Kentaurus (Centaur) AIFV
The Hellenic Armed Forces planned to replace their old BMP and M113 infantry fighting vehicles either partly or completely with a more modern system. The AIFV (Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle) is a tracked light armoured vehicle which serves as an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Hellenic Vehicle Industry S.A, developed a new Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle called the KENTAURUS (Centaur).
The Kentaurus Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) was a 19.8 ton vehicle with key characteristics such as lowest profile for maximum survivality, air transportability, high firepower, day/night and adverse weather combat capability and high first-round hit probability. KENTAURUS is powered by an MTU 6V18TE22 V90 liquid-cooled turb-charged 420 HP diesel engine, coupled to a ZF LSG 1000 fully-automatic six-speed transmission with integrated hydraulic brake and Renk final drives.
The Hellenic Vehicle Industry SA or ELBO unveiled the prototype of its new Kentaurus armored infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) in Feb 11, 2000. ELBO developed the AIFV on its own initiative an in collaboration with other European companies, including KUKA for the turret, MTU/ZF/Renk for the propulasion, STN Atlas for the weapon stablization and fire control system.
The E8 (KUKA) turret developed by Rheinmetall Landsysteme dimensions and weight were tailored to the needs of the Hercules C130 air-transportable AIFV Kentaurus for the Greek Army. The E8 turret provides threat conform ballistic protection. The E8 turret is equipped with 30mm machine cannon MK30-1 including double belt feeder (main armament), 7.62mm machine cannon and smoke grenade launcher. Armament is completely out of Greek production. The armament is fully stabilised. The E8 turret is equipped with a state-of-the-art fire control system consisting of a primary stabilised sensor head (with thermal imager, day sight CCD camera and laser range finder), ballistic computer, operation panel and appropriate display. The additional conventional aiming periscope in combination with three further periscopes provide an all round battle field observation capability to the gunner. All electro-optical turret sights are as well provided for the chassis situated Kentaurus commander. Optionally a turret remote operation capability can be provided for the commander. The E8 turret provides the AIFV Kentaurus with unlimited day and night fighting capability against moving targets even when on the move itself. The Hellenic Army planned to procure 300 Kentaurus AIFVs, and the Greek MoD initially agreed to buy 140. Due to budgetary constraints in Greece the previously awarded development contract for the Kentaurus armored infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) was cancelled in 2004. The Kentaurus IFV was a failure. The Greek Army wanted an IFV like CV 9030 or ASCOD, and came very close to get CV 9030. But the new government stopped everything because the deal was suspicious.
Now the Hellenic Army intended to procure used Leopard 1 A5 and Leopard 2 A4 tanks from the German inventory. Under this government-to-government contract, the provision of a certain number of MARDER AIFVs, also available from the German Army, wss under discussion in 2004. Rheinmetall DeTec AG offered the Greek authorities the MARDER 1 A3 AIFV, and more specific the upgraded MARDER MK 30. Having extensive system experience with MARDER systems, Rheinmetall DeTec is also the main systems supplier certified by the German authorities.
As the vehicles are already in the German Army inventory, the MARDER AIFV is ready to be fielded within very short period of time, together with the Leopard 2 A4 and Leopard 2 HEL main battle tanks. The systems will be upgraded with respect to protection, firepower and tactical mobility to meet performance requirements beyond the capabilities of comparable vehicles on the market (i.e. Warrior, ASCOD, CV-9030). Upgrade kits for the MARDER will be developed in close cooperation with the Greek defence industry. The MARDER AIFV will be in service with the German Armed Forces at least until 2025; therefore the required security of supply is assured.
The Centaurs, in Greek mythology, were a race of beings part horse part man, dwelling in the mountains of Thessaly and Arcadia. The centaurs were the offspring of Ixion and Nephelc (the rain-cloud), or of Kentauros (the son of these two) and some Magnesian mares of of Apollo and Hebe. They are best known for their fight with the Lapithae, caused by their attempt to carry off Deldameia on the day of her marriage to Peiritbous, king of the Lapithae, himself the son of Ixion. Theseus, who happened to be present, assisted Peirtthous, and the Centaurs were driven off (Plutarch, Theseus, 30; Ovid, Metam. xii. Jio; Diod. Sic. iv. 69, 70). In later times they are often represented drawing the car of Dionysus, or bound and ridden by Eros, in allusion to their drunken and amorous habits.
Their general character is that of wild, lawless and inhospitable beings, the slaves of their animal passions, with the exception of Pholus and Chiron. They are variously explained by a fancied resemblance to the shapes of clouds, or as spirits of the rushing mountain torrents or winds. As children of Apollo, they are taken to signify the rays of the sun. It is suggested as the origin of the legend, that the Greeks in early times, to whom riding was unfamiliar, regarded the horsemen of the northern hordes as one and the same with their horses; hence the idea of the Centaur as half-man, half-animal. Like the defeat of the Titans by Zeus, the contests with the Centaurs typified the struggle between civilization and barbarism.
|Maximum weight||19.8 ton|
|Engine||420hp MTU Diesel engine|
|Maximum speed||75 Km/h (street)|
|Armament||30 mm EBO cannon, 7.62 mm machine-gun (see below),Pyrkal smoke-grenade launchers.|
|FCS||Greek Toxotis computerized fire control system|
|Crew||3 + 8 maximum|
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