Italy is negotiating a purchase of new Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Germany.
Italian Defense magazine RID (Rivista Italiana Difesa) was the first to report on the negotiation for the procurement of an undisclosed number of Leopard tanks in 2A7 or 2A8 configuration.
According to RID, a deal is potentially worth 4 or 6 billion euros ($4,3 or $6,5 billion).
Currently, the MBT in service with the Italian army is the C1 Ariete, an Italian-made tank jointly developed by Oto Melara and IVECO. An Italian defense source told Defense News that planners envisage a current need for 250 main battle tanks, of which 125 could be upgraded Ariete tanks, leaving a need for 125 gap fillers.
The acquisition of the new Leopard 2 tanks will enhance the Italian army’s capabilities and interoperability with other NATO allies. The deal is likely to be structured as a “government to government” agreement, which means that some level of compensation from the Italian side is expected.