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The Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) has announced that on 27 June 2024 it signed a contract with the Italian General Secretariat of Defence (Segredifesa)/ National Armaments Directorate to supply 28 Centauro II wheeled tank destroyers to the Italian Army.

The contract, which also includes a 10-year integrated logistic support package, marks the completion of the Italian Army’s total requirement for 150 Centauro IIs.

The Centauro II, the first 10 of which were ordered in 2018, “represents the state-of-the art in terms of performance, engagement capability, mobility, interconnection and ergonomics, in addition to the proven maximum crew protection”, according to a CIO press release.

Developed from the original 105 mm- and then 120 mm-armed Centauro, the Centauro addresses the Italian Army’s need for an AFV with the firepower of a main battle tank but with more strategic mobility, allowing it to be deployed on a wide variety of national security missions, from peacekeeping and support missions to high-intensity warfare operations.

Equipped with a new powerpack delivering 720 hp and featuring H-drive technology to improve its off-road manoeuvrability – a hallmark of the 8×8 Centauro family – the Centauro II features an entirely digital architecture, a new generation Hitfact turret armed with a 120 mm gun and digital command, control and communication (C3) systems, making it “the most innovative and interoperable vehicle in service with the Italian Army”, according to CIO.

When the 28 Centauro IIs just ordered have been delivered, the Italian Army will have a fleet of 150 such vehicles. (Photo: Leonardo)