The OF-40 is a main battle tank developed as a joint venture between OTO Melara and Fiat, and intended primarily for export sales. OTO Melara would develop and produce the hulls, and automotive components would be provided by Fiat (the designation of the vehicle comes from the initials of the two companies, whereas "40" refers to the planned mass of the tank). Initial design work was started by OTO Melara in 1977, with the first prototypes ready by 1980.

Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Oto Melara
Production Period 1980 - 1985
Origin Italy
Country Name Origin Year
Italy 1981
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United Arab Emirates 1981 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Oto Melara 1980 1985 View
Fiat 1980 1985 View

Superficially, the OF-40 appears very similar to versions of the German Leopard 1 with welded turrets (Leopard 1A3 & 1A4). The OF-40 does share some common components with the Leopard 1, which had also been produced under license by OTO Melara since 1974. The OF-40 follows a conventional modern tank design. The driver is located in the front-right of the hull, with ammunition storage and NBC overpressure system located to the driver's left. The turret is located toward the middle of the tank, with the gunner and commander on the right side of the turret, and the loader on the left.


The armament consists of a 105 mm main gun with a rifled, 52-calibre barrel, developed by OTO Melara exclusively for this vehicle. The cannon is equipped with a thermal sleeve, fume extractor and a semi-automatic breech mechanism and is aimed in both vertical and horizontal axes with an electro-hydraulic drive system. The main gun however is not stabilized. The cannon uses NATO-standard 105 mm ammunition with APDS (1470 m/s muzzle velocity), HEAT (1170 m/s), HESH (730 m/s), incendiary and smoke rounds. Two 7.62 mm machine guns make up the secondary armament: an electrically fired coaxial machine gun slaved to the main cannon and a second gun on an anti-aircraft pintle installed next to the loader's hatch on the turret.

The tank uses an advanced fire-control system developed by Officine Galileo. The commander's station was outfitted with an independently stabilized VS 580-B panoramic day/night sight with an 8x magnification, co-developed with SFIM of France. The sight is housed in an armoured turret located in front of the commander's hatch. The tank gunner uses an 8x C125 telescopic sight to lay fire from the main cannon and coaxial MG. This sight is co-aligned with a Selenia VAQ-33 laser rangefinder which has an effective range from 400 to 10,000 m.


The OF-40 is powered by a German-made MTU MB 838 Ca M500 diesel motor which provides an output of approx. 610 kW at 2,200 RPM. The MB 838 Ca M500 is a four-stroke, turbo-charged, 10-cylinder multi-fuel engine with a 90° Vee configuration and is coupled to a ZF transmission system with a fluid torque converter and an epicyclic gearbox with four forward and two reverse gears. The engine is liquid-cooled and further optimized for operation in arid environments with an automatic air-cooling system which detects overheating conditions and activates a cooling fan on the engine deck. The engine compartment also has an automatic fire-extinguishing system.

The running gear consists of 14 (2×7) rubber-rimmed double dished roadwheels, two idler wheels (at the front of the hull), two drive sprockets (rear hull) and ten (2×5) return rollers supporting two tracks. The tracks have a service life of approx. 2,500 km. The OF-40 rests on an independent torsion bar suspension system with hydraulic shock absorbers and friction dampers on the first, second, third, sixth and seventh pairs of roadwheels.

The tank can also drive under water to a limited depth using a snorkel to feed the engine and comes equipped with two water pumps rated at 120 l/min used to evacuate water from the tank during fording.

Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  Italy
Service history
In service 1981–Present
Used by UAE
Production history
Designer OTO Melara
Designed 1977
Manufacturer OTO Melara/Fiat
Produced 1980–1985
Weight 45.5 t (50.2 short tons)
Length 9.22 m (30.2 ft)
Width 3.51 m (11.5 ft)
Height 2.45 m (8.0 ft)
Crew 4
1 x 105 mm
(57 rounds: hull - 42, turret - 15)
2 x 7.62mm machine guns (1 coaxial, 1 turrettop anti-aircraft)
Engine MTU MB 838 Ca M500 V-10
830 PS (819 hp, 610 kW)
Power/weight 18.2 PS/tonne
Transmission ZF
Suspension Torsion bar
Ground clearance 0.44 m (1.4 ft)
Fuel capacity 1,000 l (260 US gal)
600 km (370 mi)
Speed 60 km/h (37 mph)

End notes