The Italian Army (Esercito Italiano) has started the trials of upgraded C1 Ariete AMV (Aggiornamento Mezza Vita, Mid-Life Update) Main Battle Tank (MBT). A budget of €848.8 Million ($860 Million) has been allocated for 2022. The AMV program will attempt to extend the life of the C1 Ariete Main Battle Tank up until 2030/2035, whereby then it is presumed that a new design will take over. The C1 Ariete AMV program will feature 3 prototypes at first, the AMV PT1, which will feature improvements to the hull, the PT2 which will feature improvements to the turret, and finally the PT3 which will incorporate improvements to both the turret and hull.
The C1 Ariete (English: Battering Ram) 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 tank has a conventional layout similar to other Western MBTs: a driver located at the front of the hull, the fighting compartment—towards the middle—and the engine compartment in the rear of the hull. 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. Deliveries were first planned for 1993, but in fact took place in 1995 due to delays. Final delivery occurred 7 years later in August 2002.
The Ariete’s main armament is 120 mm smoothbore gun, designed by OTO Breda, it is similar to the Rheinmetall L/44. The gun is also adapted to fire most NATO-standard rounds of the same calibre. It carries 42 rounds, 15 ready rounds are stored vertically on the left side of the main gun breech. The 27 other are stowed in a hull rack to the left of the driver’s station. The gun barrel has a thermal insulating sleeve and a fume extractor; it is fully stabilized in both azimuth and elevation by an electro-hydraulic drive system. Secondary armament consists of a 7.62 mm MG 42/59 coaxial machine gun operated by the tank gunner or commander and an additional 7.62 mm MG 42/59 configured as an anti-aircraft weapon operated by the main-gun loader from his hatch.
The Ariete is powered by a 25.8-litre turbo-charged Fiat-Iveco MTCA 12-cylinder diesel engine in a Vee configuration rated at 937 kilowatts (1,250 hp) at 2,300 rpm, with a maximum torque of 4,615 N·m at 1,600 rpm driving through a ZF LSG3000 automatic transmission, with four forward gears and two reverse, allowing for a top cruising speed of 65 km/h and a 0–32 km/h acceleration in 6 seconds. The computer-controlled transmission allows it to climb grades rated up to 60%, and can ford waterways of up to 1.25 m on-the-fly. The entire engine and transmission assembly can be replaced in under 1 hour. The Ariete’s independent suspension system consists of 14 torsion bars with suspension arms, 10 hydraulic shock absorbers, and 14 friction dampers.