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The Centauro is a wheeled tank-destroyer. 400 are in service with the Italian Army and 84 with the Spanish Army.
The Centauro B1 tank destroyer was designed to carry out tactical reconnaissance and territorial defence tasks. The main mission of the Centauro heavy armored car is the protection of lighter vehicles and units of the Cavalry. It is not a reconnaissance vehicle, but a tank destroyer/wheeled tank. The cavalry unit is equipped with this vehicle which is fitted with a 105 mm high-pressure gyrostabilised gun and associated automated fire control system. It has high road mobility, a good power to weight ratio, a long range and good cross-country mobility. The Centauro carries a fully armed and equipped crew of 2 to 4 men, which makes it extremely flexible to use, especially in peacekeeping operations.
Vehicles in the Centauro family have a basic protection guaranteed to withstand 14.5 mm bullets 25 mm on the front section. This can be increased to 30 mm by bolting on additional protection. The Centauro was deployed in Somalia and former Yugoslavia and has proved its toughness and the suitability of its gun system for use in peacekeeping operations as well as in the reconnaissance tasks for which it was designed and developed. Because of their characteristics, these tanks have been used to escort motor convoys, for wide area control and for road patrols, and have proven rapid intervention capability in unforeseen crises.