In October 2018, the last flight of an Italian Air Force Breguet Atlantic took place.
It has therefore been almost four years since Italy has had a fixed-wing aircraft with antisom potential.
To date, this role is the prerogative only of the Navy’s helicopters, with all the limitations that this entails.
In fact, the introduction of the ATR P-72A has not closed this gap, as the aircraft does not have anti-som capabilities.
The document presented by the Italian Ministry of Defence “Programme document of defence planning (2022-2024)” (in which the acquisition of two new Reapers is mentioned) also mentions the ‘Programme for the acquisition of aircraft equipped with special sensors in order to provide the Military Instrument with a multi-purpose platform for long-range maritime surveillance (M3A) below and above the surface’.
This programme falls under other acquisitions spread over the next five years, so the document remains very general.
However, it is certainly a good starting point to see an anti-som aircraft in Italian colours again.