Aging of the ubiquitos M113 coupled with a need for a modern infantry armoured vehicle able to cope with the latest MTBs (“Ariete” class), made it necessary for the Italian Army to award IVECO Dvd/Oto Melara a development contract for a new I.F.V. (1981).
This eventually led to the production order for what has been named “Dardo”, first of a family of tracked IFV which will include several variants such as command post, mortar carrier, antitank missiles carrier (see “future developments”).
Powered by a hull-front IVECO-Fiat MTCA V-6 turbo charged diesel engine with 382 kwh (520 HP), the basic “Dardo” has a max speed of 70 km/H, a road range of 500 km and a battle weight of 23 t.
The main armament is the Oerlikon KBA 25/80 mm cannon in the OTO TD25 “HITFIST” two-man turret; and one MG 42/59 coaxial mounting.
The hull-back can accommodate an infantry squad of 6 men.
Thanks to the remarkable elevation of the KBA 25/80 and to the elaborate fire-control system, the “Dardo” can effectively be utilised in the anti-helicopter role.
Dimensions (basic version):
Length: 6,7 m
Width: 3 m
Height: 2,64 m
Crew: 2 + 6
The following updates are envisaged:
Addition of two tow-launchers on each side of the turret of part of the basic “Dardo” in order to increase the antitank capabilities;
Installation of a new navigation, command and control digital system and of a second generation fire-control system.