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Centauro 2

120 mm fire support vehicle

Centauro 2

The Centauro 2 provides the same firepower as most modern main battle tanks

 
 
Country of origin Italy
Entered service ?
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 30 t
Length (gun forward) 8.26 m
Hull length ~ 7.75 m
Width 3.38 m
Height 3.65 m
Armament
Main gun 120 mm
Barrel length 45 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm
Maximum firing range at least 3 km
Maximum rate of fire ?
Elevation range - 6 to + 45 degrees (?)
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ~ 40 rounds
Machine guns 400 x 12.7 mm, 750 x 7.62 mm
Mobility
Engine IVECO VECTOR 8V diesel
Engine power 720 hp
Maximum road speed 105 km/h
Range 800 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.5 m

 

   The Centauro 2 fire support vehicle is a next-generation version of the original Centauro. It has a revised 8x8 chassis, and is armed with a more powerful 120 mm gun. Also it is better protected and has got a number of other improvements. The Centauro 2 was jointly developed by IVECO and OTO Melara to meet an Italian Army requirement. Development commenced in 2010. The first prototype was ready in 2015. It was first publicly revealed in 2016. Italian Army plans to obtain 74 of these new fire support vehicles. Currently Italian Army reportedly operates a total of 300 original Centrauro B1 fire support vehicles, armed with a 105 mm gun.

   The Centauro 2 is intended to carry out tactical reconnaissance, fire support of combat units and territorial defense tasks. It can escort convoys and be used for road patrol missions. Once in service with Italian Army the Centrauro 2 will operate in medium brigades alongside Freccia infantry fighting vehicles, and associated combat vehicles based on similat 8x8 wheeled chassis.

   This fire support vehicle is one of the most capable in this class. Most other vehicles are limited by their 6x6 chassis and carry smaller 105 mm guns. The is a US-built M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System with 8x8 configuration. However it is also armed with a smaller 105 mm gun, as its chassis could not withstand the recoil of the 120 mm gun. There are only few other demonstrators, armed with a powerful 120 mm gun.

   The Centauro 2 provides the same firepower as most modern main battle tanks. It is fitted with an OTO Melara HITFACT turret, armed with a 120 mm/L45 smoothbore gun. This high-pressure gun is unrelated to Rheinmetall 120 mm gun, used on most Western tanks. Though it is compatible with standard NATO 120 mm tank ammunition. It is fitted with a very efficient muzzle brake, which significantly reduces the recoil. The gun is fed by a new automatic loading system. Ammunition is stored in isolated compartments. It is worth noting, that a 120 mm gun was mounted on the original Centauro before (Centauro with a 120 mm gun). Depending on customer requirements the Centauro 2 can be fitted with a smaller 105 mm/L52 gun.

   Around 40 rounds are carried by the vehicle. 12 of them are stored in the turret and are ready to use. Other are stored in the manual rack.

   This fire support vehicle uses APFSDS, multi-role, and other munitions. The 120 mm APFSDS round penetrates 600 mm of rolled homogenous steel armor at a range of 3 000 m.

   This new fire support vehicle has got a modern fire control system and the latest generation optics. It has a hunter-killer engagement capability. The commander uses a panoramic sight to search for targets. Once the target is selected the gun is laid on the target automatically and the gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. Such hunter-killer engagement method is present on all modern main battle tanks. It allows to acquire and engage targets faster. It seems that this fire support vehicle can engage a target within 30 seconds after spotting it.

   The Centauro 2 can successfully engage main battle tanks and other armored vehicles. However its level of protection is way lower than that of main battle tanks. Vehicles of this class usually do not engage main battle tanks head-on.

   There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun (with 750 rounds of ammunition) and remotely-controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun (400 rounds). Alternatively the remotely-controlled weapon station can be armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun (1 000 rounds), or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (96 rounds).

   This fire support vehicle has a welded steel armor hull and aluminum armor turret. In standard configuration front arc is protected against 20 mm rounds and all round protection is against 12.7 mm rounds and artillery shell fragments. However the Centauro 2 can be fitted with composite add-on armor and even explosive reactive armor for a much higher level of protection. With add-on armor its front arc provides protection against 40 mm armor-piercing rounds, while all-round protection is against 14.5 mm rounds. Interior is lined with Kevlar liner, which prevents spalling. The chassis has further improved protection against mines and IEDs. Crew are seated on anti-mine seats. The Centauro 2 is fitted with jamming system, which blocks the signals of radio-controlled IEDs. This combat vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. It also has a laser warning receiver, which can be set to trigger smoke grenade dischargers.

   The Centauro 2 is operated by a crew of 4, including commander, gunner, driver and loader. The loader transfers ammunition form stowage compartment to the autoloader, and loads the main gun manually in case the autoloader fails.

   The Centauro 2 uses a highly mobile 8x8 chassis. Comparing with the original Centauro, it is fitted with new engine, improved transmission, braking system and control electronics. This new fire support vehicle is powered by IVECO VECTOR 8V turbocharged diesel engine, developing 720 hp. Engine is located at the front. It is mated to an automatic transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse gears. Steering is provided on the first and second axles and at slow speed with also the fourth axle. Vehicle is equipped with run-flat tyres and fitted with central tyre inflation system, which improves cross-country mobility. The Centauro 2 is not amphibious.

  

 
Centauro 2

Centauro 2

Centauro 2

Centauro 2

Centauro 2


 
Centauro 2

Centauro 2

Centauro 2

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