Italian Republic (Modern)

About 2,600 armoured vehicles 1990-2015


Prototypes & Projects

Modern Italian Armour

With the end of the Cold War, Italy had to rethink its role inside NATO and priorities, notably towards its northeastern borders. Its first test, before any reorganization, was its participation in the worldwide coalition that was aimed at defeating Saddam’s Hussein’s Army and liberate Quwait.

The gulf war

“Operazione Locusta” was the code name for “desert storm”, Italian side, but it only concerned the air force, with raids of Panavia Tornado covering the ground assault and making strikes in the preparation phase. At that time, the Italian Army was in full transition, with ageing M48/M60 Patton overdue for retirement, new Leopard tanks, and several programs of modernization of the existing fleet of M113 APCs. Yet in a space of a decade, the Army took delivery of a brand new array of remarkable vehicle, from the Ariete Main Battle Tank to the Dardo IFV, reminiscent of the Marder, and the wheeled Centauro tank destroyer and Freecia IFVs, the light Pumas, as well and locally produced and modernized M113s like the VCC-1.

A new Esercito Italiano

Although still equipped with state-of-the-art MBTs, the reliance of relatively “cheaper” wheeled vehicles like the Centauro and Freccia underlined the will to be ready for a quick-reaction force ready to intervene in an asymmetric conflict…


Dardo Illustration
Dardo Infantry Fighting Vehicle as of today. Versions differed by heir hull slat armour/baskets arrangements.

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