Germany, Italy May Cooperate in Defense-Equipment Alliance

Germany and Italy plan to extend cooperation over procurement for defense equipment and the modernization of armed forces as governments look for ways to shrink budgets.

“It is a declaration of intent that the two countries would like to cooperate in regards to the equipment of the armed forces within the framework of existing EU and Nato initiatives,” a spokesman at the German Ministry of Defense said in a telephone interview today.

The two nations signed a letter of intent yesterday. It follows an agreement between Britain and France last year allowing those nations to share nuclear-testing facilities and aircraft carriers, as well as the formation of a joint troop expeditionary force.

Cooperation on defense equipment between Italy and Germany could span areas such as unmanned systems, ground vehicles, missiles and counter measures, with weapons providers in each nation partnering.

Since the Anglo-French treaty, Dassault Aviation SA has teamed up with BAE Systems Plc to develop their Telemos drone. Paris- and Munich-based European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. has been developing its Talarion vehicle.

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