Military Review

Italian Porcupine: SAU Centauro 155 / 39 LW Porcupine

2 June 2011 was held in Rome, a military parade dedicated to the 65 anniversary of the proclamation of the republic and the 150 anniversary of the unification of Italy. During this event, not only combat vehicles in service were shown, but also several prototypes of advanced equipment. At the parade, the prototype of the new Centauro 155 / 39 LW Porcupine (Porcupine) prototype was demonstrated for the first time. The Porcupine ACS is another combat vehicle based on the Centauro chassis, already used in several armored vehicles projects. In the near future, in connection with the decommissioning of old equipment, the main self-propelled artillery installations of the Italian army will be the German-made PzH 2000, assembled under license in Italy. The Porcupine ACS is created taking into account the need to supplement and then replace foreign equipment and preserve the combat potential of artillery.

The new development of the CIO consortium, which includes Iveco Fiat and OTO Melara, is based on a modified “wheeled” chassis tank»B1 Centauro. The 8x8 chassis is equipped with bulletproof armor similar to the Centauro base car. When creating a new project, the original armored hull underwent minimal changes associated with increasing the level of protection against mines. The Centauro 155/39 LW self-propelled guns are equipped with an Iveco MTCA 520 hp diesel engine. Such a power plant in combination with a wheeled undercarriage provides a 25-ton combat vehicle with sufficiently high running characteristics. On the highway, the Porcupine self-propelled gun can accelerate to a speed of about 100 km / h and overcome up to 800 kilometers at a single refueling. It is easy to see that the mobility characteristics of the new self-propelled guns remained at the level of the “wheeled tank”, which served as its base.

In the rear of the armored hull, as on the original B1 Centauro, the Porcupine ACS is equipped with a rather large turret with a weapon. When you first look at the promising Italian SAU, your eyes linger on the turret with the original gun mask. Both the tower and the mask are assembled from several straight metal sheets, which gives them a distinctive appearance with many straight edges. In addition, the gun mask has a much larger size than similar units on existing self-propelled artillery installations. The reasons for the use of such an original tool mask were not called.

The design features of the tower and the chassis led to specific capabilities for the guidance of guns. Systems inside the turret can raise the howitzer barrel to an elevation of 75 ° from the horizontal and lower it to 5 ° below it. At the same time, the tower has limited horizontal guidance angles: due to the peculiarities of balancing the chassis and the machine as a whole, as well as due to a number of other structural moments, the tower turns only 15 ° to the right and left of the longitudinal axis of the self-propelled gun. This greatly limits the combat capabilities of the machine when working at the front edge, but it has almost no effect on shooting from closed positions, for which it is primarily intended. The same can be said about the time required to transfer the car from a traveling position to a combat one. The first shot is possible three minutes after arriving at the position.

The main weapon of the Porcupine self-propelled artillery gun is the 155-mm howitzer FH70 with barrel length 39 caliber. The gun has a large muzzle brake with a large number of round holes. Allegedly, using Centauro 155 / 39 LW active-projectile launchers can hit targets at a distance of up to 60 kilometers.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the Porcupine project is the internal equipment of the gun turret. The fact is that the SAU crew consists of only two people and is located inside the armored hull. The tower, in turn, is uninhabited. The howitzer comes with a fully automatic loader system that provides a firing rate of up to 8 shots per minute. High rate of fire is compensated by a small ammunition. In the autoloader packs, there are just 15 shots, which accordingly affects the practical rate of fire. Because of this, the developers suggest using Porcupine ACS together with a transport-loading machine on a similar chassis. After the spent ammunition is used up, the self-propelled gun can get new projectiles within 8-10 minutes and in about a minute again open fire. The ability to feed shells from the ground, according to some sources, is not provided.

The Centauro 155 / 39 LW ACS can use the entire existing NATO nomenclature of 155 millimeter shots. In addition, the company OTO Melara in recent years has created several new types of shells of this caliber, differing from each other in the applied systems. In the line are unguided and guided munitions, including active-reactive. The latter include the stated maximum firing range of 60 kilometers.

