The Iveco Fiat-Oto Melara consortium delivered to the Italian Army the first Medium Armoured Vehicle "Freccia".
The ceremony took place at CEPOLISPE (CEntro POLIfunzionale di SPErimentazione) in Montelibretti, near Rome, a structure of the Italian Army devoted to the testing, inspection and evaluation of the vehicles destined to the national Armed Forces.
Among the many distinguished representatives from the political, military and industrial fields that attended the ceremony, there were the Undersecretary of State for Defence, Hon. Giuseppe Cossiga, the Chief of Army Staff, General Fabrizio Castagnetti, the General Director of Land Weapon Systems, Gen. Antonio Gucciardino and other important military authorities. For the industry: Dr. Giorgio Zappa, Managing Director of Finmeccanica, Gen. Giulio Fraticelli, President of Oto Melara, Mr. Roberto Cibrario Assereto and Mr. Carlo Alberto Iardella, President and Vice President of the Consorzio Iveco Fiat-Oto Melara.
The contract for the supply to the Italian Army of the "FRECCIA" vehicles foresees a first tranche of 54 VBMs (50 in Combat version with the Oto Melara 25mm Hitfist turret, 1 in Anti-Tank configuration that adds two Spike missile launchers on the sides of the Hitfist turret, 2 Command Post equipped with the Oto Melara Hitrole 12,7mm turret and 1 Mortar Carrier) whose supply will terminate within the present year, while the second tranche of 109 vehicles (61 Combat, 24 Anti-Tank, 12 Command Post and 12 Mortar Carrier) is presently under negotiation.
A third tranche will follow to complete the Italian Army's first requirement for 249 vehicles that will be entirely supplied within 2013.
The VBM "FRECCIA" represents the fundamental element of the future Medium Digitalized Brigades; studied to be adaptable to the modern operative scenarios, this vehicle is characterized by advanced technology, versatility, high mobility, fire power and extremely elevated level of protection; moreover it is the first to be entirely "digitalized" that is to say equipped with systems that allow it to be the perfect connection among man-UAVs and UGVs-Command and Control systems, according to the most recent philosophies of "networkcentric warfare".
By adopting this vehicle, the Italian Army is therefore equipped with a modern system with great advantages in terms of modern technology and operative performances.
Source: A new vehicle for the Italian Army
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