Centauro II 120/105mm Leonardo Iveco 8x8 MGS
Mobile Gun System - Wheeled Fire Support Armored Vehicle - Italy
The Centauro II was developed and is produced by the Italian Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium (CIO). The vehicle was unveiled in June 2016 during the defense exhibition Eurosatory in Paris, France. The Centauro II represents the logical evolution, being armed with a third-generation 120/45 mm gun, with an integrated muzzle brake and semi-automatic loading system. The weapon system provides firepower equivalent to that of most modern main battle tanks and is capable of firing all the latest generations of 120 mm, NATO APFSDS, and multi-role MP munitions.
Centauro II marks a major step forward compared to the previous Centauro I, in terms of firepower, battlefield observation capability, mobility, shooting conduct, communication as well as increased crew protection. Equipped with a modern powerpack of over 700HP and an H-transmission, typical of 8x8 armored vehicles, the new platform uses an all-digital architecture and a new generation turret with a 120mm cannon and Command and Control Communication systems. The result is an innovative wheeled armored platform capable of operating in every scenario: from national security missions to peacekeeping and support operations including all interventions involving the Italian Armed Forces.
In June 2020, the Italian Ministry of Defense has approved an order for 40 Centauro II. The Italian Ministry of Defence announced on May 28, 2020, that it had authorized the award of a production contract to the IVECO-OTO-Melara consortium for the second batch of 40 Centauro II wheeled tank destroyers, with an option on a further 56. In July 2018, Italian Company Leonardo has announced the signature of a contract with the Italian Ministry of Defense for the acquisition of the first 10 new Centauro II armored vehicles. That was the first tranche out of a total of 136 units. The contract also includes spares and logistic support. In December 2020, the Italian has ordered 86 Centauro IIs. In January 2021, Consortium Iveco – Oto Melara (CIO) confirmed that the production of its latest Centauro II 8x8 Mobile Gun System (MGS) for the Italian Army was underway. The first vehicles were delivered in the first quarter of 2021. The total Italian Army requirement is for up to 150 units. On November 25, 2022, Brazil announced the selection of the Centauro II to become its new wheeled combat vehicle.
Centauro II variants:
- Centauro 1: Previous version armed with a 105mm gun.
The main armament of the Centauro II MGS consists of a third-generation 120/45 mm gun (optional 105/52mm interchangeable with 120 mm), with integrated and stabilized low-recoil muzzle brake, provides the same firepower as most modern main battle tanks, with the capability of firing all latest-generation 120 mm NATO APFSDS and multi-role MP munitions. Ammunition stored in the hull and in the turret are hosted in compartments separated from the crew section by explosion-proof doors, pre-carved panels, and dedicated anti-explosion systems ensuring further crew safety. The Centauro II is equipped with an automatic loading system with 6 rounds ready to fire while being able also to undertake manual loading operations for back-up or other emergency operations. Turret traverse and weapon elevation are electro-hydraulically operated, with manual controls for emergency use, with elevation ranging from -7 to +16º. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the left side of the main armament. Mounted on either side of the turret is a bank of four electrically operated 81 mm smoke grenade dischargers that fire over the frontal arc of the vehicle. At Eurosatory 2016, the Centauro was also fitted with a remote-operated HITROLE Light turret armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun with the possibility of using a 7.62 mm or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, integrated with the firing system, allowing the loader to undertake battlefield surveillance from a protected position.
|Design and protection|
The hull and turret of the Centauro II are of all-welded steel armor construction. The ballistic armor, protection levels are significantly higher than the previous generation of Centauro vehicle, with a completely rearranged hull chassis and turret design, integrated add-on ballistics and technical solutions, tested to the AEP 55 standard, capable of handling threats such as mines, IEDs and the latest-generation kinetic munitions. The Centauro II has a crew of four with the driver seats at the front of the hull offset to the left with the power pack to his right. The turret is mounted on the roof of the hull slightly to the rear of the vehicle's centerline, with the commander on the left, the gunner on the right, and the loader forward and below the gunner. There is one large door located at the rear of the hull.
|The Centauro II MGS is motorized with an Iveco Vector 8V Euro III Diesel engine developing 720 hp. coupled to an automatic gearbox with 7 forward and 1 reverse gears. As regards mobility, in particular, the power-to-weight ratio, increased to 24 HP/tonne, provides unequaled performance in terms of speed and acceleration thanks to the new-generation IVECO engine and to the associated modernization of the transmission, braking system and control electronics. The suspension is of the hydro-pneumatic type with powered steering on the front four and last two road wheels. The digital tire pressure control (CTIS), allied with run-flat systems, the new suspension and the low nominal ground pressure allows the new Centauro armored vehicle to extricate itself from any type of terrain. The Centauro II can run at a maximum road speed of 105 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. The Centauro II can negotiate a gradient of 60%, side slopes of 30%, and a fording depth of 1.5 m without preparation. It has an angle of approach and departure of 40° and can cross natural or man-made obstacles up to 0.6 m high, and trenches 2 m wide.|
|Standard equipment of the Centauro II MGS includes a radio system, digital intercom, integrated Battle Management System (BMS), and anti-RC-IED (Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device) capable of defeating remote-controlled improvised explosive devices. The Centauro II turret is fitted with latest generation optronics for the commander and gunner and with a suite of communications and command and control systems ensuring maximum situational awareness. Crew safety has also been further increased, with a partitioning of stand-by ammunition and stores within the hull, in addition to NBC, fire-fighting, and anti-explosion protection systems. The turret is also equipped with new anti-mine seats. An integrated air conditioning system is installed allowing the crew to operate the vehicle with the outside temperature ranging from - 30° to + 44º C.|
|One 120mm gun, one 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, one remote-operated turret with 12.7mm machine gun||Add-on ballistic armor kit mines, protection against IEDs and the latest-generation kinetic munitions|
|Italy, Brazil||30,000 kg|
|Radio system, digital intercom, integrated Battle Management System (BMS) and anti RC-IED (Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device, computerized fire control, laser range finder, laser warning system, NBC protection system, auxiliary heater, fire-fighting and anti-explosions protection systems.||800 km|
|4||Length: 8.25 m; Width: 3.38 m; Height: 3.65 m|
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