Self-propelled howitzer is equipped with a digital fire control system that allows you to automatically carry out all the necessary calculations. Among other things, the self-propelled gun self-propelled guns Porcupine can, without the operator’s participation, fire in MRSI mode (a so-called barrage of fire) with a volley of up to four shots. For about 25-30 seconds, the SAU makes four shots with different charge and barrel elevation, with the result that all the shells reach a common goal with a minimum time interval.

Italian Porcupine: SAU Centauro 155 / 39 LW Porcupine

After the demonstration at the June 2011 parade, the prototype ACS Centauro 155 / 39 LW was shown to the general public several times, but none of the shows were accompanied by the disclosure of the desired amount of information. So, for example, it is still not clear at what stage this project is currently located. Judging by the lack of deliveries of serial combat vehicles to the Italian army, the prototype of the promising self-propelled gun is still being tested and refined. At the same time, less positive options cannot be ruled out. Due to the limited targeting angles and small portable ammunition, the Porcupine ACS is an ambiguous development in practical terms. The specific correlation of characteristics and fire capabilities (when using the latest ammunition) can lead to any completion — both to the beginning of the serial construction of combat vehicles, and to the suspension or even complete closure of the project.

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  1. GHG
    GHG 13 September 2013 08: 46
    52 caliber PzH 2000 shoots APC somewhere at 40km, and they have a record at 56km. Italians at 39 gauge declared all 60km. Who is more? This is probably the reason for the handouts. smile
    1. GHG
      GHG 13 September 2013 15: 15
      I didn’t look right away ... she’s also without outriggers (outriggers). Without a kickback (at least I didn’t notice).
      1. Lyapis
        Lyapis 13 September 2013 16: 01
        No kickback (at least I didn’t notice).

        The recoil devices are probably hidden, either under the guise of a gun or in a tower (since it is uninhabited and the ammunition is only 15 shells, there should be enough space there).
        1. Kir
          Kir 13 September 2013 16: 09
          At the photo, carefully where the weapon is looking at the "sky" look there in the "windows" of the mask, some "pipes" are clearly visible. In general, a picture with a high resolution would obviously not hurt.
          1. Ivan_Ivanov
            Ivan_Ivanov 13 September 2013 22: 34
            These are not recoil devices. the angle with the barrel is different. most likely these are hydraulic jacks.

            wow and ugly turned out ...
            1. Kir
              Kir 14 September 2013 00: 16
              Yes, I’ve looked closely at the campaign. You’re right. Well, here’s one of the possible answers from what such a mask size is.
  2. andrey903
    andrey903 13 September 2013 09: 00
    should roll well with any mistake
  3. solomon
    solomon 13 September 2013 09: 28
    It seems to me that the main focus was on maneuverability. 2 minutes shot and leaked.
    1. Dezzed
      Dezzed 13 September 2013 10: 02
      155mm gun is not a sniper rifle "2 minutes fired and leaked."
      will not go.

      then there are 15 charges and then charge from a special installation and the projectile should not be fired from the ground
      it is purely in the Italian spirit:

      we made this beautiful building and the rest is your problem.

      shorter crap UTB and not howitzer
  4. il grand casino
    il grand casino 13 September 2013 10: 12
    It seems to me alone that booking a tower is much more serious than that of a building. Or is it for show-offs?
  5. sven27
    sven27 13 September 2013 10: 50
    And outwardly it doesn’t look very bad!
    1. APASUS
      APASUS 13 September 2013 20: 18
      Quote: sven27
      And outwardly it doesn’t look very bad!

