Darden BMP can be armed with two launchers monotube anti-tank missiles TOW, mounted on the sides of the tower, which gives it the opportunity to destroy tanks at a distance of up to 3430 m.
In 1985, the company IVECO Otobreda and received a contract from the Land Forces Italy to build three prototypes infantry fighting vehicle, capable of effectively operate in conditions of modern warfare. By 1988, the machines have received designation VCC-80, were ready for testing. They were fitted with double tower with a 25-mm cannon and coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun, as well as system fire control, similar installed on main battle tanks and Ariete armored vehicle Centaur.
At the same time, it was decided to take the chassis VCC-80 as the basis for creating a new BMP, which has more fire power by installing it in addition to guns and machine guns antitank missile system TOW. In late 1988, consortium IVECO-Oto received an order for 200 BMP Darden, which include the base model with a double tower 25-mm cannon and coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and four specialized version of the machine self-propelled anti-tank missile system and 120-mm mortar, command and staff and ambulances. Antitank version has two single-tube launchers managed missiles TOW, located exaction-spot, and the ability to install the system fire control HITFIST company Galileo Avionics alternatively combined day and night sights firm Kollsman supplied in Italian Army. Italian version of the system was called Darden HITFIST
Welded hull and turret Darden made of aluminum armor. Protecting the most vulnerabilities hull and turret reinforced steel armor plate. In front of the housing is located on the left branch management, and the right-mo- Thorn transmission compartment IVECO diesel engine capacity of 388 kW/520 liters. e .. The same engine is mounted on armored vehicles Centaur. In the middle part of the machine is placed tower TC 25 companies Otobreda electric drive. Commander it is located on the left and gunner-right, but the need to manage the tower can and one of them. The main armament a 25-mm automatic gun CPA Swiss Oerlikon-Kontraves with which paired 7.62-mm machine gun MG 42/59. Angles pointing vertically stabilized in two planes, guns range from-10 ° to + 60 °. On the sides Tower has two single-tube launchers TOW anti-tank missiles angles pointing vertically from-7,5 ° to + 30 ° and two 80-mm chetyrehstvolnyh smoke grenade. In the troop compartment in the rear of the machine are placed six infantrymen. Two people sitting along the sides facing forward, two more-in the middle branch of the face to the sides. Access to the office and dismounting carried out through the stern ramp with built-in door. For firing of small arms has five embrasures with glass blocks. In the roof troop compartment has a back hatch opening, which is also used for loading launchers TOW.
Torsion bar suspension on each side of the machine consists of a double-track roller, three support rollers, drive wheel in front and behind the guide. The upper part of the suspension is covered by bulwarks. In the standard equipment includes night vision passive type, air-conditioning system air, NBC protection and fire fighting, as well as equipment for overcoming- of ford water obstacles to a depth of 1.5 m. On the basis of BMP Darden can be created family of machines for various purposes, including self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, engineering and command and staff vehicles. BMP can be installed and other tower, particularly double T 60/70A Otobreda company with a 60-mm gun, which has high initial speed of the projectile, and the tower HITFIST the same company with a 30-mm Bushmaster cannon-2.
Access infantrymen in the troop compartment and dismounting are carried out through stern ramp with an electromechanical drive, in which there is a small Additional door.
The use of aluminum alloys in the construction of Darden has reduced the combat weight to a minimum, but somewhat reduced bronezaschischennost machine. To protect the most vulnerable places used hinged steel armor.