The Centauro II triumphs in Brazil: 98 examples for the Exército Brasileiro

Today, November 25, the Brazilian Army (EB), through the Logistics Command (COLOG)/Materials Directorate (DMat), announced that the Centaur II of the Iveco-OTO Melara Consortium (CIO), won the international design competition for the 8X8 medium cavalry armored fighting vehicle (VBC CAV – MSR).

Developed by the IOC, a “joint venture” between the Italian Iveco Defense Vehicles (IDV) and Leonardo, the Centauro II is considered the reference in wheeled armored tank destroyers, as it is the only one developed specifically for this purpose and not a vehicle armored vehicle adapted. Developed as a successor to the B1 Centauro, it has an approximate weight of 30 tons and is fitted with a third generation Leonardo HITFACT MkII turret ( also offered for the modernization of Leopard 1A5 tanks ), armed with a 120- mm., mm and 45 calibers, and is in operation in the Italian Army and is under negotiation with several countries.

The Centauro II prototype alongside its predecessor, the Centauro B1. (Photo: IOC)

The VBC Cav project

The project, approved on December 11, 2020, with ORDER – EME/C Ex Nº 275 but which has its origins in Working Group (GT) NOVA COURAÇA, in 2019, refers to the acquisition of 98 vehicles (originally there were 221), with the relative logistic support (SLI), and a simulation system.

In first public consultation, held between 22 March and 31 May 2021 55 companies showed interest and 28 models were offered, but this number was reduced to about half in the refinement of the project, carried out on November 16th. Only six models were presented in the official delivery of the proposals largely due to the requirement that the vehicle was already in series production, which was cleverly taken by the EB to reduce the risks ( and as highlighted by this author in May ), and having the “short list”, published on 7 October with three candidates: Centaur II , LAV 700 AG And ST1-BR .

The choice

The successful proposal had several operational and logistical advantages over competitors (which also had specific advantages), including having the only vehicle developed (since its conception) to be a combat vehicle, as required by the EB; the only one to offer as armament the powerful 120mm gun ; already have a complete facility for production and logistic support (with IDV’s Sete Lagoas unit); it’s a commonality of components to the Guarani vehicle which can classify them as belonging to the same family .

Another advantage presented is that Brazil will become the reference for the model in South America and its possible acquisition by the countries of the region could have the participation of Brazilian companies in the supply of components and services, as well as promote the export of Guarani 6X6 vehicles.

The large commonality of components between Centauro II and Guarani may favor their exports (Photo: Argentine Army)

The offset program offered by the IOC includes technology transfers in different areas, with investments in the Juiz de Fora factory of the Brazilian Military Material Industry (IMBEL), for the production of 120 mm ammunition, and an agreement with the company AEL Sistemas for the development of the simulator and the nationalization of electronic components, among others.

Next steps

The initial program

  • foresees the receipt of the first two vehicles (in Italy) at the beginning of next year and the delivery of the phased batches by 2038, with the first assembled in Brazil to be delivered in 2027, with destination to the following Brigades:
  • 1st Mechanized Cavalry Brigade (1st Bda C Mec), “Brigada José Luiz Menna Barreto”, of Santiago (RS), belonging to the Southern Military Command (CMS): 42 vehicles in six sub-units;
  • 4th Mechanized Cavalry Brigade (4th Bda C Mec), “Guaicurus Brigade”, of Dourados (MS), belonging to the Western Military Command (CMO): 42 vehicles in six sub-units; And

1st Jungle Infantry Brigade (1st Bda Inf Sl), “Brigada Lobo D’Almada”, of Boa Vista (RR), belonging to the Amazonian Military Command (CMA): 14 vehicles in two subunits;

These deadlines, quantities and recipients can (and should) be modified according to the new possibilities and needs of the Force.
The signing of the contract, initially scheduled for November 28 or 29, was set for December 5, at the Army Command (QGEx), “Forte Caxias”.Model of the Centauro 2, now in EB colours, on display at the IDV factory in Sete Lagoas (Photo: IDV) Editor’s note

: Tecnologia & Defesa magazine thanks the Brazilian Army and all participating companies for providing information that allowed our readers to follow the entire process quickly and reliably. 

The Centauro II triumphs in Brazil: 98 examples for the Exército Brasileiro