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CIO Signs Italian Army VBM PLUS Contract

Iveco - Oto Melara Consortium VBM Plus [©CIO]

The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) signs the contract for the Italian Army VBM Combat PLUS and new Command, Mortar and Recovery vehicles.


Press Release, Rome, 17 January 2022: The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) announces the signing of a contract to supply 14 Mortar Carrier VBMs, 26 Command Post VBMs (13 in Tactical Unit and 13 in Command Unit version), along with six 10×10 Rescue and Recovery Vehicles.

Signed on 30 December 2021, at the Secretary of Defence (Segredifesa) Land Armaments Directorate, the contract comes as part of the ongoing supply (Phase 2) of Medium Armoured Vehicles to the Italian Army’s Second Medium Brigade, and includes an upgrade to ‘PLUS’ version for the VBM platform, as well as long-term integrated logistics support for all platforms purchased.

The VBM Combat PLUS version will see changes to both the vehicle and the turret. Changes to the vehicle include upgrading to common rail technology for the engine, taking it from 550 HP to 660 HP ready for a future hybrid electric traction system, and upgrades to the driveline, increasing growth potential by up to 15% compared to current levels.

As regards the turret, Leonardo is upgrading the fire control system, introducing latest generation electronic components capable of interfacing the new ‘Janus D’ and ‘Lothar D’ digital optic detection and aiming systems. The contract also includes the supply of a new digital intercom system and a fully upgraded CIS system with four-channel SDR VQ1 radio, as well as the new C2D / N Evo Command and Control system, both developed by Leonardo.

Library image of an Italian VBM Freccia deployed on the NATO eFP mission in Latvia [© Bob Morrison]

The new VBM PLUS distinguishes itself by increased mobility, lethality and integrated C4I, allowing the Italian Army to face the challenges of the coming years with a truly state-of-the-art vehicle, integrated into the net-centric architecture of the digital battlefield. The vehicle will also be equipped with Galileo PRS technology developed in Italy as part of the European Union secure satellite navigation system. In specific terms this means the VBM will be equipped with a newly developed satellite receiver, the first of its kind capable of receiving secure satellite navigation services from both the US GPS and European Galileo PRS systems.

In conclusion, the Iveco Defence Vehicles Recovery and Rescue platforms feature all-wheel drive over five axles, with three steering axles, FPT Industrial’s 680 HP Cursor 16 engine and a new-design cabin offering the highest crew protection standards. These vehicles can lift and move loads of up to 25t from a stable platform and recover vehicles broken down, damaged or overturned with overall weight up to 32t.


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