Italy begins disposing of massive armor inventory at Lenta

Lenta m113L’Espresso is reporting that the Italian army has started to decommission and dispose of a large part of their surplus armor inventory.  The article notes that unlike some other European countries, for nearly twenty years Italy has not released any tanks removed from service.  Many of these vehicles are stored in the rice fields near Lenta, an area with contains more than 3,000 tanks and APCs.  Italy has started to sell or scrap this massive collection of vehicles, said to be the largest concentration of non-operating tanks in the world.  The article notes that some vehicles will be given to friendly countries, and many will be auctioned off.  Included in the collection are hundreds of Leopard I MBTs, M113 APCs, M-109 SPGs and Centauro Wheeled AFVs .  It is reported that both Pakistan and Jordan are in negotiations to purchase some of these vehicles.  To read the L”Espresso article and photo gallery, click here (in Italian).

Wheeled AFVs becoming more popular in Middle East

Pandur-2Jane’s is reporting that wheeled armored fighting vehicles are becoming more popular in the Middle East, with a clear trend toward the fielding of larger fleets of 8×8 vehicles.  According to article author Christopher Foss, wheeled vehicles exhibit a number of significant advantages over their tracked counterparts, including lower procurement, operating and support costs, as well as having greater strategic mobility, especially over the longer distances that are encountered by a number of countries in the Gulf.  Vehicle types mentioned in the article include the Véhicule Blindé Léger (VBL) light scout car, Pandur 8×8, MOWAG Piranha, Centauro Mobile Gun System, and the Cadillac Gage Commando V-150.  Full article here.