Centauro represents the joint development effort of Iveco Fiat and Italy’s Oto Melara under the combined banner of the CIO
Together with the Ariete Main Battle Tank, the Dardo Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and the B1 Centauro tank destroyer, they form the core of the strength of the Italian armored forces. Centauro represents the joint development effort of Iveco Fiat and Italy’s Oto Melara under the combined banner of the CIO. Centauro has been in service since 1991, and has achieved much success through its operations in Iraq.
The main armament consists of the Oto Melara 105 mm caliber gyro-stabilized high-pressure, low-recoil gun equipped with a thermal sleeve and an integrated fume extractor, with 40 rounds: 14 ready rounds in the turret and another 26 rounds in the hull. The gun can fire standard NATO ammunition, including APFSDS 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.
Centauro was deployed in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia, where the design proved successful. Centauro was usually employed to escort motor convoys, for wide area control and for road patrols. Centauros were also deployed during operation Antica Babilonia, the Italian involvement in the Iraq War.