L’Italia, il Mediterraneo allargato e il dominio subacqueo
The geo-strategic and military importance of the underwater environment has grown significantly in the last decades. Technological innovation is making the undersea cables handling most of the world’s internet traffic, as well as the oil and gas pipelines vital for the European economy, more vulnerable to underwater operations, as was the case in the Nord Stream sabotage in 2022.
Meanwhile, the discovery and exploitation of natural resources located under the seabed has stoked international tensions and disputes over the delimitation of exclusive economic zones, especially – though not exclusively – in the Mediterranean basin.
The sea is inextricably tied to Italy’s prosperity in terms of import-export, energy supply and marine resources, while it remains the most important medium through which global trade is transported. The underwater domain in particular is by nature hostile to human beings and its opacity is impervious to even the most advanced technologies. Nevertheless, submarines and uncrewed underwater vehicles offer a range of opportunities while enabling new threats. In this context, the return of deterrence at the top of the defence agendas of NATO and other countries is pushing many navies (from the wider Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific) to acquire submarines for the first time – once mostly a prerogative of naval powers.
The underwater environment is becoming a particularly important domain for the Italian Navy, and a technological frontier for the specialised industry, academia, research centres, and more in general for all companies in the private and public sector. The need for a whole-of-country approach has lead to the decision to create a National Underwater Hub.
These topics will be at the centre of the webinar “Italy, the Wider Mediterranean and the Underwater Domain”, taking place from 16:00 to 18:00. In this occasion, IAI will present a research study on the underwater domain.
Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, Presidente, Istituto Affari Internazionali
Nello Musumeci, Ministro per la Protezione civile e per le Politiche del mare (tbc)
Presentazione della ricerca ‘The Underwater Domain and Europe's Defence and Security’
Elio Calcagno e Alessandro Marrone, Istituto Affari Internazionali
Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa
Karolina Muti, Responsabile di Ricerca Programmi Sicurezza e Difesa, IAI
Giuseppe Cossiga, Presidente Federazione aziende italiane per l'Aerospazio, la Difesa e la Sicurezza
Enrico Credendino, Capo di Stato Maggiore della Marina
Pierroberto Folgiero, Amministratore Delegato di Fincantieri
Gabriele Pieralli, Direttore della Divisione Elettronica di Leonardo
Luciano Violante, Presidente Fondazione Leonardo
Catherine Warner, Direttrice del NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation
Matteo Perego di Cremnago, Sottosegretario alla Difesa