Home Americas Brazilian Army picks Italy’s Centauro II as its new 8×8 armored vehicle

Brazilian Army picks Italy’s Centauro II as its new 8×8 armored vehicle

Brazilian Army picks Centauro II for its VBC Cav-MSR 8×8 combat armored vehicle project
Centauro II vehicle in Italian Army service. Photo: Iveco Oto Melara

The Brazilian Army has selected the Italian-built Centauro II 8×8 armored vehicle as the winner of the Viatura Blindada de Combate de Cavalaria Sobre Rodas (VBC Cav-MSR 8×8) tender.

VBC Cav-MSR 8×8 is part of the Brazilian Army’s ongoing New Family of Armored on Wheels Project (NFBR), which aims to replace and rejuvenate the service’s armored vehicle fleet.

The contract with Italy’s Iveco Defence Vehicles for the first batch of 98 vehicles is expected to be signed by the end of the month, but Brazil will have options to buy up to 221 vehicles over the course of the program.

Brazil chose the Centauro II over the LAV 700 AG proposal submitted by General Dynamics Land Systems and the ST1-BR vehicle offered by China’s NORINCO.

It is worth noting that Iveco Defence Vehicles has been Brazil’s vehicle maker of choice for several years as the company is providing both the LMV-BR 4×4 tactical vehicles as well as the Guarani VBTP 6×6 amphibious armored vehicles.

Officially unveiled in 2016, Centauro II is the latest evolution of the Centauro family, armed with a third generation 120/45 mm gun, with integrated muzzle brake and semi-automatic loading system. The Iveco-Oto Melara consortium says the weapon system provides a fire power equivalent to that of most modern main battle tanks, and is capable of firing all latest generation 120 mm, NATO APFSDS and multi-role MP munitions.

With a crew of 4 and a weight of 32 tons, the vehicle reaches a top speed of over 100 km/h and has an autonomy of up to 800 kilometers.

The Centauro II is also already in service with the Italian Army, which has fitted the vehicle with a 120/45mm smooth-bore semi-auto loading cannon, coaxial 7.62mm machine guns, HITROLE-L remote controlled 7.62mm/12.7mm machine guns/40mm grenade launchers, and 40 mm chaff dispensers.

The Brazilian Army intends to create a Brazilian configuration of the Centauro II for the VBC Cav-MSR 8×8 project, with delivery of the first two prototypes scheduled shortly after contract signing and seven additional vehicles for further experimentation in the first two years. What is certain when it comes to the Brazilian configuration, is that it will have the same 120mm gun as the Italian variant.