The recent budget cuts in Italy present significant challenges for the country defence industry. However, the Italian Air Platforms Market can still offer diverse opportunities across all platform segments in a long term. In the upcoming days, industry participants will have to be cost efficient and adapt themselves to the changing trends.

According to the recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan (Italy: Air Platforms Market) the total market size is nearly $14 billion for air programmes over the period 2011-2020. The following segments are covered in the research: manned platforms and unmanned platforms with sub-segments covering C4ISTAR, and training and simulation.

“Opportunities within the Italian defence market are driven by new platforms and C4ISTAR procurements, although only in the medium- to long-term,” notes Frost & Sullivan Consultant Aman Pannu. “In an effort to save up to EUR 5 billion, the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to cut some major programmes such as the Eurofighter, which has been reduced by 25 units.”

This means that Italy will only buy the already-ordered 21 of the planned 46 Tranche 3A variants. It is highly unlikely that Italy would undertake any new major platform procurement before 2013 at the earliest.

Manned platform revenues are set to slightly decrease in 2013 as the acquisition of M-346, NH-90 and CH-47 is completed. It then flattens out as the procurement of F-35s commences in 2014. Revenues from the latter part of the decade are likely to derive from upgrades.

“Although at present most MoDs execute major procurements by taking the through-life route, Italy still maintains the bulk of the platforms in-house,” remarks Pannu. “This practice is expected to change as the current economic situation is likely to push the Italian MoD to consider future procurement in the form of service-based contracts.”

“To enter the Italian defence market, especially amidst the current economic turmoil, partnership with the domestic participants is the easiest entry strategy,” concludes Pannu. “This is particularly so, since there is still exists a fair degree of red tape.”

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