Centauro on the Med
UNIFIL peacekeepers from Italy, Ghana, and Malaysia jointly carried out a live firing exercise with the Lebanese Armed Forces (almost humorously abbreviated as, LAF) in an area about one kilometer south of the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura in March
“The 27 March exercise, codenamed Centauro 2019, sought to enhance interoperability among UNIFIL troops operating under the Mission’s Sector West command and with LAF,” noted the UN.
The “Centauro” portion of the live fire ex’s title likely comes from the fact that the Italian troops were equipped with Fiat/OTO Melara B1 Centauro 8×8 vehicles armed with a 105 mm/52 cal rifled low-recoil gun.
The Centauro carries 14 ready rounds for the 105mm gun in the turret and another 26 rounds in the hull, giving it the capability, with sabots, to zoink most main battle tanks (especially aging T-55s/72s often found in Third World countries) it is able to get the drop on.
However, the armor on its welded hull is only rated to withstand 14.5 mm bullets and shell fragments, which means RPGs and even well-armed AFVs are hazardous to its health.
UNIFIL currently has some 10,000 UN peacekeepers from something like 45 countries, with Italy providing a reinforced battalion-sized unit. Other than a French contingent with a company of 13 Leclerc heavy tanks, the Italians are the most heavily armed.