Italy and France are in talks on a joint cruise-missile defense system, defense sources said on Monday, after the two countries signed a $1.9 billion agreement in April.
The development of the defense system could be part of a broader collaboration between Italy and the United States to develop missile defense systems, one defense source told Reuters.
The United States has made similar moves, including buying the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets and other advanced weapons systems.
Italy and France signed the agreement after the Italian defense minister said the country needed to improve its defense capabilities, according to a statement by Defense Minister Antonio Fassina.
“We need to invest in the technology and the expertise of our defense industries and the defense industry needs to invest and contribute,” Fassini said.