Centauro I 120
|This page is about the Italian light tank Centauro I 120. For other versions, see Centauro (Family).|
The B1 Centauro da 120, also known as the Centauro MGS, originated as a test vehicle made by OTO Melara in the late 1990s which experimented with the new HITFACT MK1 turret, equipped with an OTO 120/45 cannon, modern FCS, improved optics and other improvements. The plan was to convert a small batch of Italian army B1 Centauros, which had access to a 105 mm cannon; however, the Italian army did not see a need for the upgrade as the existing Centauro vehicles met their requirements. As a result, the B1 Centauro da 120 continued to be used for testing purposes and was showcased at military conventions like IDEX, in the hope of attracting potential foreign buyers. Ultimately, the only nation to adopt this variant was Oman, which purchased 9 units for the Royal Omani Guard. The B1 Centauro da 120 continued to undergo testing and served as a stepping stone towards the development of the B2 Centauro.
Introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury", the main features of the B1 Centauro da 120 are its incredible mobility and 5-second reload. It is highly versatile, allowing for a range of playstyles such as flanking or sniping, where your mobility at the start of a match means you can get to spots much quicker than your teammates or opponents. In terms of armour, the vehicle is vulnerable to tank APFSDS and HE rounds, but it comes with applique armour that provides protection against autocannon and heavy machine gun fire, offering some defence against IFVs. The armament consists of a 120 mm cannon, as well as 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns mounted on the turret.The vehicle is equipped with a laser rangefinder and stabilizer, enabling accurate firing on the move and allowing for quick shots against unsuspecting enemies. The second-generation thermals and night vision devices provide improved visibility compared to the earlier Centauro variants. Overall, the B1 Centauro da 120 is a solid platform and a valuable addition to any top-tier Italian lineup.
Survivability and armour
The armour of the Centauro I 120 is the same as the previous Centauros, mediocre against everything but calibres smaller than 14.5 mm HMG fire. It has additional armour plates which give it decent armour protection to shrapnel fragmentation as well as autocannons. However, it is vulnerable to overpressure. The lack of armour is however compensated by adopting a playstyle based on the increased mobility to position your vehicle in unexpected spots. This is what the Centauros excel at. Fast speed, manoeuvrability and relatively small profile helps it disguise, move and stay under cover at almost all times.
- High Hardness Rolled Armour
- Aluminium alloy 7020
- Composite Screens
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||15 mm (80°)|| 15 mm Top
15 mm Bottom
|15 mm||10 - 15 mm|
|Turret|| 20 mm Turret front
20-40 mm Gun mantlet
|20 mm||20 mm||20 mm|
|Cupola||20 mm||20 mm||20 mm||20 mm|
- The wheels and suspension bars are 10 mm thick.
- The rear of the turret is covered with 5 mm of structural steel.
|Composite Appliqué Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 30 mm (80°) upper glacis
50 mm (44°) lower glacis
| 30 mm Top
50 mm Bottom
|Turret|| 50 mm Turret front
5 mm Gun mantlet
|5-30 mm||5 mm||5 mm|
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Like the previous Centauros, it has one of the best mobility for wheeled vehicles. It has the same performance as the Blindo Armata B1 Centauro despite the additional armour and a heavier gun. It still lacks performance on snow and somewhat on sand. However, it has the best weight/power ratio for wheeled vehicles of similar size. It should be noted that the MGS, as previous Centauros, is not amphibious.
Modifications and economy
Unlock order recommendations
The order of modifications should be well thought out. Below is a guide of which modifications to unlock first, but it is just a recommendation and can be modified or adapted depending on the tank commander's preferences.
One tier 1 modification needs researched before you can move on to tier 2 but there are three modifications in tier 1 that are very heavily recommended to unlock before moving on. These are Improved parts - one of the most important overall because the tank can not be repaired fully without it, DM33 because as an APFSDS round it has a much higher effectiveness against well armoured tanks at the BR that have NERA and light ERA, and NVD because it allows access to both gunner and commander thermal sights for easier spotting of enemy tanks. Again, it is highly recommended to research these three modifications before moving on to tier 2 even though you technically only need one of them. A recommended order is DM33 then parts then NVD. After this moving on to tier 2 is recommended.
