A contract for the purchase of 30 FRECCIA VBM 8x8 armoured infantry fighting vehicles (AIFV) – five in a combat configuration and 25 in an anti-tank variant – and including a ten-year integrated logistics support package – was concluded between CIO Iveco-OTO Melara and the Italian General Secretariat of Defence and National Armaments Directorate in Rome on 27 December.
The FRECCIA VBM, an AIFV of proven reliability, is available in several configurations: Combat, Anti-tank, Mortar Carrier and Command Post; and is the result of highly-technological synergies between the Italian General Secretariat of Defence - Directorate of Land Armaments, the Army General Staff and industry.
It features a hull designed to provide maximum protection, a powerful Iveco engine coupled with the traditional H-drive, three steering axles, a HITFIST turret with 25mm cannon and advanced command, control and communications (C3) 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 newest contract makes use of funds allocating around €1.5 billion to the FRECCIA VBM programme in the period up to 2032, drawn from resources approved by the 2017 and 2018 Budget Bills. It also marks the resumption of the supply of vehicles to the Italian Army’s Second Medium Brigade, a unit based on 381 systems in various configurations.