Iveco will unveil its latest 8×8 amphibious SuperAV 8×8 Armored Personnel Carrier at the upcoming IDET exhibition in the Brno, the Czech Republic. This medium weight vehicle is capable of maintaining its amphibious capability even at high protection levels, designed for operation at sea conditions above Sea State 2. It is powered by a 500hp engine coupled to an automatic transmission. Movement in water is provided by a twin-shaft driveline. Over land, the vehicle maintains good on- and off-road mobility utilizing fully independent suspension. SuperAV can carry up to 12 fully equipped soldiers plus the driver. Its base armor provides effective protection against direct small-arms fire, shell splinters, landmines and IEDs.
The new SuperAV is about 10 tons lighter than the Freccia (also designated VBM) currently being delivered to the Italian Army. Frecciadoes not have amphibious capabilities. As a fully equipped and well armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) Freccia is much heavier than the SuperAV, weighing 28 ton, this vehicle is equipped with a manned turret mounting a 25mm automatic cannon, armored to protect against 25mm projectiles, and powered by a 550 hp diesel engine but do not have amphibious capability. It can carry 7 fully equipped troops and accommodates a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver).
In the next decade the Italian Army is planning to field three digitally networked medium brigades equipped with wheeled armored vehicles based on the 8×8 Centauro and Freccia (VBM) armored vehicles. The principal platform for these brigades will utilize a common 8×8 platforms developed by Italian AFV manufacturers Iveco and Oto-Melara. At present, only the ‘wheeled tank’ mounting a 105mm cannon known as Centauro is fielded while the Freccia Infantry Fighting Vehicle is being delivered since February 2009. The Centauro is currently being upgraded to fit a 120mm cannon. The amphibious SuperAV 8×8 platform could be used to equip the Italian land-amphibious brigade which currently lack wheeled, protected mobility. This 8×8 family of vehicles is expected to include all of the normal combat support variants.