Three modifications from tier 2 are needed to move on to tier 3 and these should be Airstrike so upon death you can spawn a helicopter or jet to support your team against enemy ground targets, helicopters, and jets. A second choice would be LR/LWS because the laser rangefinder allows for taking accurate shots at long range with a better first shot hit probability. The third could be either adjustment of fire for increased accuracy. After three are researched moving on to tier 3 would be a good choice. FPE can be an afterthought due to recent changes in the game allowing you to bring a single FPE canister, but this can be up to the Centauro commander if they decided they want a second charge.
Only two modifications are needed from tier 3 to move on to tier 4. Improved optics should definitely be put off for later but of the other three none of them is a bad pick. Elevation mechanism probably isn't necessary in most cases so crew replenishment to allow the replacing of a knocked out crew member and filters for increased mobility are probably the most logical picks. After two tier 3 mods are unlocked the player should move on to more useful ones in tier 4.
Tier 4 has a few useful modifications, particularly the CL3143 APFSDS round which is one of the very best APFSDS rounds in the game. The engine modification should also be prioritized as well as the smoke grenade modification. After these three are researched, which are recommended to be unlocked in that order, then it is time to go back and get any modifications that haven't been unlocked yet.
Some of the more useful modifications that likely haven't been unlocked yet include transmission, tires, artillery support, and horizontal drive. There are also less useful modifications that should be saved for last including suspension, brake system, and improved optics. Now you have a fully upgraded vehicle, good job!
The Centauro I 120 has access to the powerful 120 mm OTO Melara 120/45 smoothbore cannon, the same cannon mounted on the Ariete MBT. It has the same handling as it utilizes the same ammunition and has the same ballistic performance.
|120 mm OTO Melara 120/45||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The Centauro I 120 has access to a wide variety of ammunition which are the deadliest at the game, specially the CL3143.
- DM12A1: this is the starter HEATFS round when it comes stock. It can be considered mediocre as the MBTs faced at the battle rating are more than capable of withstanding it. However, it is specially useful when dealing at long distances and when lightly armoured vehicles are seen (SPAA for example) as they will be destroyed because of overpressure damage once hit.
- DM33: this is a round seen in most NATO MBTs in the game (or similar to them), it has decent performance and is able to kill pretty much everything it faces with exception of Russian MBTs with CONTACT-5 ERA (unless the K5 is destroyed first).
- CL3143: this is the best performing round. It is able to penetrate and destroy all MBTs in the game, even Russian vehicles with CONTACT-5 ERA.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|33||21 (+12)||9 (+24)||0 (+33)||No|
- Contrary to previous Centauros, the MGS does not have a side ready rack.
The MGS is armed with the already seen MG42/59 and a newly mounted M2HB. As seen in previous Centauros, the 7.62 mm are only effective against low flying aircraft and obstacle removal, they are inefficient for anything else. However, the M2HB is a nice addition to the anti-aircraft capabilities and even anti-tank capabilities. It is able to damage gun barrels and tracks upon continuous firing and able to take down SPAA like the Tunguska, Roland SAM and ADATS due to their low armour.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm Beretta MG42/59|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Centauro I 120 should be played as the rest as the Centauros but not quite. Speed, firepower and low profile should be used to perform flanking manoeuvres, get quickly into sniping positions and surprise the enemy.
As a flanker:
The role is pretty straight forward: use your speed and agility to get behind the enemy, cause confusion and engage them as fast as you can. The MGS, like the other Centauros, does not have the issue of needing to stop in order to make a successful flanking. Thanks to the two-plane stabilizer, it is able to fire while moving in order to make the enemies' life difficult when engaging you.
As a sniper:
Like previous Centauros, this is nothing new as the use of thermals, really good zoom sights, fast muzzle velocity rounds and laser rangefinder make this one of the easiest "point-and-click" vehicle in the game. It is recommended to utilize APFSDS when doing long range engagements all the times. Not only for the fact it has much better penetration than the HEATFS but also because of the muzzle velocity. The speed makes it easier to aim than the HEATFS.
This is nothing new for any of the Italian wheeled vehicles. Spawn, rush as fast as possible a cap point, capture, leave as fast as possible. This can be done really easily with this Centauro despite what looks like a "sluggish" Centauro. The MGS should not be underestimated in terms of speed.
