A video appeared on the network showing a train composition loaded with B1 Centuro wheeled tank destroyers. They are made in Italy and according to reports on the net they are sourced from Italy. This is a delivery that has not been announced [not advertised] officially, neither from Rome nor from Kyiv. Reports on the web often use the term “secret” for this delivery.
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In fact, BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Italy has very rarely disclosed the type and number of weapons platforms donated to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Anyway, more Iveco VM90 vehicles are seen on the busy train.
At the moment, there is no official confirmation from either party of such a delivery. One of the first media to announce the news of the delivery of the Italian equipment after posting a video on Twitter was Clash Report. The video was published on May 20th. It is entirely possible that this video was recorded a few weeks ago and the real B1 Centauro is already in Ukraine [if they are intended there].
Although there is no official confirmation, netizens share that in recent months, any military equipment seen on the roads of Europe has ended up in Ukraine.
Undoubtedly, however, if the B1 Centauro ends up in Ukraine, Italy, as well as not a small part of the world, will be watching the performance of the gun in the war. The reason is that according to various reports, the B1 Centauro is considered to be perhaps the best-wheeled tank destroyer in the world.
Nicholas Drummond, a defense industry analyst and consultant specializing in Land Warfare says he will be watching the Italian tank destroyer‘s performance more than any other land vehicle in Ukraine. “If it does well, as I believe it will, it will establish the wider need to mount larger caliber guns on 8x8s,” adds the expert.
Russia with respect
Russian media also noted the published video of the alleged delivery of the B1 Centauro to Ukraine. Not a small part of them write with respect to the Italian tank destroyer. Avia.pro, for example, writes that the B1 Centauro “is one of the most powerful armored vehicles produced in Italy.” According to the Russian media, the Centauro is “one of the most effective means of warfare at long distances”, recalling that the Italian platform hits targets quite accurately at a distance of 3,000 meters.
The B1 Centauro ceased production in 2006 but is still in service. Apart from Italy, these tank destroyers are currently in Jordan, Oman, and Spain. It should be noted that Russia even wanted to acquire the Italian flagship of land power, and in 2012 it tested the B1 Centauro with a larger caliber – 120mm. In addition to Russia, the US is also involved in its own tests of this technique at the beginning of the new millennium. I.e. the fact that the two most powerful countries have an interest in the B1 Centauro is telling enough.
The B1 Centauro is operated by a crew of four. Its main gun is the Oto Melara 105 mm/52 rifled gun [Centauro], but it can also be armed with a 120mm version. As secondary armament, there are two 7.62mm machine guns. IVECO engine model V6 turbo-Diesel provides the vehicle with a power of 520 horsepower. Maneuverable and highly maneuverable, the B1 Centauro travels at a top speed of 108 km/h, with a full tank of fuel guaranteeing a range of 800 km.
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