Aries scandal

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

More detailed information about the half life upgrade (AMV) of the ARIETE battle cart begins to leak.

The Ministry of Defense has forwarded to Parliament a three-year planning document, in which the allocation of 400 million euros, over the period of 12 years, for the modernization of the Armored component of the Army (

The updates of the ARIETE should focus on increasing the power of the V-12 MTCA engine - currently capable of developing just over 1.200 Hp - up to a maximum allowed by current gearboxes and transmissions: 1.500 Hp, with relative increase in engine displacement 26 to 30 liters. The adoption of the technology would also be envisaged common rail as well as raising the torque down so as to increase the thrust at low revs.

An increase in power would allow additional armor to be mounted on the ARIES. Protection able to face - concretely and not verbally - even the threats of the current operating theaters?

The other updates concern the introduction of an electric tethering system for the turret and the adoption of antiminal / anti IED ventral protections; the installation of new optics for the dumper and the modernization of the pointer ones is planned.

There is no mention of the replacement of the piece from 120 / 44 mm with the more modern 120 / 45 (mounted on the new CENTAUR II II blind - photo on the right), the latter capable of firing the new anti-tank / anti-personnel ammunition from Rheinmetall 'adoption of active protection type TROPHY able to counter the threat of modern counter-truck systems, now widespread even among the ranks of terrorist groups.

Considering that the three armored regiments operating within the Army - the 32 ° and 132 ° rgt of the brigade Ram and the 4 ° rgt of the brigade Garibaldi - have each of 41 carts, plus those assigned to the School of Cavalry, it is clear that the total number of active ARIETE should not exceed 150 of the 200 acquired from the program. So the upgrade cost would be around 2,5 million euros per sample, excluding 20 million for the first prototypes.

What seems scandalous is not so much the allocation of 400 million for the armored component, as the waste of resources for the modernization of a now obsolete means. Since its entry into service, more than twenty years ago, it already appeared a medium with different criticalities (such as the fragility of the bolts between the plates!).

With a modernization program that will end in the 2029 will have a wagon completely unsuitable for the operational scenarios that will arise (in Syria the much more protected LEOPARD 2A4 Turks have been put "out of action" - see the frame at the bottom of the page), effectively canceling the capabilities of heavy brigades.

Germany and France have embarked on a common European program for the creation of a family of armored vehicles (not only wagons but also APCs, salvage and special vehicles for the genius), which will come into service when Italian armored regiments still have to deploy wagons ARIES unusable.

An alternative solution could be to create one partnerships with Israel for the acquisition of updated versions of MERKAVA Mk IV and NAMER (another long-standing problem concerning the replacement of DARTS), in sufficient numbers to equip at least one brigade, so as to be able to deploy a credible task piece.

(photo: US Army / IOC / Italian Army / YouTube)