The Italian-made B1 Centauro 8×8 105mm tank destroyer has entered service with the Royal Jordanian Army. The Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) released photographs showing at least 12 Centauros lined up at a 3rd Royal Tank Battalion base, which is part of the 60th Prince Hassan bin Talal Armoured Brigade that is based in the central military region. It’s been reported a total of 141 Centauros were delivered to Jordan in total and the numbers suggest these vehicles were meant as partial replacements for the retired Challenger 1 tanks.
In November 2018, the Spanish company SDLE (Star Defence Logistics & Engineering) has won a multi-million Euros contract for the reactivation, maintenance and modernization of 80 first-generation Centauro Cavalry Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) for the Royal Jordanian Army. SDLE was selected in an international tender which also included the Centauro CRV manufacturer, the Iveco-Oto Melara (CIO) consortium. SDLE also will provide the necessary advice and training for the reactivation of the vehicles by the Royal Jordanian forces.
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 Centauro platform has been developed into multiple variants to fulfill other combat roles, such as infantry fighting vehicle or self-propelled howitzer.
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. The main armament consists of the Oto Melara 105 mm/52 caliber gun equipped with a thermal sleeve and an integrated fume extractor, with 40 NATO ammunition 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.