|Manufacturer:||ELBO, Hellenic Vehicle Industry SA|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Tracked armoured personnel carrier|
ELBO, Hellenic Vehicle Industry SA, has developed, as a private venture, an armoured infantry fighting vehicle called the Kentaurus. The first prototype of this was completed late in 1998 and shown in public for the first time in October 1998.
The Kentaurus has been designed as the basis for a complete family of full-tracked armoured fighting vehicles, which will be able to undertake a wide range of battlefield roles.
Late in 2002 the Hellenic Ministry of Defence awarded ELBO a contract to complete development of the Kentaurus armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) for the Hellenic Army.
Kentaurus was originally developed as a private venture by ELBO with considerable assistance from a number of key sub-contractors, mainly in Germany and the UK.
The first prototype was completed in late 1998 and in 2000 underwent a four-week firepower and mobility evaluation for the Hellenic Army with a civilian crew.
In mid-2001 the official report of the trials was completed and this identified a number of areas in which the vehicle could be further improved to meet the requirements of the Hellenic Army.
In parallel, ELBO was also studying a number of improvements as a result of its own trials that would further improve the capabilities of the Kentaurus.
With the future introduction of the Leopard 2 MBT, the Hellenic Army requires a new AIFV with improved armour, mobility and firepower.
The Kentaurus development contract, awarded in August 2002, ran for a period of two years and is expected to cover improvements in the area of firepower and mobility. It will also have the same command, control and navigation system as the Leopard 2 MBT.
As of mid-2005, it is understood that all work on the Kentaurus had ceased.
The hull of the Kentaurus AIFV is of all-welded steel armour construction with the driver seated front left, power pack to his right, turret in the centre and offset to the right and the troop compartment at the rear.
The standard vehicle has ballistic protection against 25 mm APDS projectiles fired from a range of 400 m over the frontal arc and full protection from 7.62 × 51 mm small arms fire through a full 360º.
If the user requires a higher level of protection, additional add-on armour could be mounted on the hull and turret. Against indirect fire, the hull provides protection against 155 mm HE projectiles. In addition, the vehicle provides a high level of protection against non-direction anti-personnel mines. The vehicle also has a low radar and infra-red signature.
As an option, and in order to reduce the behind-armour effects of penetrating projectiles, fragments and hollow charges, the crew compartment and turret can be fitted with spall liners.
The driver enters and leaves his compartment via a hatch cover above his position. For driving closed down there is an Rheinmetall Defence Electronics ODS uncooled thermal imager combined with a CCD day camera. As a back-up, one wide-angle Thales 2100 Mk 29 day periscope with a laser filer is provided.
In addition, the driver has a fully adjustable seat and steers the vehicle using a steering wheel. The commander is seated to the immediate rear of the driver and he leaves the vehicle via the troop compartment. If required, a roof hatch can be provided. As an option, the vehicle commander can be provided with a monitor and a control box with joystick in co-operation with the fire-control system, in order to have the same view as the gunner and to take control and move the turret if required.
The power pack consists of the German MTU 6V 183 TE22 V-90 liquid-cooled turbocharged diesel developing 420 hp at 2,300 rpm coupled to a ZF LSG 1000 fully automatic six-speed transmission with integrated steering system and hydraulic brake.
The final drives are made by Renk. The complete power pack, consisting of engine, transmission and part of the cooling system, can be removed from the Kentaurus in about 15 minutes.
The Type E8 one-man turret has been developed by Rheinmetall Landsysteme and is of a low-profile design. Main armament comprises a fully-stabilised Mauser 30 mm MK 30F cannon which has been manufactured in Greece by EBO for some years with 200 rounds (100 + 100) of ready use ammunition being provided, with another 196 rounds in reserve. The gunner can select either single shot or burst modes of fire.
Other weapons, however, can be installed in place of the Mauser cannon, for example, the US ATK Gun Systems Company 30 mm Bushmaster II, which has already been built in production quantities.
A 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun, manufactured by EBO, is mounted coaxial with the main armament and is provided with 500 rounds of ready use ammunition with another 500 rounds in reserve.
Other coaxial weapons can be installed, for example, a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Turret traverse and weapon elevation is all electric with manual controls for emergency use.
Mounted either side of the turret is a bank of four 76 mm smoke/fragmentation grenade launchers which are manufactured by Pyrkal and are fitted as standard on all Greek armoured vehicles.
In the basic turret configuration, the Thales Land & Joint Systems Sabre day/night sighting system is fitted, but as an option the turret can be fitted with a state-of-the-art TOXOTIS digital fire-control system with an independent line of sight which has been manufactured by Rheinmetall Defence Electronics.
TOXOTIS consists of a two-axis stabilised sensor platform which incorporates a two field-of-view second-generation thermal sight, CCD camera, eyesafe laser range-finder, inertial sensors, weapon stabilisation system and a digital fire-control computer. The gunner is provided with a monitor, and also three observation periscopes.
Other turret options include a laser-warning system with a directional indicator; integrated command and control system; launcher rail on left side of turret for two Stinger fire-and-forget surface-to-air missiles; remote control of the turret via a joystick and monitor which enables the infantry section to be increased from eight to 10 men, so that the total crew will consist of 13 men.
The troop compartment is at the rear of the hull with five infantrymen seated on the left side and three on the right side (or six for the increased infantry section). The infantry section commander, seated at the right corner of the vehicle, normally dismounts with the troops.
As an option, single foldable seats for all of the infantrymen can be installed with four-point fastener safety belts for the whole crew.
The infantry section compartment can be entered from the rear by means of two hinged doors that can be opened, closed and secured by one man. Above the doors are two Thales 2100 Mk 29 day periscopes for observation of the terrain, prior to opening the doors.
Suspension is of the torsion bar type with six dual rubber-tyred road wheels either side, drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and three track-return rollers.
Rotary dampers are installed at the first, second and sixth road wheel stations and an automatic adjustable hydraulic track tensioning system, operated by the driver, is provided. All of this is provided by Horstman Defence Systems.
The vehicle is fitted with 380 mm Diehl Type 224M tracks which are of the double-pin type and have replaceable pads.
Standard equipment includes a fire detection/suppression system for the engine compartment, diesel-operated heater unit for the crew compartment and a ventilation system.
As an option, the vehicle can be fitted with an NBC and air conditioning system developed by AMETEK Aircontrol Technologies and a fire detection and suppression system for the crew compartment.
The basic chassis can be used for a wide range of other roles and can be fitted with different turrets such as, light tank, air defence, ambulance, anti-tank missile, armoured engineer, armoured logistics carrier, command post vehicle, mortar carrier and recovery.