Centurion Mk.5 AVRE
|This page is about the British medium tank Centurion Mk.5 AVRE. For other variants, see Centurion (Family).|
The Centurion Mk.5 Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers was designed for clearing minefields using a Giant Viper towed mine-clearance system, destroying fortified positions with its 165 mm L9A1 demolition gun capable of firing 60 lb (29 kg) HESH rounds, and overall providing cover and safe working space for the engineers. The AVRE was also equipped with a dozer blade for clearing up debris. In preparation for Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Centurion AVREs were uparmoured and remained in service until replaced by the Chieftain AVRE and Trojan vehicles in service.
Introduced to War Thunder in Update "Project X", the Centurion AVRE is one of the two vehicles utilizing the 165 mm L9A1 demolition gun (along with the American M728 CEV). The AVRE features standard Centurion series armour protection which is enhanced against chemical and kinetic rounds using ROMOR-A ERA plates on the turret and upper front plate of the hull. The ERA enhances protection against kinetic rounds by 30 mm and against chemical rounds by 300 mm. The AVRE performs much better in urban environments, as the very low muzzle velocity of the gun and quite poor mobility can cause issues on very large and open maps.
Survivability and armour
Overall, the armour on the AVRE is similar to that on the Centurion Mk 3 gun tank with three major differences: ROMOR-A ERA, composite side skirts and a dozer blade.
The ERA provides additional protection (300 mm HEAT, 30 mm KE) on key areas of the tank, namely the turret face and upper glacis plate, but this has little impact against most opponents in RB, due to the majority of shells at rank IV being of the kinetic energy (KE) variety. In AB, it may protect against the light tanks, for example, it reduces the efficiency of the BMP-1's main gun, which is also quite dangerous with aim assist when used as a follow-up for ATGMs. Unfortunately, the turret ERA will often fail to stop upgraded modern ATGMs with 700 mm of penetration. ERA also changes the visible profile of the turret, obscuring the weak points beneath the standard Centurion turret.
The composite side skirts provide a significant increase in protection against small calibre HEAT and autocannon fire, increasing it to the point where such rounds can no longer penetrate the side armour. They do not change the effect of medium tank rounds, as the additional protection simply isn't enough to stop them. They also do not cover the entirety of the sides, so they can be circumvented.
The dozer blade may seem unimportant at first glance as it consists of 70 mm of structural steel, not RHA, but this is not the case. The blade acts as spaced armour against most rounds aimed at the hull, adding around 60 mm against KE and 200 mm against HEAT. This can also be added to by the ERA on the front plate, overall providing greater than 400 mm of protection against HEAT rounds.
The dozer blade can also be used to easily create trenches with soft ground, which will initially conceal some of the hull and, with some time and effort given, completely shield it. It's also technically possible to dig walls and holes to force enemies to abandon their defences in order to pass through a corridor - not every tank can reverse back into a slope, and it is impossible to just peek around a corner, if every corner is also a trench; but such setups take a lot of time and it's impossible to dig into asphalt.
Overall, additions make the tank strong against tankers overzealously relying on HEAT and HEATFS to solve all of their problems.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The main weapon is a howitzer loaded with HESH. The shells are launched with very low muzzle velocity, which makes them difficult to aim in RB, and to aim past 800 m user has to manually adjust the scope, as otherwise it is impossible to see the target.
At close range the gun can be easily used to annihilate or severely cripple any tank. It is still recommended to aim at least for one second before firing, as HESH is only capable of penetrating one layer of armour, and will do no damage if it hits side skirts or some irrelevant add-ons on top of the hull.
Although the gun is difficult to aim, the shells are launched upwards and therefore can be fired over hills straight into enemy roof. This, coupled with penetration statistics close to the FV4005, make the AVRE near godlike in AB, as it is possible for this tank to bombard enemies straight in their cover, knowing where they are and the exact range towards them.
|165 mm ORD BL 6.5in L9A1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|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)
|53||50 (+3)||36 (+17)||22 (+31)||8 (+45)||1 (+52)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- Bottom racks 2 to 4 deplete from left to right.
- Packing 22 (+31) shells (racks 1 to 3 emptied) is a good compromise to have enough shells in combat while minimizing the number of shells onboard.
|7.62 mm L3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Centurion Mk.5 AVRE, despite the additional armour, is still essentially a Centurion in terms of survivability and mobility. The tank must be driven carefully to take full advantage of the environment and avoid being shot until it is able to close in to the enemy and take full advantage of its 165 mm gun. Its relatively low speed for a medium tank is not ideal with flanking, so simply getting into a safe position and ambushing unaware enemy tanks often leads to success. Your long reload speeds and lack of stabilizer limits your ability to advance and fire at the same time, and so coupled with your relatively weak armour means you should only advance when the area is clear, so that you can move to a new ambush position. A Mk.5 AVRE that ambushes a lone enemy will almost always win, assuming your first shot connects.
While the rangefinder can be used in conjunction with gun-sight range adjustment, the tank will struggle in medium to long distant combat, as the HESH shells lack any semblance of accuracy past around 400 m, with shells arcing such that shell placement becomes quite difficult along with shell travel time becoming increasingly high. However, against a completely static target and with good rangefinding crew skill, it is not impossible to land a direct hit up to 800 m. However, if you miss, your long reload speed means you may completely miss your chance at destroying your target, which can easily manoeuvre away without threat of damage, or simply return fire freely.
