In 1969, the Italian military delegation visited Germany to discuss the purchase of Leopard tanks. However, not all members of the delegation agreed with the acquisition of foreign vehicles. The Italian military experts and engineers specified the main requirements for the future tank: the slope angle of armor plates, the cast turret and gun mantlet, as well as the powerful engine from Mitsubishi that allowed production of a small, light, maneuverable, but perfectly-armored vehicle. The British and Soviet design plans collected by SIFAR-SID were taken into account. Development of the project was discontinued at the drafting and modelling stage.
Marks of Excellence requirements for Progetto M40 mod. 65: beta