Secretariat of Defense is in full swing on the dossier. We must, moreover, make up ground. The instrument is already supplied not only in the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, but even in Sweden and Spain. At the hearing two years ago in the Defense commission in Montecitorio, the then military adviser of Palazzo Chigi, Carlo Massagli, estimated a theoretical loss due to missed contracts, not concluded in the absence of Gtg in Italy, equal to 1.5 billion orders per year .
The NATO Industry Forum 2021 in Rome
The NATO industry forum-Nif is taking place this week in the capital with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In the showcase for the military representatives of the Alliance there are the champions of the national industry: Aiad, Aerea, Leonardo, Iveco-Oto Melara, Elettronica, Telespazio, Amazon Web Services Emea, Thales Alenia Space, Beretta, Mbda and others. At the start, General Portolano underlined how «the ability for the Alliance to create innovation also in the military instrument is certainly synonymous with strategic advantage. Emerging and disruptive technologies have been clearly identified. Technological innovation is a driving force for development but also aims for domination. And most of the technologies are dual ». NATO has set up a fund for technological innovation and the “Defense innovation accelerator for the North Atlantic”.
The development of small and medium-sized enterprises
The Secretary General of Defense notes the final figure to be the “growth of the industrial sector, of small and medium-sized enterprises, of the academic world and of research, with the aim of rationalizing resources”. Thus it becomes crucial to share “the need to develop new cooperation between allies but also – underlines Portolano – with supranational players: such as the search for synergies with the European Union in the context of the NATO-EU Joint Declaration”. Guerini relaunches: “My country is able to play a bridging role between Europe and the US to generate wider and more transversal collaborations, for the benefit of the overall growth of the industrial system on which NATO and the EU can and must rely today “. A “very clear” direction points out the minister. The furrow is drawn. The wait is now about the results.