Iveco Defence Vehicles (IDV) has been awarded a contract to deliver a total of 36 amphibious armoured vehicles (VBA) personnel carriers to the Italian Navy.

The contract was signed between IDV and the Italian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Directorate of Land Armaments.

It has been awarded as part of the MoD’s existing programme to modernise and extend the vehicles fleet to strengthen national defence.

The effort aims to boost the Italian Navy’s operational readiness to boost the Sea Projection National Capability.

The new amphibious vehicles will be assigned under the Italian Navy’s San Marco Marina Brigade.

IDV’s VBA 8×8 all-terrain platforms are designed to provide a wide range of capabilities to the forces, including high mobility, anti-mine capabilities, high-level ballistic, as well as anti-improvised explosive device protection.

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It can be launched and recovered from amphibious vessels in open waters.

The VBA is equipped with a 700HP FPT Cursor 16 engine, along with an automatic seven-speed gearbox that allows the platform to operate at a maximum on-road speed of 105km/h.

The vehicle has a rear-mounted hydraulic propellers that offer beyond ‘Sea State 3’ navigation.

It is also equipped with a Leonardo-built HITROLE light remote turret, with a 12.7mm calibre weapon system, as well as the latest command, control, communications, and computer systems.

According to IDV, the design of its VBA is based on the company’s SUPERAV 8×8 amphibious platform, which was also used for the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).

The ACV platform was provided by IDV in collaboration with BAE Systems. Both companies completed initial vehicle evaluations in 2013.

In 2020, BAE Systems received a $184m Lot I full-rate production contract to deliver ACVs for the USMC.