Italy began training anti-aircraft gunners from Ukraine

The Ukrainian military will be trained to work with the Italian-French anti-aircraft missile system “Samp-T”


Already since the beginning of March, about 20 Ukrainian soldiers have been in the Santa Bárbara barracks in Sabaudia, located just an hour’s drive from Rome. The gunners arrived on a special flight directly from Kiev to the Pratica di Mare military airfield, from where they were sent to a military town near Latina, where several houses overlooking the Circeo beaches were abandoned, reports the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano. .

According to the publication, the “students” are not allowed to leave the barracks and their Italian colleagues are ordered to “reduce contact with them to a minimum.”

At the headquarters of the anti-aircraft artillery command of the ground forces, the Ukrainian guests will be trained to work with the Italian-French Samp-T anti-aircraft missile system, which is due to be transferred to Ukraine this spring. True, the representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, at least for the time being, will not allow this directly before the shot. Near Rome, they will practice basic operations in simulators, and then they will go to Sardinia, to the training camp of Salto di Quirra. Although, as Italian experts believe, test launches of missiles by Ukrainians will eventually take place in France. There is an opinion that the point here is not that the training program is carried out jointly with Paris, but the high cost of Aster missiles (from 400 thousand to two million euros each) and the protests of the inhabitants of Sardinia. , who even managed in 2021 to initiate a criminal case for environmental contamination due to shots at the aforementioned polygon. However, it was won by representatives of the Ministry of Defense.

According to data from 2022, Italy had five “Samp-T” batteries worth 700 million euros each. One of them is now in Slovakia to protect the eastern flank of NATO, another is in Kuwait, and the one destined for Kiev is supposedly located in Mantua (Lombardy), in the barracks of the 4th anti-aircraft artillery regiment in Peschiera.

As a result, local experts complain, Rome will have to buy new air defense systems or rely entirely on the will of the United States in case of defense against a possible air attack.

The SAMP-T system was created by the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium as part of the Fsaf (Surface-Air Systems Family) program and has been in service with the Italian Army and Air Force since 2013. It is manufactured both in stationary version (installation towed) and mobile (on truck chassis). The anti-aircraft missile battery allows you to track up to 100 targets and hit 10 of them simultaneously at a distance of up to 120 kilometers, depending on the missile used.

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