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CIO to supply further VBM vehicles to Italian Army

The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium has won a contract to supply vehicles to Italian Army. Pictured is the VBM Command Post Tactical Unit vehicle. (Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium )

The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) signed a contract with the Italian Secretary of Defence Land Armaments Directorate on 30 December 2021 to supply 14 Mortar Carrier Veicolo blindato medio (VBMs), 26 Command Post VBMs (13 Tactical Unit and 13 Command Unit versions), and six 10×10 rescue and recovery vehicles.

The CIO Consortium is an equal partnership between Iveco Defence Vehicles and Leonardo.

The contract forms part of an ongoing delivery of (Phase 2) medium armoured vehicles to the Italian Army's Second Medium Brigade, including an upgraded ‘PLUS' version for the VBM platform, in addition to long-term integrated logistics support for all of the platforms.

According to the consortium, the VBM Combat PLUS will be upgraded to ‘common rail' technology transforming the engine from 550 hp to 660 hp, readying the system for a future hybrid-electric traction system. CIO also intends to upgrade the driveline of the vehicle, which it claims will increase its ‘growth potential' by up to 15% compared to current levels.

Meanwhile, Leonardo intends to upgrade the turret fire-control system with the “latest generation electronic components capable of interfacing the new Janus D and LOTHAR [Land Optronic Thermal Aiming Resource] D digital optic detection and aiming systems”, according to a company press release. The LOTHAR is a day/night gunner's sight designed to perform identification, recognition, and targeting information within armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) turrets that mount weapons from 25/30 mm up to 120/125 mm in calibre.

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