C1 Ariete Main Battle Tank

Last updated on February 19th, 2019 at 10:30 pm

The C1 Ariete main battle tank is the Italian army’s main battle tank.

In 1984, the companies Oto Melara and Fiat Iveco formed a consortium to develop a series of fighting vehicles – a tank destroyer, an infantry fighting vehicle and a main battle tank – for the Italian army.

This led to the development of the B1 Centauro tank destroyer, the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle and the C1 Ariete main battle tank.

The Ariete entered service in 1995.

The C1 Ariete main battle tank has a fully stabilized Oto Melara 4.72 inch (120mm) smoothbore gun as its main weapon. The gun can fire both HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) and APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) rounds.  It has a fume extractor, a thermal sleeve and a muzzle reference system.
C1 Ariete main battle tank. Source: Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide
Secondary armament on the C1 Ariete MBT includes a 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun and a 0.3 inch (7.62mm) anti-aircraft machine gun. There are 4 pairs of smoke grenade dischargers.

The power-operated turret has full 360 degree traverse. Weapons elevation ranges from -9 degrees to +20 degrees

The C1 Ariete main battle tank uses a Galileo computerized fire control system with a laser rangefinder and day/night sights.

Ballistic computers allow the tank to shoot accurately while it is in motion.

The Ariete is protected by composite armor.

Blow-out panes in the ammunition storage area ensure that if there is an ammunition explosion, the blast will escape outward, not into the crew compartment.

There is NBC protection.

The C1 Ariete main battle tank has a torsion bar suspension with seven road wheels on each side of the tank. The idler is at the front and the drive sprocket is in the back.  Skirts cover the upper part of the suspension.

A crew of four mans the C1 Ariete MBT. The driver sits in the front right, with some ammunition stored to his left. The commander, gunner and loader sit in the turret – the commander and gunner on the right and the loader on the left.

The powerpack is in the rear.

The C1 Ariete main battle tank was used in Iraq in 2004.

Republic of Italy

C1 Ariete MBT

Active: 1995
Crew: 4
Weight: 53 tons (54,000kg)
Length: 24ft 10in (7.59m), 31ft 8in (9.67m) with gun forwards
Height: 8ft 2in (2.5m)
Width: 11ft 8in (3.60m)
Weapons: Main – Oto Melara 4.72in (120mm) smoothbore gun, Secondary – 0.3in (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun, 0.3in (7.62mm) anti-aircraft machine gun, 4 pairs of smoke grenade dischargers
Armor Classified
Engine: Iveco V-12 MTCA 12-cylinder turbo-charged diesel, 1300 hp
Speed: 40mph (65kph)
Range: 342 miles (550km)