Italy to Order Tracked Vehicles, 132 Leopard 2A8IT Tanks Worth €8.2B

Italy is planning to buy 272 tracked vehicles, including Leopard 2A8ITs and various support vehicles like technical support, engineering tanks, and assault bridges.
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  • 11:27 AM, February 16, 2024
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Italy to Order Tracked Vehicles, 132 Leopard 2A8IT Tanks Worth €8.2B
Leopard 2A8 main battle tank @via open sources

Italy is reportedly set to enhance its military capabilities with the planned procurement of 132 Leopard 2A8IT main battle tanks worth €8.2 billion.

The Ministry of Defense of Italy has submitted documentation for parliamentary approval of the Leopard 2A8IT main battle tank procurement program, as per reports.

The procurement initiative outlines the acquisition of a total of 272 tracked vehicles, with 132 designated as Leopard 2A8IT main battle tanks. The remaining vehicles will serve in support roles, including technical support, engineering tasks, and assault bridges. The projected cost of the program is approximately €8.2 billion, with an estimated timeline of 14 years.

Manufactured by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the Leopard 2A8IT will see Italian participation in its production, taking place at the Leonardo facility in La Spezia. Notably, the Italian version will incorporate locally produced components such as fire control systems and battlefield management systems.

The Leopard 2A8IT is expected to feature an active protection system, utilizing elements of Italian production, possibly a localized version of the Israeli Trophy system. This system is actively implemented on modern Western main battle tanks.

This procurement decision follows Italy's plans, disclosed in July 2023, to modernize its outdated Ariete tanks. Additionally, the Leopard 2A8 procurement program positions Italy for participation in the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) combat vehicle program, aiming to surpass the combat characteristics of the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc.

The Leopard 2A8IT, introduced last year, builds upon the Leopard 2A7 model, incorporating improvements such as the Trophy active protection complex and an omnidirectional awareness system. Enhanced armor, addressing new threats, and an improved fire control system are also planned for the tank.

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