ROME --- The contract for the purchase of 30 “Freccia” 8x8 Medium Armoured Vehicles (5 in Combat version and 25 in Anti-tank version) with ten years integrated logistics support was signed on 27 December 2019 at Palazzo Guidoni, seat of the General Secretariat of Defence and National Armaments Directorate.
The “Freccia” VBM is an 8x8 Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) of proven reliability in its various versions (Combat, Anti-tank, Mortar Carrier and Command Post) and represents the result of highly-technological synergies between the Technical Area (General Secretariat of Defence - Directorate of Land Armaments), the Operative Area (Army General Staff) of the Ministry of Defence and the Italian Industry.
Thanks to a hull designed to provide maximum protection, a powerful Iveco engine coupled with the traditional H-drive, three steering axles, HITFIST turret with 25 mm cannon and advanced Command, Control and Communications systems by Leonardo, the “Freccia” VBM assures crews excellent tactical and strategic mobility, and force protection combined with adequate firepower in a wide range of operational scenarios.
The contract makes use of funds allocated in the Tri-ministerial Convention between the Ministries of Defence, Economic Development and Finance, allocating around 1.5 billion Euros to the "Freccia" VBM project in the coming years (up to 2032), drawn from resources approved by the 2017 and 2018 Budget Bills.
The contract marks the resumption of the supply of vehicles to the Italian Army Second Medium Brigade, a unit based on 381 systems in various configurations.
The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium, CIO in short, was established in 1985 on equal participation between Iveco Defence Vehicles and former Oto Melara, which is now Leonardo. Within the Consortium, Iveco Defence Vehicles is responsible for engines, gears and all the automotive components, the hull and the final integration of wheeled armoured vehicles while Leonardo is responsible for weapon systems, sight and fire control systems and the hull and the final integration of tracked armoured vehicles. Both companies have excellent skills in the field of protection against direct fire, mines and IEDs.