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Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium Awarded Italian Army Contract for 28 Centauro II Tank Destroyers

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Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium Awarded Italian Army Contract for 28 Centauro II Tank Destroyers

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Centauro II Wheeled Tank Destroyer
Centauro II Wheeled Tank Destroyer

The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium (Società Consortile Iveco Fiat – OTO Melara, CIO) announces the signing on 27th June 2024 at the Secretariat of Defence Land Armaments Directorate of a contract for the supply of 28 Centauro II tank destroyer and ten-year integrated logistic support marking the completion of the total need of the Italian Army of 150 units. The main mission of the Centauro II 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 new vehicle represents a new stage in the evolution of the storied Centauro I 105mm/120mm armoured vehicle, the first 8×8 wheeled antitank vehicle in the world with a high-pressure gun.

The Centauro is a family of Italian military vehicles originating from a wheeled tank destroyer for light to medium territorial defense and tactical reconnaissance. The vehicles was developed by a consortium of manufacturers CIO. Iveco Fiat was tasked with developing the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for developing the turrets and weapon systems. Over the years, the Centauro platform has been developed into multiple variants to fulfill other combat roles, such as infantry fighting vehicle or self-propelled howitzer. Centauro entered production in 1991 and deliveries were complete by 2006.

Italian Army Centauro II Wheeled Tank Destroyer. (Photo by CIO)
Italian Army Centauro II Wheeled Tank Destroyer. (Photo by CIO)

Equipped with a new power pack delivering 720hp and with H-drive scheme, a hallmark of the 8×8 Centauro family, Centauro II features an entirely digital architecture, a new generation HITFACT turret equipped with a 120mm gun and Command and Control Communication systems making Centauro the most innovative and interoperable vehicle in service with the Italian Army. 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.

As regards mobility in particular, the power-to-weight ratio, increased to 24 HP/tonne, provides unequalled performance in terms of speed and acceleration thanks to the new-generation IVECO engine, offering more than 720 HP, and to the associated modernisation of the transmission, braking system and control electronics. The digital tyre pressure control (CTIS), allied with run-flat systems, the new suspension and the low nominal ground pressure allow the new Centauro armoured vehicle to extricate itself from any type of terrain. The result is a new concept of wheeled armoured vehicle capable of operating in any scenario: from national security missions to peacekeeping and support operations including all interventions involving the Italian Armed Forces.

Italian Army Centauro II Wheeled Tank Destroyer. (Photo by CIO)
Italian Army Centauro II Wheeled Tank Destroyer. (Photo by CIO)

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