According to Armyrecognition, Italy is interested in German-made Leopard 2A7 MBTs.

Currently, the core of the Italian ground forces is about 200 C1 Ariete, a domestic tank jointly developed by Oto Melara and IVECO companies. The first MBT was delivered in late 1995 and the last ones were delivered to the Italian Army in 2002. With new developments in Europe, the Italian army is actively upgrading its forces. According to Armyrecognition, Italy is interested in German-made Leopard 2A7 MBTs. Citing an interview with Lieutenant General Pietro Serino, Chief of Staff of the Italian army, Italy is looking to purchase up to 250 Leopard 2A7s for an amount of 8 billion euros.

This information has not yet been confirmed by the Italian Government. According to another source, Italy plans to purchase 125 Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks, not 250. The Leopard 2A7 is the latest variant of the Leopard 2 series developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, which has served in various countries since the 1970s.

Leopard 2A7 MBT is said to be the most powerful tank in the world today and the best in NATO. The Leopard 2A7 is intended for urban warfare, low intensity conflicts, as well as conventional military operations. The 2A7 is a modular upgrade package, so other Leopard 2 tanks can be upgraded to this standard. Combat systems can be optimized depending on customer requirements. Leopard 2A7 inherits the best quintessence of Western tank manufacturing, and at the same time develops and greatly enhances the inherent capabilities of the family.

Regarding the main weapon, Leopard 2A7 retains the Rheinmetall 120mm el 55 smoothbore main gun. It has better fire accuracy and longer range, comparing with the previous Leopard 2 tanks. The gun is loaded manually and is compatible with all standard NATO ammunition, as well as newly developed DM11 programmable HE rounds. A total of 42 rounds are carried inside the tank. 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use. Secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun. It is mounted in remotely controlled weapon station on top of the roof. There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

In particular, the protection of Leopard 2A7 is noticeably enhanced, with improved armor that allows to resist attacks from anti-tank guns. The vehicle uses a new generation of passive armor and additional undercarriage armor, making the vehicle safer from explosions from anti-tank mines or improvised explosive devices. The Moldun-designed chassis allows for quick customization and replacement, making it possible for any variant of the Leopard 2 series to be upgraded to a Leopard 2A7.

Recently, the Italian army has received a new upgraded version of the Ariete tank fitted with a new engine. The tank also features new tracks and transmission. In terms of protection, the hull and the turret are fitted with a new armor package to increase protection against modern anti-tank guided missiles and RPGs. If the purchase contract Leopard 2A7 comes true, the strength of the Italian army will be significantly enhanced.

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