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Italy modernizes Ariete main battle tanks under EUR 850 million deal

By Defence Industry Europe

On August 2, the Italian Ministry of Defence signed a contract with CIO (Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium) for the upgrade of 90 Ariete main battle tanks to C2 standard. The agreement includes an option for the modernization of a further 35 tanks.

The agreement is valued at EUR 848.8 million. According to the Italian Ministry of Defence, the Ariete modernization programme will be performed between 2023 and 2030, with the first tank upgraded to C2 standard to be delivered to the armed forces in 2025.

The C2 Ariete tanks will receive a new integrated propulsion system, consisting of an Iveco Vector 12 engine with 1,103 kW / 1,500 hp and a Renk HSWL 295TM automatic transmission. The new power-pack is intended not only to improve the tank’s performance but also to simplify logistics, as it shares many components with the 523 kW / 720 hp Iveco Vector 8V engine installed in the Centauro II wheeled tank destroyers. Additionally, the C2 Ariete tanks will be equipped with new tracks for increased durability.

 

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Firepower and situational awareness of the C2 Ariete will be improved by replacing elements of the fire control system. The commander will receive the ATTILA-D panoramic observation device, while the gunner will receive the LOTHAR-SD device, both made by Leonardo. The ballistics computer will also be new. Most elements of the fire control system will be identical to those used in the FCS of the Centauro II wheeled tank destroyer.

 

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The turret’s hydraulic drives will be replaced with electric ones, which, in addition to improving safety, will also result in an additional increase in accuracy when firing on the move. Communication systems will also be replaced, using the VQ-1 SDR radio station, Larimart intercom, and the C2 C2N Evo system (all manufactured by Leonardo).

 

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