Russia tests Italian tank

Italy`s Centauro tank has a four-man crew, top speed of 100 km/h and a range of 800 km.

Moscow: Russia is testing Italy`s Centauro tank and considers building it under license, a representative of the Oto-Melara company which makes the tank said on Saturday.

"The first two machines with 105-mm and 125-mm guns are on trial...," he said.

Two more Centauros with 120-mm and 30-mm guns will also join the trials in another six weeks.

"The tanks will take part in laboratory, driving and firing trials," the Oto-Melara representative said.

When the trials are complete at the end of this year, Russia will consider creating a joint venture for production of the tank with an enterprise from the Russian military-industrial complex, he said.

Russian truck maker Kamaz in Naberezhny Chelny could be involved in the deal, according to a source in Russian arms sales holding Rosoboronexport.

Russia signed a deal with Italy in December for the semi-knocked down assembly of 60 Lynx light multirole armoured vehicles (LMV) from Iveco, Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Sukhorukov said in January.

Oto-Melara, part of the Italian Finnmeccanica group, is part of the CIO joint venture with vehicle manufacturer Iveco to make military vehicles.

Italy already has 400 Centauros in service. The 24-tonne tank has a four-man crew, top speed of 100 km/h and a range of 800 km. It has a main gun and two 7.62 mm machineguns.

IANS

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