UK, Italy Agree to Reinforce Defense Cooperation at Rome Summit

The UK and Italy have agreed to enhance their defense cooperation at a summit in Rome.

The joint statement of intent was signed by British Defence Minister Ben Wallace and his Italian counterpart Guido Crosetto.

Under the agreement, the UK and Italy will develop deeper bilateral partnerships in several military arenas, particularly in the space and cyber domains.

The collaboration is expected to bolster interoperability and develop shared capabilities between their armed forces to minimize costs.

Sustaining Peace

During the meeting, Wallace and Crosetto committed to further their support for Kyiv in its ongoing conflict.

The ministers also discussed security matters in Libya, the Western Balkans, and the Eastern Mediterranean.

“The strategic partnership between Rome and London is the right path to follow in order to act effectively in the complex international scenario determined by the historical moment we are experiencing,” Crosetto stated.

“Between our two countries there is a privileged relationship that we have decided to consolidate in order to build a piece of future history together.”

GCAP Program

The signing follows the launch of the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), a trilateral initiative between the UK, Italy, and Japan to develop a next-generation military aircraft by 2035.

Concept of next-generation fighters under GCAP.
Concept of next-generation fighters under GCAP. Photo: BAE Systems/Leonardo

Under the GCAP agreement, the partners will leverage industrial expertise, share investments,  and provide advanced capabilities in sensors, weapons, unmanned systems, and data infrastructure.

“Through this new defence agreement with Italy, our long-standing ally and friend, we are deepening our defence collaboration at a vital time for security across Europe and the wider world,” Wallace said.

“Working together as NATO allies to support Ukraine, and also on joint projects including the Global Combat Air Programme, we continue to promote our collective industries and increase our capabilities.”

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