Centauro II wheeled anti-tank vehicle is the latest member of the Centauro family of armoured vehicles developed by the Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium (CIO). It is designed to offer a fire power similar to that of the most advanced main battle tanks (MBTs).
The vehicle was displayed at Eurosatory 2016 international land and air-land defence and security exhibition held in June 2016.
Design and features of Centauro II
The Centauro II vehicle integrates high-hardness monocoque steel hull. The forward section of the hull houses the power-pack, while the turret extends from the middle to the rear of the vehicle. The driver is seated in the front section of the vehicle, whereas the crew members, including a commander, gunner and a loader are seated on anti-mine blast seats within the turret section.
The vehicle measures 8.26m-long with 120mm barrel, 3.12m-wide without mirrors, and 3.65m-high, whereas the height of the hull without turret is 2.10m. The vehicle has a gross weight of 30t.
Centauro II armament
The Centauro II is armed with a third generation 120mm / 45mm gun with integrated muzzle brake and semi-automatic loading system. It can fire all latest generation 120mm, NATO armour-piercing, fin-stabilised, discarding-sabot (APFSDS) and multi-purpose (MP) rounds.
The turret, equipped with new anti-mine seats, has a crew of three men – commander, gunner and loader – with the latter able to use the new automatic loading system, while being able also to undertake manual loading operations, as back-up, or other emergency operations. Optronic equipment includes a panoramic commander’s sight and a gunner’s sight, both latest-generation, and a back-up sight for use in degraded mode. The vehicle is fully network-integrated (for NCW). Source iveco-otomelara.com
It can carry 12 rounds of ready-to-fire ammunition for main gun and 1,000 rounds for 7.62mm gun, 400 rounds for 12.7mm gun and 96 rounds for grenade launchers.
120mm/ 45 calibre low-recoil force gun
120mm/ 45 calibre low-recoil force gun, intended for installation on light or medium weight tanks and wheeled or tracked tank destroyers. Due to its light weight and the low recoil force of the gun, the turret can provide the fire power of a main battle tank with great accuracy, without impairing the tactical and strategic characteristics of mobility of the vehicles.
muzzle brake – militarypedia.it
A hydraulic, recoil-counter-recoil system and a multi-baffle, high efficiency muzzle brake minimize the recoil force and prevent any excessive stress on the turret structure.
40mm automatic grenade launchers (AGLs) – militarypedia.it
The turret can be fitted with a Hitrole Light remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) mounting 7.62mm or 12.7mm calibre machine guns and 40mm automatic grenade launchers (AGLs) for use in other-than-war scenarios.
HITROLE® Light Common Remote Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)
HITROLE® Light is a state of the art lightweight Common Remote Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) that can be fitted with 7,62mm or 12,7mm Machine Guns (MG) or a 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher(AGL) to perform multi-role tasks like surveillance, patrolling in urban environment, border security, counter-sniper and asymmetric missions.
Due to its light weight and innovative design, HITROLE® Light can be easily installed on the roof of all types of vehicles including Utility Vehicles, both tracked and wheeled, up to Main Battle Tanks as secondary armament. No penetration of the hull is required.
The weapons are primarily stabilized on two axis, and a universal ammunition box for the different calibers is fitted on the mount.
HITROLE® Light Fire Control System (FCS) consists of a modular sighting system including a Day TV camera, an Infra Red (IR) camera for night vision and an eye safe Laser Range Finder (LRF).
HITROLE® Light FCS architecture is open and provides growth potential for system upgrade.
Both sighting system and firing are computer assisted and operated from a protected position inside the vehicle through a multi function display and joystick.
The Gunner is assisted by a Fire Control Computer (FCC) with ballistic and cinematic computation as well as an auto-tracker. The digital servo system is based on Digital Signal Processing technology.
HITROLE® Light is designed to minimize power consumption in order to grant a very long mission period and it is EMC compliant to MIL-STD-461D. In an emergency HITROLE® Light can be manually operated.
Brussels Defense News YouTube
The fully reconfigured hull chassis and turret design integrate add-on armour and technical solutions offering AEP 55 level of protection. The vehicle can protect the crew from direct fire, anti-tank mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the latest-generation kinetic munitions.
