The changing role and capabilities of the Italian Navy
Lucas, Daniel Doyle
Burke, David P.
Yost, David S.
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The Italian Navy is presently undergoing an extensive modernization and reconstruction program. The ultimate goal of this study is to provide an assessment of the potential impact of Italy's evolving force improvements on NATO's maritime capabilities in the Mediterranean. To accomplish this goal, four potential factors that may have governed the process leading to the Navy's recent improvement efforts are investigated. The influence of historical forces, NATO commitments, domestic economy and politics, and commercial interests are the key elements considered. A brief review of the three services and their present force structure deployment and missions is necessary to attain a proper perspective on the Navy' s role, objectives and associated problems. All of the above factors have had some influence on the changing role and capabilities of the Italian Navy. Under current conditions, the Navy is capable of adequately accomplishing its assigned mission. Any added burden placed upon it by a change in NATO's strategy (a decrease in regional forces) or a sudden down-turn of the economy, would probably degrade its capabilities considerably.
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