Letter to Online Defense: 250 Leopard 2 A7 tanks for the Italian Army?


Dear Director, For some time now, our country has been discussing the replacement of outdated and obsolete IFVs Dart of the Italian Army, a topic widely covered by your magazine, with two main candidates: the Lynx KF41 and the CV90 MK IV.

We know well how unfortunately for decades in Italy it was preferred to support the national industry rather than the safety of our military, for this reason as already widely supported by many, there should be no competition between the modern Lynx and the "old" CV90, which although a good vehicle, has reached the end of its cycle upgrade.

Just today, while I was reading various editorials on this subject, I came across an article which, if confirmed, would in my opinion represent a turning point for the Italian Defense: AGENPARL (the Parliamentary Press Agency) on 3 March 2023 published an article in which the author claims that following what he learned from well-informed sources (he does not specify which sources are) Italy is about to buy a package of 250 Leopard 2 A7 tanks for an estimated cost of around 8 billion euros (I attach the article link).

Now director, I would like to ask you two questions: the first, that is, Is it really possible that our country finally, also following the events in Ukraine, has finally understood that an armored component (modern and efficient) is a fundamental and indispensable part for an Army worthy of the name?

The second question I would like to ask you is: if this news released by AGENPARL, a fairly reliable source, turns out to be true, could we then logically expect an order for several hundred KF41 Lynx that would operate in perfect symbiosis with the Leopards?

Kind regards,

Daniel Morbidelli


Dear reader, thank you for the questions and arguments you have forwarded to us.

To answer the first question, I would say that the country which, up until the morning of February 24, 2022, only had plans to update a useless wagon like theRam (we repudiate war anyway...). Then, already in the evening, brushing her teeth before going to bed, I think she started to sweat. Not so much for lives in danger, but for the political and social consequences of certain choices. And in the national hierarchy (".......... - industry - politics - defence"), an angry crowd that comes to demand accountability is always unseemly.

in realtà a "modern and efficient armored component" it has long been coveted by the last wheel of the cart: the Army. Unfortunately, in an environment where even a cough jeopardized careers and politicians in office seemed to be designated according to ... let's say "inscrutable" logics, there was no room for solutions that combined the cost of the component with the slightest semblance of effectiveness (we repudiate war anyway...).

Since the morning of February 25, 2022, I think credit should be given to Generals Serino (Army Chief of Staff) and Portolano (General Secretary of Defense and National Armaments Director) for having looked for alternatives that until then (at least officially) did not seem to exist . Today - ops - they appeared!

The number of wagons that could be acquired, according to other sources, could be even slightly higher. The point is, if you ask for an update of 125 Ram within 17 years (!), after 4 a prototype is obtained at the modest cost of 35 million euros, if you ask for 300 wagons Leopard 2 in 9 years, probably half of it will be achieved in good time. The war we have on the horizon, I want to emphasize, is the detonator of a global conflict which has already begun and which will have its epilogue in less than 5 years. So what we get online soon will be useful, the rest won't.

As for the second question, starting from the assumption that there should be 3 IFVs for each tank, I think it is realistic to dream of 2, therefore 600.

Concerning the favor which should be accorded the Lynx compared to the CV90, I would like to underline that, given the threats on modern battlefields, this platform would already be able today to offer capabilities anti drone, anti-loitering ammunition ed anti-munition. The CV90 offers no such capabilities. Without it, even the Leopard 2 A7 won't last long!

Therefore, in addition to the system, it will also be essential to understand the performances that will be included in the capacitive package...

To date, I place the highest esteem in the Minister of Defence, in the Secretary General of Defense and in the Chief of Staff of the Army: I am sure that they will make the interest for their men and women in uniform prevail (by the way... best wishes !) on those of other "subjects" attentive only to their own version of "national interest".

Andrea Cucco

Photo: Bundeswher