The Centauro is a family of Italian military vehicles originating from a wheeled tank destroyer for light to medium territorial defense and tactical reconnaissance
According to pictures released on the Facebook account of the Jordanian armed forces, the Italian-made Centauro 8×8 105mm anti-tank armored vehicle is now fully operational with the Jordanian army. In November 2018, the Spanish company SDLE (Star Defence Logistics & Engineering) has won a multi-million Euros contract for the reactivation, maintenance and modernization of 80 first-generation Centauro Cavalry Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) for the Royal Jordanian Army.
The fleet of 80 second-hand Centauro CRVs (Cavalry Reconnaissance Vehicles), from Italy, has been modernized with a new fire control system and thermal cameras. In addition to the modernization and supply of spare parts and special tools for the Centauro CRV, SDLE will provide the necessary advice and training for the reactivation of the vehicles by the Royal Jordanian forces.
The development of the Centauro started in the 1980s, according to a new requirement of the Italian army. The vehicle has been designed and manufactured by the Italian Consortium IVECO – Oto Melara. Iveco was in charge to develop the hull and propulsion systems while Oto Melara was responsible for the development of the turret and weapon systems. Production of the Centauro commenced late in 1990 with the first production vehicles being completed in 1991. The Centauro is in service with Italy, Jordan, Oman, and Spain.
The design of the Centauro was very unique using an 8×8 wheeled chassis fitted with a tank turret to offer a new fire support vehicle with a high level of mobility and firepower. The vehicle has a crew of four with a driver seated at the front of the hull with the engine to his right and separated from the remainder of the vehicle by a fireproof bulkhead. The turret is mounted on the roof of the hull slightly to the rear of the vehicle’s centerline, with the commander on the left, gunner on the right, and loader forward and below the gunner.
The hull and the turret of the first generation of Centauro are of all-welded steel armor construction which provides protection against firing of small arms up to 14.5mm caliber and artillery shell splinters. In option, the vehicle can be fitted with bolt-on appliqué armor increases protection against 30 mm rounds.
The main armament of the Centauro 1 consists of one Oto-Melara 105 mm 52 caliber rifled gun with a long recoil system that fires standard NATO tank ammunition. One 7.62mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the cannon and two other 7.62mm machine guns are mounted on the roof of the turret.
The Centauro is powered by an Iveco V6 turbo-charged after-cooled diesel engine developing 520 hp. coupled to ZF 5 HP 1500 automatic transmission with 5 forward and 2 reverse gears. The vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of 105 km/g with a maximum cruising range of 800 km.