EU sanctions on Russia make Italian-Russian Military Joint Venture Unsustainable

Russian leader Vladimir Putin (c) was on his first visit to Rome since M5S and the League took joint power.

Russia and Italy jointly spoke out against EU sanctions on Moscow in Rome on Thursday (4 July), as Italy’s populist rulers seek allies on the world stage to counter French and German power in Europe.

Every time the EU extended sanctions on Russia, which it just did for another six months, it made him “sad”, Conte added, because this was “not the goal that I would wish for myself, Italy, and Russian our friends”.

Any moves by Italy, a founding member of the European Union, to break the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe would seriously destabilize the united front assembled to challenge Russian influence in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, since 2017, trade exchange between Italy and Russia has grown again (from 27 to 36 billion euros) and Italy’s agri-food exports increased significantly. Italian companies started exporting to Russia through Serbia or Belorussia (which are not subject to sanctions) or even delocalized their production to Russia.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri SpA carries out the bulk of the state’s naval constructions at the Muggiano and Riva Trigoso shipyards in Italy.

On the defense sector, the Fincantieri S1000 vessels are the result of a 2005 joint venture with Russia’s Rubin Naval Design Bureau. These submarines are based on the Russian Amur SSK but feature Italian AIP technology. In 2013, Russia and Italy announced plans to upgrade the S1000 but in 2014 Italy indefinitely suspended this plan over the Russian government’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

Italy-based Elettronica signed an agreement with Mikoyan in 2007 to support in incorporating ELT/568(V)2 self-protection jammer in the MiG-35. The jammer renders self defense from radar controlled anti-aircraft artillery.

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The Russian Aircraft Corporation-MiG as well has announced in 2007 that the Elettronica’s ultra-high performance ELT/568(V)2 self-protection jammer will equip the new MiG-35 aircraft on offer to the Indian Air Force as part of that country’s MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) tender. The Indian Air Force’s rejection of MiG-35 combined with Russian occupation in Crimea lead to suspension of the collaboration between Mikoyan Design Bureau and Elettronica. The ELT/568(V)2 self-protection jammer will not be available for MiG-35 aircraft.

Co-developed with Yakovlev as the Yak/AEM-130, the partnership was dissolved in 2000 and Alenia Aermacchi proceeded to separately develop the M-346 Master, while Yakolev continued work on the Yakovlev Yak-130. 

Alenia’s Aermacchi’s M-346 advanced jet trainer began life in 1993, as a collaboration with Russia. It was also something of a breakthrough for Alenia Aermacchi, confirming that the Finmeccanica subsidiary could design and manufacture advanced aircraft with full authority quadriplex fly-by-wire controls. Those controls, the aircraft’s design for vortex lift aerodynamics and a thrust:weight ratio of nearly 1:1, allow it to remain fully controllable even at angles of attack over 35 degrees. This is useful for simulating the capabilities of advanced 4+ generation fighters like the F/A-18 Super Hornet, Eurofighter, and Rafale.

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