      What a perverse sense of beauty you have.
      Camel looks better
  6. sven27
    sven27 13 September 2013 11: 12
    Quote: DezzeD
    shorter crap UTB and not howitzer

    What would you write, you need to at least put the TTX in the comment, or you’ll get an empty breach!
    1. Dezzed
      Dezzed 13 September 2013 17: 27

      I allowed myself such a categorical assessment
      So the following parameters were enough for me:

      "There are only 15 shots in the stowage of the automatic loader."
      "Because of this, the developers propose to use the Porcupine ACS together with a transport-loading vehicle."
      "get new shells within 8-10 minutes"
      "The possibility of feeding shells from the ground, according to some sources, is not provided."

      Centauro 155/39 LW Porcupine

      1000 shots takes: 125 minutes
      + 66 reloads of 10 ten minutes each. : 666.6 minutes
      total: 791.6 minutes


      1000 shots takes: 250 minutes

      what is the comparison?
  7. Bongo
    Bongo 13 September 2013 12: 13
    At one time, during the "peacekeeping operation" in Somalia, Centauro proved to be extremely vulnerable to mines and RPGs. As a result, they were used for the most part at stationary checkpoints.
  8. Echo
    Echo 13 September 2013 12: 48
    The first association is a barn with a motor.
    1. Ka-52
      Ka-52 13 September 2013 14: 45
      More like "Elephant" laughing
  9. _KM_
    _KM_ 13 September 2013 13: 03
    The Swedish speed gun is more interesting.
  10. Akim
    Akim 13 September 2013 14: 09
    Indeed, the tower is not proportional, and it is interesting, what is the load on the wheels when fired?
  11. Kir
    Kir 13 September 2013 14: 45
    Something to me this "clunker" reminds me not of a porcupine, but of some extinct proboscis-mastodon? or a tapir, by the way, and someone can explain what kind of "pipe cuttings are visible at the bottom of the mask, the guns can understand from what they will understand the size of the mask, and with regards to the contours, it is an ideal target for any ricochet.
  12. Walking
    Walking 13 September 2013 14: 57
    How many shots will the chassis withstand?
    1. Simple
      Simple 13 September 2013 21: 33
      If outriggers (when shooting from closed positions) will unload the tower, and not from the chassis of the car, then I think that's enough.
      1. Walking
        Walking 14 September 2013 14: 08
        just outriggers and it is not visible whether they are?
  13. kafa
    kafa 13 September 2013 16: 04
    Well, I looked at this sinusic misunderstanding, but if a crazy moth clings to a sensor over an economical engine ........... well, you understand wink
  14. Tommygun
    Tommygun 13 September 2013 19: 02
    8 rounds per minute is somewhere 8 between shots.
    I wonder what happens to the 25t car on a wheeled chassis
    when firing an 155mm projectile? I think the buildup should be very
    strong and this is only a technical rate of fire.
    1. bask
      bask 13 September 2013 21: 22
      Italian Porcupine: SAU Centauro 155 / 39 LW Porcupine

      I think the Italians wanted to create something similar to the Swedish self-propelled guns ,, Archer ,,.
      But the idea clearly failed. And with a barrel length of 39 calibers, declaring 60 cells is fantastic.
      And the base for the gun, in the form of a Centauro 8/8, is clearly weak.
      The Swedes made their platform on the basis of. At the base, Volvo - articulated dump truck, are used in construction and quarrying. The capacity of dump trucks is from 20 to 40-50 tons. They possess high maneuverability and cross-country ability.
      1. Simple
        Simple 13 September 2013 21: 43
        Good evening, bask.

        Swedish technology .....
        So to say extraterrestrial intelligence gets acquainted with the Swedish military equipment:

        1. bask
          bask 13 September 2013 23: 44
          Quote: Simple
          Good evening

          Good evening PLAIN. Cool video. Beautifully run.
          Now in the West and in Asia there are many similar art .. systems.
          But it all started with the South African G-6. Development began in the early 1970s at the state corporation APMSKOR, and the first prototype was built in 1981.

