The Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium wins the Italian Army's new VBM Plus contract

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The Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium wins the Italian Army's new VBM Plus contract
The Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) has signed a contract to deliver 14 Mortar Carrier VBMs, 26 Command Post VBMs (13 in Tactical Unit and 13 in Command Unit versions), and six "10x10" rescue and recovery vehicles. The contract, which will be signed on December 30, 2021, at the Secretary of Defence's (Segredifesa) Land Armaments Directorate, is part of the ongoing supply ("Phase 2") of Medium Armoured Vehicles to the Italian Army's Second Medium Brigade and includes an upgrade to "PLUS" version for the VBM platform, as well as long-term integrated logistics support for all platforms purchased.

The vehicle and the turret will be modified in the VBM Combat "PLUS" edition. The engine has been upgraded to common rail technology, raising horsepower from 550 to 660 in preparation for a future hybrid-electric traction system. The driveline has been upgraded, enhancing growth potential by up to 15% above present levels.

Leonardo is improving the firing control system by including cutting-edge electronic components capable of interacting with the new "Janus D" and "Lothar D" digital optic detection and targeting systems. The deal also includes the delivery of a new digital intercom system and a completely upgraded CIS system with four-channel SDR VQ1 radio and Leonardo's new C2D / N Evo Command and Control system.

Finally, the Iveco Defence Vehicles Recovery and Rescue platforms include an all-wheel-drive across five axles, three steering axles, FPT Industrial's 680 HP Cursor 16 engine, and a new-design cockpit that provides the highest crew protection requirements. These vehicles can lift and transport items weighing up to 25 t from a stable platform and rescue cars weighing up to 32 t that have broken down, been damaged, or flipped.

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