Franco-Italian FREMM Frigate Program in Trouble, Again

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FREMM Concept DID has noted past issues with the bi-national Franco-Italian FREMM (Fregate Europeene Multi-Mission) program, a variant of the Horizon Class air defense frigate. Now the FREMM program has its Memorandum of Understanding delayed again, and may even risk cancellation over the Italian government’s failure to include the necessary funding in its draft 2006 budget. Worse, the budget cannot be modified after its recent approval by Cabinet on Sept. 29, 2005 and pending submission to Parliament. Defense-Aerospace notes that according to Italian press reports, the financial shortfall amounts to about EUR 400 million for 2006. Italian officials are scrambling to find a legal way to appropriate the additional funds without re-opening the domestic budget debate, before FREMM begins to stand for Failure to Reliably Execute on Monetary Matters. The secondary impacts of failure on this front are widespread, and include: * France’s ability to move the program forward. The French have sent signals to the effect that unless the Italians fix these problems, they may proceed alone with DCN. Given the program’s costs and France’s own budgetary leeway, it is not clear how serious this threat really is. * The FREMM program had anticipated the potential for wider European […]

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