Italian B1 Centauro in Iraq

The Centauro is a wheeled tank destroyer designed for light to medium territorial defence and tactical reconnaissance.



It was developed by a consortium of manufacturers, the SocietÓ Consortile Iveco Fiat - Oto Melara (CIO). Iveco Fiat was tasked with developing the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for developing the turrets and weapon systems.



Centauro entered production in 1991 and there are approx 400 Centauro reconnaissance anti-tank vehicles (tank destroyers)  in service with the Italian Army. The Centauro is also in service in Spain and in the Oman.


The main armament consists of the Oto Melara 105 mm / 52 calibre gyro-stabilised high-pressure, low-recoil gun equipped with a thermal sleeve and an integrated fume extractor, with 14 ready rounds in the turret and another 26 rounds in the hull. The gun can fire standard NATO ammunition, including APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot) 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. The vehicle is also equipped with a four-barrelled smoke grenade launcher mounted on each side of the turret and a laser warning receiver.

The Centauro is equipped with an NBC (Nuclear, Chemical and Biological) warfare protection system which is integrated with the vehicle's air conditioning system.


B1 CENTAURO Specifications
Type Eight wheeled tank-destroyer for tactical reconnaissance and territorial defence
Manufacturer The Consorzio Iveco Fiat - Oto Melara
Crew 4
Armament Main gun 105mm 52 cal, two 7.62mm machine guns
Length 7.8m
Height 2.7m
Width 2.9m
Weight 24 tonnes
Powerplant Supercharged V12 diesel producing 512hp (382.2kW)
Performance Road speed 110km/h, range 800km