B1 Centauro

The Centauro is a family of Italian military vehicles originating from a wheeled tank destroyer for light to medium territorial defense and tactical reconnaissance. It was developed by a consortium of manufacturers, the Società Consortile IvecoFiatOTO Melara (CIO). Iveco Fiat was tasked with developing the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for developing the turrets and weapon systems.[2]

For the armoured division, see 131st Armoured Division Centauro.
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Wheeled tank destroyer

Type Wheeled tank destroyer
Place of origin Italy
Service history
In service 1991–present
Used by See Operators below
Wars Iraq War
UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon)
Production history
Designed 1986
Manufacturer Iveco Fiat (hull, propulsion)
Oto Melara (weapons, turrets)
Unit cost 1.6 million [citation needed]
Produced 1991–2006
No. built 490+ (plus 249 Freccia[1])
Variants See Variants
Mass 24,000 kg (26 short tons)
Length 7.85 m (25 ft 9 in)
Width 2.94 m (9 ft 8 in)
Height 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)
Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader and driver)

Armor Welded steel armoured hull
Oto Melara 105 mm/52 rifled gun (Centauro)
Oto Melara 120mm /45 smoothbore gun (Centauro II)
2×7.62 mm MGs
Engine IVECO, V6 turbo-Diesel
520 hp (382 kW)
Power/weight 19.35 hp/tonne
Transmission Hydropneumatic automatic transmission with 5 forward and 2 reverse gears
8×8 wheels
Suspension independent MacPherson struts
800 km (500 mi)
Maximum speed 108 km/h (67 mph)

Over the years, the Centauro platform has been developed into multiple variants to fulfill other combat roles, such as infantry fighting vehicle or self-propelledhowitzer.

. . . B1 Centauro . . .

The vehicle was developed in response to an Italian Army requirement for a tank destroyer with the firepower of the old Leopard 1 main battle tank then in service with the Italian Army, but with greater strategic mobility. The main mission of the Centauro is to protect other, lighter, elements of the cavalry, using its good power-to-weight ratio, excellent range and cross country ability (despite the wheeled design) and computerized fire control system to accomplish this mission. Centauro entered production in 1991 and deliveries were complete by 2006.[3]

Regiment “Lancieri di Montebello” (8th) Centauro firing during an exercise

The main armament consists of the Oto Melara 105 mm/52 caliber gyro-stabilized high-pressure, low-recoil gun equipped with a thermal sleeve and an integrated fume extractor, with 40 rounds: 14 ready rounds in the turret and another 26 rounds in the hull. The gun can fire standard NATO ammunition, including APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) rounds.

Secondary weapons are a 7.62 mm coaxialmachine gun, and another 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun with 4,000 rounds of ammunition.

Aiming is provided by a Galileo Avionica TURMS fire control system (the same as fitted to the Italian Ariete tank) and is equipped with a muzzle referencing system and a fully digital ballistic computer. The gunner’s sight is fully stabilized and comes equipped with a thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The commander’s station is equipped with a panoramic stabilized sight, an image intensifying night sight and a monitor displaying the image from the gunner’s thermal sight. This allows Centauro to engage stationary or moving targets while stationary or on the move, in day or night.[4]

. . . B1 Centauro . . .

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. . . B1 Centauro . . .

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