The Italian Dardo IFV The Dardo, which was previously called the VCC-80 IV, is the Italian Armies first true Infantry Fighting Vehicle. 200 were ordered in 1998 from the Italian firm Iveco Fiat Oto Melara Syndicated Company, who have manufactured military vehicles for the Italian Army, other than just the Dardo. It served with Italian forces in Iraq in 2004 and as part of the Italian Forces in Afghanistan.
The Italian Dardo IFV main gun is a KBA 25mm auto cannon, supplied by the famous Swiss firm Oerlikon. It can be elevated -10 to +30 degree’s. It has a modern Fire Control System which includes gunners laser range finder and thermal imaging. It’s equipped with a 7.62mm coaxial MG for close encounters. Not all vehicles are equipped with TOW Anti-Tank Wire Guided Missiles launchers (one launch tube on either side of the turret), but does give the vehicle the ability to tackle tanks.
The Italian Dardo IFV is built of aluminium to keep its weight down, but has added appliqué steel plates to increase protection, which is believed to be rated for up to 25mm rounds across the front of the vehicle. The vehicle has a full NBC protection system and is equipped with smoke grenade launchers. The two man turret has an electrical drive (360 degree traverse), which reduces the vehicles thermal signature and risk of injury of crew if the armour is defeated compared to hydraulic turret drives.
Like all modern IFV’s, The Italian Dardo IFV has to keep up with the nations MBT’s, in this case the C1 Ariete. The Dardo uses an IVECO 8260 V-6 turbo charged diesel, which generates 520bhp. It has a combat weight of 23tons and can achieve a top road speed of 70km/h with an operational range of 500km. It also uses torsion bar suspension. It can tackle gradients of 60% and side slopes of 40% as well as cross trenches, which are 2.5m wide and climb vertical obstacles 0.85m high.
The Italian Dardo IFV has a standard 4 men. Driver front left of the hull, engine to his right. He has passive night vision and three periscopes. Commander is in the two man turret in the left. He has several periscopes giving a full 360 degree view. He too has night vision with a monitor to view the gunners (who sits in the turret on the right) thermal sight.
The rear compartment can carry 6 fully equipped troops and 5 of them can fire their personnel weapons through the ports along the sides at the rear of the vehicle and the sixth can fire through a port in the ramp at the rear, which is used to exit the vehicle.
Other variants of the vehicle are in continued development.