Spanish Army B1 Centauro Wheeled Tank Destroyer
Spanish Army B1 Centauro Wheeled Tank Destroyer

COHEMO to Carry Out Maintenance of Spanish Army B1 Centauro Wheeled Tank Destroyer

Cohemo, headquartered in Madrid with another Spanish partner, will be responsible for the maintenance of the Spanish army’s 84 Centauro combat vehicles. The maintenance work will span on two years, until December 2022. The contract is worth 4.5 million euro and will be carried out in service with the Spanish Army (Ejército de Tierra) cavalry units. The contract budget is divided into three annual payments of 1.5 million euro each, corresponding to the period 2020-2022. The estimated value would rise to almost 7.5 million euro (taxes not included) when considering a possible three-year extension that would extend the contractual agreement until the end of 2025.

The project was managed by Jefatura de Asuntos Económicos del Mando de Apoyo Logístico del Ejército (MALE), a division that received bids from various companies during the tender process, including the one mentioned above between COHEMO and another company. The contract includes vehicle maintenance, training courses and obsolescence analysis. This agreement also contains technical assistance for vehicles deployed in area of operations. COHEMO is a Spanish company specialized in supply, engineering and maintenance in the defense sector. The company will supply the Spanish Army with spare parts for the Centauros in the same way as since 2019.

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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 Iveco Fiat – OTO 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. 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. Spain ordered 84 vehicles, designated VRCC in Spanish service and 4 VCREC recovery vehicles.

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 and computerized fire control system to accomplish this mission. 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 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 coaxial machine gun, and another 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun with 4,000 rounds of ammunition.

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