On February 16th, the Italian Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Salvatore Farina, was welcomed by Claudio Catalano, CEO of IVECO Defence Vehicles, at the Bolzano plant where the new Centauro 2 are currently in production. These vehicles are going to be part of the cavalry units of the Italian Army. Last December the Land Armaments Directorate and the Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium (CIO), signed a contract for 86 Centauro 2, plus 10 further units in option, in addition to the 10 already contracted in 2018. The Director of Land Armaments, Lt. Gen. Paolo Giovannini, was also present. During the visit, the work in progress on the vehicles was discussed and the first production vehicle was presented. The supply addresses a total need of 150 vehicles to be assigned to the army cavalry units.
Thanks to its state-of-the-art technologies, this platform can safely be used by the cavalry units also in high-risk operations. Moreover, on this very occasion, also the 8×8 VBM Freccia Digital Tactical Command Post was presented. This vehicle is made of two versions, one for the unit Commander and the other one for the unit mobile HQ. These platforms are equipped with the latest communication equipment that seamlessly integrates into the Army and Joint tactical battle command network. The Italian Army once again confirms its role as important pillar in the world of technology and innovation, further pursuing its long-term capability development and modernization project, keeping the national production system engaged.
The Centauro 2 marks a major step forward compared to the previous Centauro 1, 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 the H-transmission, typical of the 8×8 armoured vehicles, the new platform uses an all-digital architecture and a new generation turret with a 120mm cannon and Command and Control Communication systems, making it one of the most modern vehicles supplied to Western Armies. The result is an innovative wheeled armoured platform capable of operating in every scenario: from national security missions, to peacekeeping and support operations including all interventions involving the Italian Armed Forces.
The new Centauro armoured vehicle represents a new stage in the evolution of the storied Centauro 105 and 120mm armoured vehicle, the first 8×8 wheeled antitank vehicle in the world with a high-pressure gun. As regards ergonomics, the ammunition reserves in the hull are automated, as is the new automatic loading system in the turret. The third generation 120/45 mm gun (optional 105/52mm interchangeable to 120 mm), with integrated and stabilised low-recoil muzzle brake, provides the same fire power as most modern main battle tanks, with the capability of firing all latest generation 120 mm NATO APFSDS and multi-role MP munitions. In the turret, as an alternative to the external turntable-mounted anti-aircraft machine gun, a remote-operated HITROLE Light turret can be installed, with the possibility of using 7.62 or 12.7 calibre machine guns as well as 40 mm AGLs