The Obama Administration would like to sell Italy weapons for its fleet of MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, according to press reports. The White House sent a confidential “pre-notification” to lawmakers in April detailing a plan to sell weapons kits to Italy to arm up to six Reapers, reported the Wall Street Journal (via the New York Post) on May 29. Formal congressional notification could come as soon as this week, stated the newspaper. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters on May 29 that he couldn’t “comment directly” on the topic, since “there’s a formal notification process to Congress” that has to play out. “I will say more broadly that, when it comes to foreign military sales to Italy, that they’re a strong partner and a strong ally” and “it’s important for us, for a variety of reasons, to share technologies and capabilities with them,” he said. Britain already operates armed US-supplied RPA. (Little transcript)
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.