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Italy Plans U.S. Missile Purchase

November 07, 1987|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Italian Defense Minister Valerio Zanone said on Friday he plans to sign an agreement to buy 20 batteries of U.S. Patriot surface-to-air missiles.

"It is about time to bring this (the missile purchase) to a conclusion," Zanone told reporters after meetings with President Reagan, outgoing Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and other U.S. officials.

He said the two countries would sign a letter of intent and negotiate later the details of how much of the missile work would be done in Italy.

Raytheon Corp of Lexington, Mass., produces the Patriot, which flies at more than three times the speed of sound and is used to shoot down planes and missiles.

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