Italian 3.0 Centauro II Procurement Remains Unfinalised
Italian 3.0 Centauro II procurement remains unfinalised
As the Italian MoD and the Iveco-Oto Melara (CIO) consortium continue negotiations, details remain undefined of a plan to acquire 40 8×8 Centauro II armoured vehicles in the 3.0 integrated configuration for the Italian Army.
A spokesperson for CIO (a 50:50 partnership between Iveco Defence Vehicles and Leonardo subsidiary Oto Melara) confirmed to Shephard that the consortium cannot forecast when the agreement is likely to be signed, adding: ‘The contract is still in the phase of negotiation and, nowadays [in the economic context of COVID-19], we still do not know how long this negotiation is going to be.’
CIO and the MoD have been discussing the agreement since late May when the Italian General Secretariat of Defence issued a EUR 1.16 billion (US$1.79 billion) contract authorisation to acquire 40 Centauro IIs armed with a 120mm gun.
This deal also includes the option for the procurement of additional 56 platforms.
Centauro II will replace the Centauro I, which was designed in the 1980s and has equipped the Italian Army since the 1990s.
The 3.0 integrated configuration features a more compact antenna for the counter-radio controlled IED system, and modifications to the fire-control system to allow the use of Rheinmetall DM11 programmable 120mm HE round. In contrast, the older Centauro I is armed with a 105mm gun.
The 120mm HE round consists of warhead with a programmable fuse as well as a ballistic cowl, tailfin assembly, drive band, combustible casing with propelling charge and an integrated data cable for programming.
Compared to the previous 2.0 configuration, the new version also enhances driver vision. Other features include Rheinmetall ROSY smoke dischargers and a new position for the Leonardo Hitrole Light RWS, in order to improve vision from the Leonardo Attila D panoramic sight.
Although CIO has conducted tests with the 3.0 vehicles, the spokesperson explained that the consortium cannot predict when the 8×8 wheeled platform will qualify for entry into service.