Category: Defence Industry
The Templar knights were strange characters indeed: half monks, half soldiers, ascetics and bankers, individually poor yet extremely rich as an order, they originally set out to win back Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre for Christianity
Their principal headquarters could be found in the city of Tomar, on the banks of the river Tago, inside a convent-castle.
Just a few kilometres from Tomar is Poligono di Santa Margarida, a large basin surrounded by low hills, where the blue of spring skies is obscured by low-hanging rain clouds which continuously creep in from the Atlantic and discharge themselves upon the first high grounds of the Spanish-Portuguese border.
The vegetation is reminiscent of Sardinia, with high eucalyptus trees which impregnate the air with their fragrance and shrubs of broom and pennyroyal. The red, clayey soil retains the heavy rains in large puddles.
This was the setting for the mobility and firing tests of the 105mm HITFACT turret mounted on the 8X8 Pandur II armoured vehicle, manufactured by the Austrian company Steyr and already used by the Portuguese army in a troop transport version.
Excellent results were achieved in all conditions, from stationary vehicle to stationary target to the more difficult situation of a moving vehicle shooting at a moving target. Spectacular scenes were also provided by the mobility demonstration, which included clearing a mud-filled trench and the steep slope of a dried-up gravelly riverbed, finished off with its return amidst sprays of muddy water.
The turret represents a brand new concept in some principal subsystems (electrical control systems, new, special barrel steel, the latest generation of fire control systems and recoil brakes) and is the fruit of close on 50 years experience in the area of 105mm guns and follows the production of approximately 500 Centauro turrets.
There to witness the tests was the National Armaments Director, a number of representatives from the Portuguese army and Defence Ministry, the Italian Military Attaché and representatives from the Italian Defence Ministry, not to mention an official American observer. The final day was dedicated to the press and local television channels, which were eager to find out all the technical details and the systemís special features.
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Iveco - Oto Melara Consortium - CIO
Oto Melara SpA
PANDUR II 8x8 (Wheeled armoured personnel carrier)
CENTAURO MGS 120 (Fire support vehicle)
B1 CENTAURO MGS 105 (Fire support vehicle)
CENTAURO 25/VCI (Infantry fighting vehicle)
CENTAURO 60 (Infantry fighting vehicle)
Hitfact (Antitank turret)
PANDUR II 6x6 (Wheeled armoured personnel carrier)
CENTAURO (Reconnaissance Vehicle)
Centauro VBM Freccia (Wheeled armoured personnel carrier)
CENTAURO (Wheeled armoured personnel carrier)
CENTAURO ACP (Command vehicle)
CENTAURO VCREC (Repair and recovery vehicle)
CENTAURO AMC (Mortar vehicle)
CENTAURO (Ambulance vehicle)
PANDUR II 6x6 (Command vehicle)
CENTAURO II MGS 120/105 (Fire support vehicle)
Hitfact II (Antitank turret)