Allison Transmissions equip IDV’s 36 Amphibious Combat Vehicles for the Italian Navy

The latest generation 8x8 vehicles, equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions, are destined for the Brigata Marina San Marco (BMSM) fleet.

TORINO, July 2023 - Allison Transmission will equip the next generation of amphibious armoured vehicles (VBAs) for the San Marco Marine Brigade with Allison Specialty Series™ transmissions. The Directorate of Land Armaments with Iveco Defence Vehicles (IDV), a brand of Iveco Group N.V. (Mi : IGV), specialised in vehicles for the defense and the civil protection, will supply the Italian Navy 36 of the Allison-equipped VBAs.

These sophisticated amphibious vehicles will rely on state-of-the-art Allison fully automatic transmissions. The collaboration between Allison and IDV has previously produced technologically advanced vehicles for the U.S. Marine Corps, which has ordered more than 200 of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) since 2018. These advanced 8x8 all-terrain ACVs can accommodate up to 13 Marines. The new IDV VBA is based on the SUPERAV 8x8 amphibious platform, developed for the ACV together with BAE Systems.

The VBA in detail
The VBA is an 8×8 all-terrain vehicle, capable of being launched and recovered from an amphibious ship at sea and offers excellent mobility and high ballistic, mine and improvised explosive device (IED) protection.

Allison assisted IDV in the complex integration to support operating on both water and land. The 700 horsepower FPT Cursor 16 engine, paired with the 7-speed Allison 4800 SP™ automatic transmission and H-shaped driveline derived from the Centauro and VBM Freccia, allow the VBA to reach a land speed of 105 km/h, while two rear-mounted hydraulic propellers ensure navigation beyond sea state 3 and a speed of 6 knots.

“Defense vehicles are often fitted with an Allison automatic transmission because only an Allison transmission can provide the powershifting needed to move such a heavy vehicle in difficult off road conditions such as in sand or mud, where its weight would prohibit manual shifting,” said Simone Pace, OEM Account Manager and Area Sales Manager at Allison Transmission Italy. “The Allison 7-speed transmission enables outstanding mobility both in land and water by providing torque simultaneously to all 8 of the VBA’s wheels and the propeller, which work in parallel.”

Capable in extreme conditions
The IDV VBA is designed to perform in extreme conditions. The vehicles offer superior gradeability, with the capability to drive 60% grades downhill or uphill, can withstand extreme temperatures from arctic cold to desert heat, and are able to travel in water. Reliability, durability and upgradabilty are critical attributes, as every vehicle must be able to be outfitted with different systems based on mission-specific needs.

The Allison Automatic plays an important role in transferring power to the wheels, increasing drivability and enacting limp-home functionality and overrun protection as needed.

Reliable and proven transmissions
Allison's relationship with the U.S. government has lasted for more than a century and has evolved from supplying aircraft engines in the 1920s to providing automatic transmissions for specialty wheeled and tracked vehicles.

Allison Specialty Series™ transmissions are dedicated to defense and heavy-duty transportation (HET) applications and provide maximum reliability and durability.

The Allison fully automatic transmission is well suited for defense vehicles because drivers must focus solely on the mission. By making driving less physically taxing, Allison transmissions allow concentration on the real task at hand. In addition, the ease of operation neutralizes driver inexperience and greatly reduces training time.

Additionally, Allison transmissions have excellent performance and provide greater acceleration, thanks to Continuous Power Technology™, which allows continuous transmission of power from the engine to the wheels. Powershifting also enables smoother driving, precise traction control and improved manoeuvrability, even over difficult or rough terrain and at low speeds.

Ever-evolving responsibilities demand innovative propulsion solutions that are proven, reliable and ready for action. In mission-critical situations, this is decisive performance where Allison fully automatic transmissions can make all the difference.

For more information on Allison defense solutions and the full interview with Claudio Catalano, CEO of Iveco Defence Vehicles, please visit

Jul 19, 2023


Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is a leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle propulsion solutions for commercial and defense vehicles, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, and a leader in electrified propulsion systems that Improve the Way the World Works. Allison products are used in a wide variety of applications, including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (school, transit and coach), motorhomes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (energy, mining and construction applications) and defense vehicles (tactical wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. With a presence in more than 150 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil, manufacturing facilities in the USA, Hungary and India, as well as global engineering resources, including electrification engineering centers in Indianapolis, Indiana, Auburn Hills, Michigan and London in the United Kingdom. Allison also has approximately 1,600 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit