Italian Defense clears upgrading program for C1 Ariete MBT main battle tanks

According to a tweet posted by Ciro Nappi on 25 July, 2022, the Italian DPP 2022 (multi-year Defence planning document) includes the "green light" for the Italian Army’s upgrade programme of its C1 Ariete MBT (AMV/Aggiornamento Mezza Vita, Mid-Life Update), which will apply to 125 tanks. A budget of EUR 848.8 Mn has been allocated for 2022.
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C1 Ariete tank during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (SETC) taking place at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, on May 12, 2016.  (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

Army Recognition already published details about the AMV programme. The AMV program will attempt to extend the life of the C1 Ariete up until 2030/2035, whereby then it is presumed that a new design will take over.

The C1 Ariete AMV program will lead to three prototypes: the AMV PT1, which will feature improvements to the engine, transmission and hull, the PT2 which will feature improvements to the turret, and finally the PT3 which will incorporate improvements to both the turret and hull.

To summarize the PT1 prototype, the improvements to be implemented are as follows: increase in engine power from 1,250 to 1,500 hp, changes on the German ZF automatic gearbox to manage the higher engine torque, adoption of a new track type 20% wider than the current one, providing a smaller footprint and easier mobility on soft soils, and better hull protection by the installation of the Anti-IED/Mine kit. The C1 Ariete will be equipped with Leonardo optronics, also mounted on the Centauro 2 MGS (Mobile Gun System).

The C1 Ariete is the main battle tank of the Italian Army, developed by Consorzio Iveco Oto Melara (CIO), a consortium formed by IVECO and OTO Melara. The chassis and engine were produced by Iveco, while the turret and fire-control system were supplied by OTO Melara. The vehicle carries the latest optical and digital imaging and fire-control systems, enabling it to fight day and night and to fire on the move. Six prototypes were developed by 1988, which were subject to intensive testing the following year during which the vehicles traveled a combined 16,000 km. Deliveries were first planned for 1993, but in fact, took place in 1995. The final delivery occurred 7 years later, in August 2002.