Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Italy is preparing Europe's largest military program: updating more than 1,000 armored vehicles

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun6,2024

Italy prepares Europe's largest military program: upgrading more than 1,000 armored vehicles

On Monday, June 3, 2024, Italy announced its intention to replace its fleet of infantry fighting vehicles ( BMP) Dardo for a new tracked armored vehicle as part of the program, the cost of which is estimated at 5 billion euros. Italian companies Leonardo and Iveco Defense Vehicles (merged in the CIO joint venture) have been tasked with finding European partners who can offer expertise and platforms to accelerate the program without starting from scratch.

Italy plans to replace its combat vehicles Dardo infantry with the involvement of European companies such as KNDS, Rheinmetall or BAE Systems Hägglunds.

According to information collected by the American magazine Defense News, the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The specific objective of this program, known as A2CS, is to produce 1,050 tracked armored vehicles to replace the Dardo fleet introduced in the late 20th century to replace the aging US-made M113s.

This is the largest land-based military program currently being carried out in Europe, and given the desired involvement of companies from other European countries, it can help strengthen the European defense sector, the North American publication notes. Potential candidates include:

  • KNDS (formed by the merger of Germany's KMW and France's Nexter), which has the Boxer car as the basis for its new design;
  • Germany's Rheinmetall , manufacturer of Lynx;
  • Swedish subsidiary of BAE Systems, BAE Systems Hägglunds, manufacturer of CV90.

The planned schedule calls for delivery of the new Italian cars between 2029 and 2041, with around 20 platform prototypes to be built between 2027 and 2028, of which 16 different configurations are to be procured.

In addition to the A2CS program, Italy also has an ongoing procurement and domestic production program of Leopard main battle tanks from German manufacturer KNDS, with whom it has also signed an agreement for possible future cooperation on the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).

The Dardo is the main infantry fighting vehicle (IPV) of the Italian armed forces. Designed and manufactured by the Iveco Fiat Oto Melara joint venture, it was adopted at the end of the 20th century to replace the aging American M113 vehicles in the Italian army.

Weighing 23,000 kg, the Dardo has aluminum and steel alloy armor, welded and bolted to the hull and turret, providing additional protection for crew and passengers. Its armament is particularly formidable, including:

  • 25mm Oerlikon Contraves gun;
  • 7.62mm machine gun;
  • two TOW anti-tank missile launchers ;
  • eight 40mm grenade launchers.

This array of weapons makes the Dardo a versatile machine capable of effectively engaging ground and air targets.

In terms of mobility, the Dardo offers impressive performance with a maximum speed of 70 km/h and a range of 500 km, thanks in particular to centrally inflated tires. This mobility, combined with protection and armament, makes the Dardo an important asset of the Italian ground forces in combat operations.

Since its introduction, the Dardo has been continuously modernized and improved to meet the demands of the modern battlefield. Today it is the main ICV of the Italian army, which plays an important role in the defense of the national territory and the maintenance of peace abroad, but this machine dates from the last century and is reaching a certain limit in its modernization.

Dardo — it's a car that's starting to look dated, so its replacement by the Italian army is no surprise. However, the number of vehicles included in the program — impressive.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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