(Reupload from the post i made on the old forum, slightly edited)
Hello people, im here to outline the possibile vehicles that if Gaijin would want to, can be added to the Italian tech tree with the ability to use hard-kill active protection systems. Now before i begin please note that most of the vehicles here have not actually been physically made/tested with the system, Italy in general like most modern armies was extremely cautious in actually experimenting with this technology. In the Italian armed forces for example, tanks work in tandem with infantry and other friendly units, so the idea of hard-kill APS would be quite strange as it would mean the vehicles would pose an elevated threat to friendly troops due to them potentially being hit by whatever is left during the process of the vehicle protecting itself. So do keep that in mind when i go over some of the vehicles il present to you today. I will firstly go over the paper/mock-up/obscure systems and then lastly will go over the fully real systems we know of.
So one of the potential upgrades envisioned for the C1 Ariete was it seeing itself equipped with an indeginous system of hard-kill APS known as SCUDO (meaning ‘shield’ in english). The full SCUDO system comprised itself of 2 main features. The first was the addition of ‘tiles’ which would be placed along the sides of the turret of the C1 Ariete, these would be similar to ERA but instead of waiting for the projectile to reach it and react, the tiles would instead premptively intercept the threat by firing a type of pellet which would either take the threat off course or make it detonate before reaching and making contact with the tank. The second main feature would be the addition of a special steerable grenade launcher installed unto the turret, which would mainly deal with threats coming from the sky, for example hellfire missiles. This would work similarly to the majority of well known APS systems around the world. The Scudo program is very secretive and very little was ever released by the Italian army, we don’t actually know for sure to what extent this system was tested, if it ever did. As of now we only have confirmation of the tiles existing due to them being showcased on the B1 Draco.
Official extract of the SCUDO taken from one of the very few sources that talk about it, yes i know it looks cursed but understand this was made a long time ago.
B1 Centauro and B1 Draco
Sources also mention how the SCUDO can be added to quite a lot of different military vehicles, as such another vehicle mentioned was the B1 Centauro. Sadly in terms of how it would look we do not have any sort of visual representation for the base B1 Centauro, however around 2010/2011 during what would be a normal Eurosatory event, the B1 Draco would be presented with part the SCUDO APS installed. If we would to base if from that we can easily put things together and say that the tiles would be placed in the same area.
Sadly there is not much to say about this one, according to sources it states that the scudo could be mounted on the Dardo series of vehicles too. At least for this one, we have some sort of visual representation of how the system would’ve looked like when installed.
Sometime in 2021 RID, which is one of the biggest sources when it comes to Italian defence and also produce Italian military magazine, posted on their website a news segment with a video attached. Unfortunetley the video had been quickly removed and its unknown what it showed, however what is important is that RID had confirmed that the Italian army was currently testing the IRON FIST APS on the Freccia IFV. We sadly do not have any photo’s displaying what it looks like, and can only go on with speculating what it would look like by looking at similar vehicles with the system installed. The reasoning the Freccia is testing such system was because the Italian army is is interested in the APS now, they’re also evaluating whether or not to install it on the B2 Centauro, if tests on the Freccia were positive then its likely that the B2 Centauro will also mount it in the future.
Iveco Lince LMV
Very little info on this one too, Italy for supposedely for trialing purposes awhile back equipped the Iveco Lince with the German made ADS system, likely to see if it was worth installing on more units. It was also likely done to increase export potential for nations who wanted a little extra protection for the Iveco Lince they bought.
C1 Ariete AMV/AMV PT3/C2 Ariete
When it comes to upgrading the Ariete, Hard kill/soft kill APS were a separate program that worked in parallel with the AMV. Leonardo was closely studying what APS could be installed in advance since the Italian army had shown interest.The ones studied were the soft kill from Rhienmentall (MUSS) and a hard kill from Israel (Iron fist). In the coming years we’ll likely hear more but for now it seems like the Iron fist has a chance of being added unto the C2 Arietes, if it goes ahead the AMV PT3 will be used as a testbed. This also highly depends on the funding availible, especially now since the Italian army is going to purchase Leopard 2a8 MBT’s from Germany.