The White House plans to add missiles and laser-guided bombs to Italy’s drone fleet, Adam Entous writes for the Wall Street Journal.
Entous reports the White House submitted a letter of request to Congress in April to arm six Italian Reaper drones, built by General Atomics.
U.S. officials have indicated that the drones would be used to protect Italy’s some 4,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan, the report notes.
If Congress approves the foreign military sale, Italy will be the only nation other than Britain with U.S. drone weapon technology, Entous writes.
Turkey has shown interest in purchasing similar drone assets, the report notes.
While some lawmakers approved of the sale, some expressed their concerns that the U.S. should not share new technology, according to the report.
General Atomics recently partnered with Selex Galileo and Cobham to develop open architecture-based payload for the Reaper drones.