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Land Systems / Battlefield


CIO Centauro


8x8 Wheeled Tank Destroyer (TD) [ 1991 ]



The Centauro is designed around 8x8 wheeled mobility to compliment other fast-moving assets of the modern Italian Army.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/17/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

GO TO SPECIFICATIONS [+]
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The Centauro B1 8x8 tank killer is in the same family line of Italian Army vehicles that include the Ariete Main Battle Tank (MBT) and Dardo Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The Centauro represents a joint development effort by Iveco Fiat and Oto Melara of Italy under the combined banner of CIO. The Centauro is currently in service and has more recently seen success through actions in Iraq.

The vehicle was developed to a requirement by the Italian Army for a tank-killing system with good cross-country mobility and firepower matching that of the old German-produced Leopard 1 main battle tank. The resulting design became the Centauro B1 8x8 wheeled vehicle mounting its armament in an independently-operated turret. The main gun utilizes a computerized fire control system (Galileo Avionica TURMS) while power steering controls the front four wheels (similar in fashion to the Russian BTR APCs of the 8x8 wheeled variety). Primary armament revolves around the Oto Melara 105mm 52 caliber main gun while secondary armament is a pair of 7.62mm machine guns, with one of these being co-axially mounted in the turret alongside the main gun. Battlefield modifications can include additional armor protection and additional exterior 7.62mm machine guns (x2). Iveco Fiat was charged with development of the hull and powerplant while Oto Melara handled development of the turret and applicable armament and systems.

In its 8x8 wheeled configuration, the Centauro sports four large road wheels to a side with the first two pairs being positional. Suspension is a full 8x8. The hull featured angled armor slabs and maintains a relatively low profile as does the turret installation. Hull armor is of welded steel. Standard crew is made up of four personnel that includes the commander, gunner, loader and driver. Power is supplied through a single Iveco turbo-charged V-6 diesel engine delivering up to 512 horsepower. This provides for road speeds up to 110 km/h as well as ranges out to 800 km.

As with other successful armored vehicles, the Centauro chassis has been branched out into other useful battlefield designs including a 120mm-armed variant and an Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV), the latter currently under consideration. The 120mm-armed Centauro sports better armor protection and a low-recoil 120/45 caliber main gun. The AIFV, known as the VBM Freccia, has increased armor protection and the Dardo IFV-style turret. Armament is an Oerlikon KBA 25mm autocannon.

Centauros were fielded in the Balkans and the Iraq War and currently serves in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. The design has proven a success in a variety of roles. Its armament is capable of targeting armored vehicles and structures alike while its mobility can keep it on pace as an escort to military convoys.

Italy represents the largest Centauro operator while Spain follows as the second largest. Oman operated a small contingent of six Centauros of the 120mm breed. Production of Centauros began in 1991 and commenced in 2006.

Revealed in 2022, the Centauro II, and its all-digital state-of-the-art architecture and connectivity, was showcased at Eurosatory 2022. It sports the Leonardo HITFACT Mk II turret system atop the proven 8x8 framework of the Centauro with enhanced protection to boot. After evaluations, the Italian Ministry of Defence has contracted for ten of the vehicles.

June 2022 - The Centauro II was showcased in a display at Eurosatory 2022 complete with an all-digital architecture turret and systems.

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Specifications



Service Year
1991

Origin
Italy national flag graphic
Italy

Status
ACTIVE
In Active Service.
Crew
4
CREWMEN
Production
747
UNITS


IVECO-FIAT-OTO-Melara (CIO) - Italy
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Italy National flag of Jordan National flag of Oman National flag of Spain Italy; Jordan; Oman; Spain
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Tank / Anti-Armor
Base model or variant can be used to track, engage, and defeat armored enemy elements at range.
Infantry Support
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Tank-vs-Tank
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.
Reconaissance
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.


Length
28.1 ft
8.56 m
Width
10.0 ft
3.05 m
Height
9.0 ft
2.74 m
Weight
55,116 lb
25,000 kg
Tonnage
27.6 tons
MEDIUM
(Showcased structural values pertain to the CIO Centauro B1 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x IVECO FIAT VTCA V-6 turbocharged, diesel-fueled engine developing 520 horsepower at 2,300rpm driving conventional 8x8 wheeled / all-wheel arrangement.
Speed
65.2 mph
(105.0 kph)
Range
497.1 mi
(800.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the CIO Centauro B1 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 105mm Oto Melara /52 caliber main gun in front turret face.
1 x 7.62mm co-axial anti-infantry machine gun in front turret face.
1 x 7.62mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) machine gun on trainable mounting on turret roof.
2 x 4 Smoke grenade dischargers on turret sides (one bank of four grenades each side).

OPTIONAL:
Additional 7.62mm machine guns as needed.


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank cannon armament
Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun
Graphical image of tank /armored vehicle smoke grenade dischargers


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
40 x 105mm ammunition.
4,000 x 7.62mm ammunition.


Centauro B1 - Base Production Model; 1 x 105mm OTO-Melara main gun supported by 7.62mm machine guns.
Centauro VBM "Freccia" - Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV); 25mm Oerlikon KBA autocannon in Dardo IFV-style "Hitfist-Plus" turret assembly.
Centauro-120 - Up-armored and up-gunned Centauro; fitting a 120mm /45 calibers main gun in new turret assembly.
Centauro MTR - 120mm mortar carrier for fire support.
Centauro COM - Commander's Vehicle with additional communications equipment.
Centauro ARV - Battlefield Recovery Vehicle.
Centauro MED - Battlefield Ambulance Vehicle.
Centauro II - Modernized variant of 2022; fully-digital turret and systems.


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