The vehicle offers an anti-blast compartment for stand-by ammunition and stores for enhanced crew safety. The onboard state-of-the-art nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) system, fire-fighting equipment and anti-explosion systems further enhance the safety of the occupants. The vehicle is also equipped with a laser warning system.
Brussels Defense News YouTube
Observation and communication systems
The Centauro II turret is fitted with latest generation optronics including a panoramic commander’s sight, a gunner’s sight and a back-up sight for use in degraded mode.
ATTILA II panoramic periscope
ATTILA is a high performance panoramic periscope and commander sight for land platforms, integrating daylight, thermal IR and laser range finder channels. It is designed to provide tanks and combat vehicles with day and night observation and target acquisition capabilities. The system features a two-axis primary stabilisation which allows for operation from moving platforms with no reduction in performance. The latest version of the system incorporates a 3rd generation MWIR Thermal Imager and an HD zoom camera. Source leonardocompany.com
Lothar SD gunner system
LOTHAR is a modular, high performance, compact day and night sight designed for use with large calibre guns (from 23-30mm to 120-125mm). The aiming sight can be mechanically linked to the line of fire (typically lighter and lower cost turrets), or stabilised for installations within higher performance turrets. In these instances, stabilisation is provided by a high performance gyroscopic gimbal and allows the gunner to operate with the same high performance regardless of whether the vehicle is moving or stationary.
The sight provides the gunner and the FCS with all the information necessary for effective fire control, including target position, speed and range.
LOTHAR incorporates a LWIR cooled camera (MWIR optional), a double-FOV TV camera, and a 10km Laser Range Finder (LRF). Source leonardocompany.com
The vehicle also features radio communications system, intercom, and anti-radio-controlled IED (anti-RCIED) system.
SICCONA Command , Control and Navigation System
SICCONA is a Command , Control and Navigation System for the digitization of manoeuvres in Net Centric Warfare.
It is a Battle Management System installable on all vehicles of the Defence. SICCONA includes all modern systems of communication and provides the crew with precise and updated information on the area of operation.
This objective is achieved through the collection, integration and distribution of important data, like the position of friendly and enemy forces, passive and active obstacles, the condition of vehicles, to all units involved in the operation.
Engine and mobility
The Centauro II is equipped with an Iveco Vector 8V Euro III-compliant engine developing a power of 720hp (533kW) and torque of 2,500Nm. The engine is coupled to an automatic gearbox (seven forward and one reverse gear). It burns either diesel fuel or JP8 fuel supplied from anti-explosion tanks.
Iveco Vector 8V Euro III-compliant engine
Brussels Defense News YouTube
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. Source iveco-otomelara.com
ZF Ecomat 7HP902 transmission
For the transmission the choice went for the ZF Ecomat 7HP902, with seven forward
and one rear gears, a system well known to Iveco DV as it is installed on the Astra 8×8 truck fleet. The engine, a new generation compared to the original one, has a much higher power density, which gives a 250 kg weight saving considering the whole powerpack compared to the old Centauro, the new engine providing 720 hp, that is 180 hp more. Three battery bays are available in the chassis, two on the left and one on the right, each containing two batteries, two dedicated to the engine start, the other four providing power to onboard equipment. The CIO has chosen Li-Ion batteries, that provide 24 V AC current, have a 30% more capacity compared to lead batteries, and last for a much higher number of reload cycles.
The vehicle features a single-differential, twin-shaft driveline, as well as a hydro-pneumatic and independent suspension system. The wheels are fitted with disk brakes, while the tyres are equipped with a central tyre inflation system and variable function insert (VFI) run-flat system.
RID Rivista Italiana Difesa
The anti-tank vehicle has a maximum speed of 105km/h and can attain a maximum road range of 800km. It has the capability to negotiate a gradient of 60% and side slope of 30%. The vehicle offers a ground clearance of 0.40m.
The vehicle can climb vertical obstacles of 0.6m, cross a 2m-deep trench and ford a depth of 1.5m without preparation. The approach / departure angle of the vehicle is 40°.
Main material source army-technology.com
Revised Jul 28, 2018