Italian army chief to visit India

November 16th, 2008 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Italian Army chief Lt. Gen. Fabrizio Castagnetti will begin a five-day visit of India Monday to further cement the India-Italy defence ties with focus on cooperation in training troops of the two armies, an official said.”(Lt. Gen. Fabrizio Castagnetti) visit will not only enhance the existing military cooperation between the two countries but will also open up new opportunities for training cooperation,” the official said.

India and Italy have long-standing defence and production ties. During his visit, the Italian army chief will interact with senior military and civilian defence officials to discuss defence related issues and prospects for future cooperation between two armies, the government said.

Italian Army chief will be visiting Defence Research and Development Organisation, Indian Army field formations and training institutions.

With both the nations committed to the United Nation objectives and with a view to build up a strategic partnership there has been a regular exchange of visits between the political, diplomatic and military hierarchy of India and Italy. The Indian Army chief visited Italy in March 2007.

On the defence cooperation front, the European nation is providing designing consultancy to the Indian Navy to build its first indigenous aircraft carrier that is expected to be completed by 2012. The aircraft carrier is part of the combat systems for the Air Defence Ship (ADS).

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, besides building the ship’s propulsion system, is helping the Indian Navy design the ADS and a Russian firm is contributing aviation technology for the aircraft carrier.

India and Italy are currently cooperating on a number of other defence programmes like developing an oceanographic survey vessel, heavyweight torpedoes for submarines and advanced warships and frigates.

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