According to the information published on the Twitter account of “A-129 Mangusta” on March 8, 2023, citing an interview with Lieutenant General Pietro Serino, Chief of the General Staff of the Italian Army, Italy intends to acquire up to 250 main battle tanks—Leopard 2A7 of German manufacture for an amount of 8,000 million euros.
The Italian government has not yet made a formal announcement about this. According to a military source, Italy will only be buying 125 Leopard 2A7 main combat tanks rather than 250.
Currently, the MBT in the Italian Army is the C1 Ariete, an Italian-made tank developed jointly by Oto Melara and IVECO. Oto Melara was the overall manager of the Ariete, while IVECO was in charge of the powertrain and suspension system. The first production Ariete MBT was delivered in late 1995, and the final production vehicles were delivered to the Italian Army in 2002.
Recently, the Italian Army received a new, improved version of the Ariete tank equipped with a new engine. The tank also has new tracks and transmission. An upgraded armor set protects the hull and turret from RPGs and newer anti-tank guided missiles (rocket-propelled grenades).
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a German defense corporation, designed and manufactures the cutting-edge Leopard 2A7 main combat tank (KMW). This is the most up-to-date model of the Leopard 2 line of tanks, which have been used worldwide since the 1970s.
The Leopard 2A7 features several updates and improvements over its predecessor, the Leopard 2A6. Some of the most notable improvements are increased armor protection, a new turret design, improved situational awareness systems, and an improved power unit that provides greater mobility and fuel efficiency.
The tank is equipped with a 120mm smoothbore gun that can fire various types of ammunition, including APFSDS (armor piercing fin stabilized disposable sabot) rounds, HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) rounds, and HE-FRAG (high explosive fragmentation).
Moreover, it has a coaxial machine gun and a weapon station atop the turret that can be remotely controlled and fitted with either a machine gun or an automated grenade launcher.
While in service with the German Army, the Leopard 2A7 has also found its way to countries like Qatar and Denmark. Several experts believe that its design will remain cutting-edge for the foreseeable future, making it one of the world’s most effective main battle tanks.