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).

From our Readers: Sexton wrecks in Italy

A Tank and AFV News reader from Italy has submitted some interesting pictures of some Sexton SPGs used as range targets in Italy.  These vehicles differ from standard Sexton SPGs in that they were re-armed with the 105mm Obice da 105/22 gun (but still retaining the original 25 pounder gun recoil system.)  These two wrecks are located at Cape Teulada, at the Italian Army training range.  The reader who submitted the pictures states that he and two others of the 1st Regiment were ordered to select 14 vehicles from the Italian army armor storage area at Lenta in November of 1986 to be transported to the firing range.  Of the 14 Sexton SPGs that were selected, one was retained as a monument at the barracks while the others were used as range targets.  (This information was sent to us written in Italian, we have translated it as best as possible using Google translate.)