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.

UNIFIL peacekeepers from Italy carried out a live firing exercise the Lebanese Armed Forces LAF April 2019 Oto Melera Centauro 120mm 8x8 MGS mobile gun system tank destroyer

Photos: Staff Sergeant Luca Filardo & Staff Sergeant Franco Graziano / UNIFIL

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.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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