Italy's cumulative spending on navy is expected to decline to $11.1bn over the next five years, compared to $12.1bn during the five-year period between 2012 and 2016, according to a report by Strategic Defence Intelligence (SDI).
Annual spending is, however, expected to increase slightly to $2.4bn in 2021, compared to $2.2bn this year, says the report.
Titled "Future of the Italian Defense Industry - Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2021", the report mentions that the spending will be driven by the procurement of FREMM frigates and amphibious ships as well as NH-90 and maritime helicopters. The average defence budget allocation for the navy is expected to be 14.2% in the forecast period.
The navy expenditure declined from $2.48bn in 2012 to $2.27bn in 2015. SDI further states that analysis shows that the budget cuts in the naval sector will continue for the next two years, but will rise starting from 2019 due to the navy's procurement programmes and the FREMM multi-mission frigate programme, which is a joint programme with France.
The Italian Navy plans to procure ten vessels by 2021, as part of the FREMM programme.
The country is planning to develop a new-generation of low-cost vessels to replace the aging Maestrale-class and the Soldati-class fleet. It is also planning to replace certain aging corvettes and patrol ships, which will contribute to the anticipated growth in spending, says the report.