Europe's Missile Defence and Italy: Capabilities and Cooperation

Europe’s missile defence is structurally linked to NATO deterrence and defence architecture, and it has to face both a worsened international security environment and an accelerating, worldwide technological innovation. Russia and China are heavily investing in new hypersonic systems which dramatically decrease the time needed to reach the target by flying mostly within the atmosphere. The US remains a global leader in the development and deployment of missile defence capabilities, including the Aegis systems which represent the cornerstone of NATO integrate air and missile defence covering the Old Continent. European countries are increasingly collaborating within the EU framework on the related capability development, primarily via the TWISTER project under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PeSCo). Being exposed to missile threats from Middle East and North Africa and participating to allied nuclear sharing, Italy has a primary interest in upgrading its military capabilities through PeSCo, maintaining them fully integrated within NATO, and involving the national defence industry in cutting-edge procurement programmes.

Study presented at the webinar "La difesa missilistica, l’Europa e l’Italia", 7 March 2021.

Rome, IAI, April 2021, 116 p.
Publication date: 

Executive summary
1. The importance of missile defence for Italy and Europe, by Vincenzo Camporini and Michele Nones
2. Technological innovation and Euro-Atlantic industrial landscape, by Douglas Barrie
2.1 Technology requirements
2.2 Europe and the US
3. Missile capabilities outside NATO, by Michael Elleman
3.1 China
3.2 India
3.3 Iran
3.4 Israel
3.5 North Korea
3.6 Russia
3.7 South Korea
4. Europe’s missile defence: NATO role and EU contribution, by Alessandro Marrone
4.1 NATO’s fundamental role for Europe’s missile defence
4.2 EU contribution to Europe’s missile defence
5. France, by Stéphane Delory
5.1 Strategic and defence policy issues
5.2 Military issues
5.3 Industrial and cooperation issues
6. Germany, by Christian Mölling and Torben Schütz
6.1 Political rationale: the European/transatlantic framework
6.2 Military rationale
6.3 Technological and industrial rationale
7. Italy, by Alessandro Marrone and Karolina Muti
7.1 Strategic and military dimension
7.2 Capabilities
7.3 Industrial and technological dimension
7.4 The Euro-Atlantic dimension
8. Poland, by Karolina Muti
8.1 Strategic and military dimension
8.2 The Euro-Atlantic dimension
8.3 Industrial, technological and capability dimension
8.4 Conclusion
9. Turkey, by Can Kasapoğlu
9.1 Introduction: Turkey’s missile defence outlook
9.2 Military-strategic and operational dimension: Turkey’s decades-long intra-war deterrence gap
9.3 The S-400 saga: Turkey’s “Russian roulette”
9.4 Strategic AMD dimension in Turkey’s defence technological and industrial base
9.5 The transatlantic divide: lessons-learned from NATO support to Turkey against the Syrian Scuds
9.6 Conclusion
10. United Kingdom, by Sidharth Kaushal
10.1 The history of missile defence in the UK
10.2 Current policy, organisation and capabilities
10.3 Conclusions and future trajectories for UK missile defence
11. United States, by Ian Williams
11.1 Evolution of US missile defence policy
11.2 US missile defence strategy
11.3 The US missile defence system
11.4 Future trends: towards IAMD
11.5 US missile defence contributions to NATO
11.6 Conclusion
12. Treaties and control regimes, by Federica Dall’Arche and Ottavia Credi
12.1 Multilateral treaties
12.2 Bilateral treaties (US-Russia)
13. Ten key points for Italy’s missile defence, by Alessandro Marrone and Michele Nones
13.1 A persistent missile threat worsened by hypersonic weapons
13.2 The Euro-Atlantic landscape of missile defence
13.3 Ten key points for Italy’s approach
List of abbreviations

Research area