Italy has confirmed it’s preparing to send the Samp-T air defense system to Ukraine.
The Franco-Italian system will be part of the sixth Italian aid package to Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
“In collaboration with France we are finalizing the sending of Samp-T, and in any case, there are other actions on which we are working confidentially,” the minister said.
Tajani earlier said that the delivery was being postponed by a month due to “technical issues” such as “political tensions, cost considerations, and equipment shortages.”
The Samp-T is one of the systems Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requested in his phone call to the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in December.
Reacting to the request, German Defense Minister Guido Crosetto cautioned that the delivery must not deplete the stocks.
The Samp-T is manufactured by MBDA France, MBDA Italy, and the French Thales Group.
The truck-mounted system is in service with the French and Italian militaries.
It can intercept air targets such as “cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles in the 600 kilometers (373 miles) range class.”
Italy sent five aid packages to Ukraine during former Prime Minister Mario Draghi‘s tenure, totaling around one billion euros ($1.09 billion).