Pros and cons
- 120 mm APFSDS offers improved penetration and damage over the 105 mm gun
- Extremely fast and mobile on road
- Has night vision devices and generation 1 gunner thermals
- Good turret traverse speed
- Smoke grenades cover player when there is danger
- 12.7 mm MG is effective against similar light vehicles/helicopters
- An aced crew can fire the second best APFSDS round in the game every five seconds
- Access to the scouting ability
- Little to no protection against most projectiles
- Vulnerable to overpressure damage
- Tall and long
- Very sluggish on soft terrain (mud, snow or sand)
- Rearward turret placement, sometimes frontal hull is exposed while turret is still behind cover
- Only -6 degrees of gun depression
- Stock grind is difficult with vehicle having low manoeuvrability, thin armour and stock HEATFS before modifications are unlocked
- High recoil when firing from the sides or rear of the vehicle, knocking the sights off target
The story of the B1 Centauro MGS starts during the late stages of the Cold War, there was a need of up gunning the B1 Centauro, already in service in the Italian army, so the Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) would take lead. An evaluation of sorts would begin in which the B1 Centauro would have an entirely new turret applied to it. The new turret would be called "HITFACT 105-120 mm (LOW RECOIL FORCE TURRET)", the turret had almost the same weight as the 105 mm turret of the B1 Centauro series (1/2/3), but with an increase in ballistic protection. The new cannon replaced the standard 105 mm cannon with an Italian-made 120 mm one (this brought the firepower on par with the majority of MBTs).
The turret was made in such a way that it could easily be installed on pretty much anything that could support it, and since it was lightweight this really allowed it to outclass a lot of what it would face. Another reason it being lightweight helped it, was how it had little to no effect to its mobility, which meant the best of both speed and firepower could be achieved. Among other changes, the Hitfact turret would incorporate many advancement that would not be prevalent on many vehicles of its class before.
The gun would controlled by a new FCS, which included a gunner's self-stabilized day and night IR thermal camera periscope, with an integral eye-safe laser rangefinder. On the turret of the MGS, there is also numerous periscopes positioned at 360°, which can be used by both the gunner and the commander. The MGS is also capable of firing all NATO standard 120 mm munitions, and has shown it can fire rounds such as DM11, a high explosive round with a programmable fuse. One last noteworthy addition were the appliqué screens around the vehicle, which it's said can protect against low calibre autocannon fire.
The MGS would first be shown to the public in its official debut, at IDEX 2003. During the course of its development, the MGS's would enter limited production, and be used by the Italian army, mainly for testing, such as how a 120 mm version of the Centauro would be(this later on lead to the development of the B2 Centauro). Due to this, the B1 Centauro MGS would change and be offered for export, and as it was being showed in multiple expos, it ended up getting picked up by the Royal Omani Guard. It is not known how many they currently have in service, but what is known is that they decided to repaint them in a tan/brownish pattern to better suit its operational environment. Other than that, Leonardo has kept on marketing the turret system on multiple different hulls, such as one being on the Patria AMV and another being presented on top of a German Marder.
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|Centauro||Centauro I 105 · Centauro I 105 R · Centauro I 120 · VRCC|
|Dardo||Dardo · VCC-80/30 · VCC-80/60|
|Other||C13 T90 · R3 T106 FA|
|OF-40||OF-40 · OF-40 Mk.2A · OF-40 (MTCA)|
|Ariete||Ariete (P) · Ariete · Ariete PSO · Ariete AMV|
|Tank Destroyers||M113A1 (TOW)|
|SPAA||R3 T20 FA-HS · SIDAM 25 · SIDAM 25 (Mistral) · OTOMATIC|
|*Built by OTO Melara in La Spezia under the Alinavi S.p.A. consortium|
|Italy light tanks|
|L6/40||L6/40 · L6/40 (31 Rgt.)|
|Autoblindo Fiat-Ansaldo||AB 41 · AB 43|
|Fiat 6614/6616||FIAT 6614 · AUBL/74 · AUBL/74 HVG|
|R3 Capraia||R3 T106 FA|
|Centauro||Centauro I 105 · Centauro I 105 R · Centauro I 120 · VRCC|
|Freccia||VBC (PT2) · Freccia|
|IFV||C13 T90 · Dardo · VCC-80/60 · VCC-80/30|
|USA||▄M3A3 · ▄M24 · ▄M18|