The tank is best played as a support tank in conjunction with the rest of your team. Becoming isolated while playing the Mk.5 AVRE is extremely dangerous, as your long reload speed, low speed, and weak armour means that you cannot withstand an attack by anything more than a single tank. If you fire at an enemy tank and are then caught by another tank, you are most likely done for. Additionally, failing to instantly destroy a target with your first shot is also extremely dangerous, whether you missed or have damaged an enemy. In that situation, you will want an allied tank to cripple the enemy or finish them off until you are able to either reload or retreat with your two smoke grenade barrages. The extra crew member over the other Centurion models may allow you to survive an extra shot, but an isolated Mk.5 AVRE is a dead Mk.5 AVRE. At the same time, the Mk. 5 AVRE's ability to help teammates repair increases its usefulness as a support tank.
Pros and cons
- Has a powerful 165 mm gun that fires shells with the explosive mass of 15.87 kg, equal to 20.31k g TNT, one hit can always deal serious damage to the enemy vehicles
- Low muzzle velocity can allow the trajectory to hit some enemies hiding behind the slope, especially in AB
- ROMOR-A ERA equivalent protection against 30 mm kinetic energy munitions and 300 mm chemical energy munitions allow the tank to sustain HEAT shots
- The dozer blade in front it can provide additional utility, especially to protect the lower glacis
- Composite side skirts help to survive light tank ambushes, very useful in the close range combat, especially in urban warfare
- Acceptable reload time, especially when compared to the FV4005
- Can help repair teammates, regardless of them being in your squad - this is because the AVRE is a Royal Engineers vehicle
- Good reverse speed
- Smoke grenade can be released twice
- A five-man crew, unlike other Centurion designs
- Terrible muzzle velocity makes this vehicle not very useful in spaced area, especially in RB
- Low top speed
- Centurion is a large tank = larger target
- Side armour is still very weak and won't stop medium tanks
- Based on Centurion Mk 5, which is similar as the Centurion Mk 3, so it has the similar weak spots as the Centurion Mk 3 (like the turret ring, which is extremely difficult, but not impossible to hit)
- Top of the engine deck can be easily penetrated by planes
- HESH is inherently unreliable, a hit to a wrong spot on a certain enemy tank chassis or armour may do no damage at all despite the shell's potential, while a close miss might annihilate the enemy tank regardless
In the 1960s, the British army felt the need for a modern multi-functional engineering vehicle. They chose the Centurion Mk 5 main battle tank base to replace the outdated engineering tank, which used a Churchill chassis. Since the engineering vehicle's tasks were rather specific, the Centurion chassis was given special equipment: the tank received a bulldozer scoop, a device was mounted above the scoop for laying fascines, the altered rear armour plate was equipped with a tow hitch, and a seat was installed next to the driver's seat for a new, fifth crew member – a navigator. The engineering vehicle, which was called the Centurion AVRE (abbreviated from Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) was designed to carry a special engineering gun capable of destroying fortifications, pillboxes and other fortified defensive positions. That gun was the short-barreled L9, a 165 mm calibre cannon with low recoil. The vehicle received an ammunition complement of 53 shots with high-explosive squash head (HESH) shells with huge destructive force – each charge contained almost 16 kg of explosives. The Centurion AVRE became the standard engineering vehicle for the British Army and participated in several armed conflicts, including the 1991 Gulf War. In the 1980s, Centurions AVRE were modernized, receiving additional armour including ROMOR reactive armour - this modification was used in operation "Desert Storm". The vehicle was retired in 1993.
- From Devblog
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- [Devblog] Centurion AVRE: Engineer at War
- [Wikipedia] Centurion
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] FV4003 Centurion AVRE
|Department of Tank Design|
|Sherman Firefly||Sherman Firefly · Sherman IC "Trzyniec"|
|Centurion||Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk.2 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Action X · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10|
|Challenger*||Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger DS|
|Achilles||Achilles · Achilles (65 Rg.)|
|Centurion-based||Conway · FV4005|
|Sherman Firefly||M4 Tipo IC · ▄Sherman Vc|
|Centurion||Centurion Mk.5/1 · Strv 81 · Strv 81 (RB 52) · ▄Strv 81 (RB 52) · Strv 101 · Strv 104** · Strv 105** · Sho't|
|See also||US Ordnance Department · Israeli Ordnance Corps · Vickers-Armstrongs Limited|
|*By successor, the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment|
|**Swedish modernizations incorporating innovations from the Israeli Sho't Kals.|
|Britain medium tanks|
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|Cromwell derivatives||Challenger · Avenger · Comet I · Comet I "Iron Duke IV" · Charioteer Mk VII|
|Centurion||Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk.2 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · Centurion Action X · FV4202|
|Vickers MBT||Vickers Mk.1 · Vickers Mk.3 · Vickers Mk.7|
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|Challenger 2||Challenger 2 · Challenger 2 (2F) · Challenger 2 TES · Black Night · Challenger 2E|
|Australia||A.C.I · A.C.IV · Centurion Mk.5/1|
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|Medium tanks||A.C.I · Grant I · Cromwell V (RP-3) · Sherman IC "Trzyniec" · A.C.IV · Comet I "Iron Duke IV"|
|Centurion Mk.2 · ▄Strv 81 (RB 52) · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk.5/1 · ▄Sho't Kal Dalet · Centurion Action X|
|Khalid · Challenger DS|
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