Letter to Online Defense: new tanks, APCs, and IFVs for the Italian army


Dear director, I speak as a layman on the question of which new tanks and infantry vehicles to buy for our army.

You, not alone, support the purchase of German weapons.

I do not agree. Weapons, she teaches me, are not mere tools, like a compass or stethoscope. Weapons are political tools to be used to prevent hostile nations from imposing their will on ours. Buying weapons from our competitor and potentially hostile country would be a mistake.

Italy already has a profitable agreement with Great Britain, Sweden and Japan for the production of a new fighter aircraft. Why not ask these countries to sell us and teach us how to build some of their weapons? By paying, that is.

Tanks: the British Challenger 2 (better the Challenger 3 which the British are working on), the Swedish Stridsvagn 122B, the Japanese type 10

APC: the Anglo-Swedish BvS10 Viking.

IFV: the Swedish CV90, the British Warrior.

I know, not all of them are very modern weapons; but Italy must rearm quickly and, above all, learn to build weapons at home to be entrusted to our soldiers. 

For those interested: information on the aforementioned weapons can be found on the militarytoday.com site, in English.

Best regards

Luigi Zammitti


Dear reader, Thank you for your contribution - always welcome - of thought.

In normal times, let's say without a world war in the process of exploding, i.e. those of peacekeeping or of dual-use (which - almost alone - we fiercely "fought"), I might agree in evaluating weapons as "political tools". Unfortunately, when they are used and their evolution will lead to innovations that are unthinkable today, the reasoning should be unambiguous: what is the best available today? And I agree with you: "quickly"?

So I don't support "the purchase of German weapons", I argue "the purchase of systems that can allow you to fight without an artillery shell, a drone or a loitering munition destroying lives just because you skimped on protection or the ability to intercept them". On this alone there should already not be the slightest doubt which IFV (infantry fighting vehicle) choose.

As far as tanks are concerned, the best (available) at the moment are the Leopard 2 A7+. They are by no means invulnerable! However they offer better survivability than others.

Il "Challenger 3 the British are working on" will offer more protection and a German smooth-bore gun (ops!): the Rheinmetall L55A1. Why? For the simple reason that to have credible performance on the gun L30A1 British striped of Challenger 2, depleted uranium projectiles were used. The same ones who have caused much discussion in recent weeks as a dowry (obligatory) for sending British tanks to Ukraine. The piece that will be installed on the Challenger 3 will allow identical  if not greater penetration capacity without using the notorious "depleted" shots.

Are the British wrong? Absolutely not, they are pragmatists. As much as we Italians rightly are in agreeing with the United Kingdom and Japan. Who is on the European continent among the best producers (read "assemblers") of aircraft? Italy... But since those stealth are reserved for allies real of the USA, the stealthiness we dream about it. So how to get it? Do we (re)agree with the USA and then (re)have it denied? Negative. We agree with a Kingdom that already brings technology as a dowry and an "Empire" that - like the first - has a budget for Defense doppio compared to ours... Well done!

Sweden remains indecipherable but, even if it has produced excellent fighters itself for decades, there is no escape from international cooperation.

About the rest of the list, as you correctly say "not all of them are very modern weapons"type 10 it is recent but not for sale, lo Stridsvagn 122B Swedish is a local variant of the Leopard 2A5BvS10 it is not an IFV and we already have its excellent little brother in service, the CV90 - as widely argued - it is not up to the Lynx (except in the case of an unacceptable downgrade of the requested version) and for the Warrior - if the CV90 is over thirty years old - we have to add another 10...

In my opinion, the question is always the same: do we want soldiers or suicide bombers? Because there is always agreement on time and place of production: Poland, for example, will acquire 1000 South Korean tanks (K2 Black Panther) but over 4/5 will be produced at home...

While we are still here discussing, facing or "deterring" potential threats we have - on missions or in barracks - soldiers on armored vehicles and (sigh!) combat vehicles Dart (photo opening).

The Lord protect us once again! From ourselves...

Andrea Cucco

Frame: NATO