The ARIETE is a second generation main battle tank characterized by high performances, advanced armour protection and substantial fire power. Hull and turret are made of welded steel with composite armour.

The power pack incorporates an Iveco V-12 MTCA turbocharged intercooled 12 cylinder diesel power plant that develops 1275 hp, directly coupled to a fully automatic transmission providing four forward and two reverse speeds.

The vehicle has a double differential steering system allowing 3 ranges of steering radii with a transmission employing an hydrostatic drive and an hydraulic retarder.

A Leonardo 120mm smooth-bore gun, stabilized on both axes is the main armament. A 7.62mm machine gun is fitted coaxially to the main armament and a weapon of the same caliber is mounted on the turret roof for local and air defence. The 120mm gun can fire all available NATO ammunition, including chemical and kinetic energy types. FCS includes day/night commander and gunner sights and a digital fire control computer.

A Command, Control and Communication system transforms the MBT ARIETE in a netcentric element on the operative scenario. It can fire on the move against static and moving targets.

The ARIETE Middle Life Upgrade programme involves significant improvements in the hull (engine, breaking system, suspensions, etc.) and the turret (Optical systems, Radios, Communication System, etc.).