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Being shown at Eurosatory for the first time is the Centauro II (8x8) mobile gun system (MGS).
This has been developed to meet the requirements of the Italian Army by CIO (Consortium Iveco Oto), which was established to handle all of the Italian Army tracked and wheeled armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) programmes. CIO consists of Iveco Defence Vehicles and Oto Melara, with the latter now trading as Leonardo (External Stand D501).
For the Centauro II MGS, Leonardo is responsible for the complete turret and associated weapon system, while Iveco is responsible for the hull and driveline. The first example of the Centauro II MGS was integrated at the Iveco facilities in Bolzano.
The new three-person turret is armed with a 120mm/45 calibre smoothbore gun that can fire standard NATO ammunition as well as the latest natures such as the DM11 high-explosive with a programmable fuze. The commander and gunner are provided with a stabilised day/ thermal sighting system with integrated laser rangefinder. The brand-new hull has a higher level of ballistic and mine protection.
It is powered by an Iveco diesel developing 720hp, coupled to an ZF automatic transmission, which gives a maximum road speed of 105km/h.
One prototype has been built and this should complete its extensive firing and mobility trials by the end of this year.
The Italian Army requirement is for 136 Centauro II MGS that will replace the currently deployed 105mm Centauro MGS, which is in use by Italy, Spain, Jordan and Oman.
When fielded, the Centauro II will provide the Italian army with a step change in capability.
CHRISTOPHER F FOSS/IHS Janes