The Ariete is made of an all-steel welded construction, with composite armour on the hull front and turret front and sides, with side-skirts protecting the top of the tracks. The tank also has a laser-warning sensor mounted just ahead of the loader's hatch. Layout is conventional with the driver seated on the front right of the hull in a hydraulically adjustable seat, with a single-piece hatch with three periscopes, the central one of which can be replaced by an MES VG/DIL 100 passive periscope. The turret is in the centre of the hull with the commander and gunner on the right and the loader on the left. The commander has eight periscopes for all round observation. The loader has a single-piece hatch with two periscopes looking forward and to the left. There are blow-out panels in the turret roof to vent any secondary explosions away from the crew. The commander has a primary day / night (image intensification) stabilised panoramic sight (magnification of x 2.5 and x 10), while the gunner has a stabilised panoramic day / night (thermal) sight with laser rangefinder (x 5 magnification), which is linked to a ballistic computer, sensors and muzzle reference system. The gunner also has a backup sight, the Officine Galileo C-102 coaxial telescope with x 8 magnification and three manually selectable aiming reticules. The main armament is an Otobreda 120mm 44 calibre auto-frettaged smoothbore gun that has a gun chamber the same size of that fitted to the Leopard 2 and M1A1 / M1A2 Abrams, so the ammunition from the firm SIMMEL DIFESA is interoperable. A total of forty-two rounds are carried for the main gun, fifteen in the turret and twenty-seven beside the driver. A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted coaxially, with another 7.62mm machine gun mounted on the turret roof. Turret traverse and weapon elevation is electrohydraulic with manual backup. The engine is an IVECO V-12 MCTA diesel (1,300hp) coupled to a Renk LSG 3000 fully automatic transmission (manufactured under license by IVECO). The suspension is of a torsion bar type, with seven rubber-tyred road wheels, an idler and the front and drive wheel at the back, as well as four track return rollers. The first, second third, sixth and seventh road wheels have hydraulic shock absorbers and all seven suspension arms on either side have hydraulic bumpers fitted to limit excessive travel. The NBC system is a SP-180 pack manufactured by Sekur.
Hull length: 7.59m. Hull width: 3.42m. Height: 2.5m. (turret roof) Crew: 4. Ground Clearance: 0.44m. Weight: 54,000kg (combat). Ground pressure: 0.9kg/sq.cm. Max speed: 65km/h. Max range (internal fuel): 550km (on road). Armament: 120mm smoothbore gun, 1 x 7.62mm machine gun coaxial, 1 x 7.62mm machine gun mounted on turret roof.