While the “Coronavirus crisis” continues to cause devastating socio-economic consequences also in Italy, a large part of the “Recovery Fund” is destined not to the most affected economic and social sectors, but to the most advanced sectors of the war industry.
According to the EU Recovery Fund, Italy should receive € 209 billion over the next six years, of which about 81 is for grants and 128 for loans to be repaid with interest. In the meantime, the Defense and Economic Development Ministries have presented a list of military projects for an amount of approximately 30 billion euros (Defense Analysis, from the Recovery Fund financing also for Defense, 09-25-2020).
The projects of the Ministry of Defense could spend 5 billion euros of the Recovery Fund for military applications in the sectors of cybernetics, communications, space and artificial intelligence. The projects relating to the military use of 5G are significant, particularly in space with a 36 satellites constellation and others.
The projects of the Ministry of Economic Development, mainly relating to the military aerospace area, foresee an expenditure of 25 billion euros from the Recovery Fund. After the F-35 fifth generation, the Ministry intends to invest in a sixth-generation fighter, the Tempest, called “the plane of the future.”
Other investments concern the production of new generation military helicopters / tiltrotors, capable of vertical take off and landing, and flying at high speed. At the same time, the Ministry will invest in next-generation drones and naval units, and advanced underwater technologies. Large investments are also expected in the space and satellite technology field.
Several of these technologies, including 5G communication systems, will be for military and civilian dual use. Since some of the military projects presented by the two departments overlap, the Ministry of Economic Development has drawn up a new list that makes it possible to reduce its spending to 12.5 billion euros.
However, the fact remains that there are plans to spend between 17.5 and 30 billion euros drawn from the Recovery Fund for military purposes, which must be repaid with interest.
In addition to these expenses, more than 35 billion is allocated for military purposes by Italian governments for the period 2017-2034, largely in the budget of the Ministry of Economic Development.