          And in the Czech-Slovak Republic. In the mid-1970s, the artillery system adopted by the Czech-Slovak army under the designation 152 mm ShKH vz.77 was developed at the design bureau of a machine-building enterprise in the Slovak city of Dubnica nad Wag. Launched in a series in 1979, under the name - ,, Dana ,,.
          All-wheel drive chassis Tatra 8/8 was used as a chassis for self-propelled guns.

          Before the appearance of these 152 and 155 mm howitzers, all self-propelled guns of this caliber had a tracked chassis.
          1. Akim
            Akim 14 September 2013 09: 34
            Quote: bask
            And in the Czech-Slovak Republic. In the mid-1970s, the artillery system adopted by the Czech-Slovak army under the designation 152 mm ShKH vz.77 was developed at the design bureau of a machine-building enterprise in the Slovak city of Dubnica nad Wag. Launched in a series in 1979, under the name - ,, Dana ,,.

            I won't say anything about the Yuarovskaya, because I don't know what concerns the "Dana", its central location of the tower is less than that of the "Porcupine" barrel length. Moreover, when firing, it extends 3 hydraulic supports and lowers the tire pressure to reduce the load on the wheel chassis.
            1. bask
              bask 14 September 2013 20: 36
              Quote: Akim
              shorter than the "Porcupine" trunk length. Moreover, when firing, 3 hydraulic supports are extended and

              Akim, you compared the technology of the 70s with the 2000s.
              I just posted that they were the first self-propelled guns cal 155,152 mm, on a wheeled chassis. Received in series.
              1. Akim
                Akim 14 September 2013 21: 10
                Quote: bask
                Akim, you compared the technology of the 70s with the 2000s.

                The peak of Dana's development was Zuzana (also a woman's name). But no one else seems to mount a 152/155-mm howitzer in a turret on a wheeled chassis. Here are just these two countries (South Africa and Slovakia), and the Italians with this absurdity.
                1. bask
                  bask 14 September 2013 21: 30
                  Quote: Akim
                  Here are just these two countries, and the Italians with this absurdity.

                  Self-propelled guns ,, Shore ,, - 130 mm. Russia.

                  Further Chinese, Serbian ..
                  1. Akim
                    Akim 14 September 2013 21: 42
                    Quote: bask

                    Taken out of context. I talked about tower placement. In those self-propelled guns, the chassis plays the role of a counterweight. This is a more reasonable solution.
                    PS Although accept my notices, the Serbs still placed a 155-mm howitzer, whose recoil force falls on the chassis. But they released a minuscule.
                    1. bask
                      bask 14 September 2013 22: 12
                      Quote: Akim
                      the Serbs did place a 155-mm howitzer, whose recoil force falls on the chassis. But they released a minuscule.

                      NORA B-52, which is based on the KamAZ 63510 8/8 cargo chassis.
                      KAMAZ chassis, for a 155 mm howitzer is not a very good platform.
                      Quote: Akim
                      to the tower on a wheeled chassis

                      Sorry Akim, but Nora self-propelled guns do not have a tower at all. And your post, as I understood it, was about a self-propelled guns with a tower on a wheeled chassis.
                      And not self-propelled howitzers, such as the French Caesar-155 mm.
                      1. Akim
                        Akim 14 September 2013 22: 23
                        Quote: bask
                        Sorry Akim, but the self-propelled gun Nora has no tower at all

                        We are talking about the same, but about different generations. Here is a more modern Nora. This year was at an exhibition in Belgrade.
                      2. bask
                        bask 14 September 2013 22: 44
                        Quote: Akim
                        We are talking about the same, but about different generations

                        I agree, but it looks more like an armored howitzer for a howitzer than a full-fledged tower.
                        The Serbs did everything they could to upgrade: NORA B-52 M03.
  • bublic82009
    bublic82009 14 September 2013 14: 41
    ambiguous art system. 2 people crew is cool. but it’s bad that the tower rotates horizontally 30 degrees. and the stock is small 15 shells. although how to look at it. 40 shells are also not many.