The story of the Semovente Centauro Pegaso began during the late stages of the cold war, the Centauro Pegaso was one of a number of proposed Centauro variants shown to the Italian ministry of defence, in addition to plans of this vehicle, plans for new variants of the Centauro also included an AA variant equipped with a quad 25mm turret (probably the SIDAM 25), an AA Missile launching platform, Mortar carrier, Ambulance, Amphibious, NBC vehicle and lastly but not least, bridge layer. Out of these vehicles the Pegaso was given the go-ahead to produce a singular prototype. The Semovente Pegaso (Pegasus in english) would be a project mainly lead by ‘Direzione Generale AMAT’ which would begin work on the prototype inside the Aresnale di Piacenza facilities. The whole reasoning for this prototype being made was because Italy was curious to know how they could take advantage of the Centauro being wheeled to offer a strategic advantage over other modern self-propelled howtizers which would see themselves be put on tracked platforms. The Italian Centauro was already important to Italian doctrine and considering this was done during the late stages of the cold war, having a wheeled platform which would have theoretically been deployed and been ready to fire much more rapidly than tracked vehicles could’ve been a very important deciding factor in the event of a large scale war. In terms of armaments, the people behind this project would opt in to completely remove the old 105mm cannon and turret and instead replace it with an 155mm cannon known as the FH-70 da 155/36. This specific weapon system was already in widespread use inside the Italian army (equipped on Italian M109L’s) and in NATO. It could fire the majority of 155mm NATO standard munitions, which included HE. The prototype would succesfully be completed and would promptily be subjecated under vigourious testing for many months. Soon enough the pros and cons of this platform would be evaluated in terms of how effective it was. One glaring issue that became evident was how the platform was not stable enough to effectively fire its main armament without the vehicle suffering from serious recoil, this would be an issue because the vehicle was supposed to be able to rival the tracked platforms, and therefore it must have been able to operate on any type of terrain. To remedy this the people behind this project would take 2 M109 stabilizers and install them unto the hull of the vehicle, these would function by being deployed unto the surface of where the Pegaso would operate in. Great results would emerge from the testing which included overall better accracy when firing and also decreased significantly the chances of the Pegaso tipping over from the recoil of the main weapon when firing. In terms of speed this vehicle would likely have a similar speed like the standard B1 Centauro, however it would most certainly be slower due to the heavier armament. Sources don’t state if it ever recived a new engine so therefore a it likely would be able to go 90km an hour, and an increased overall range in comparasion to other platforms of the time due to it being wheeled. One of the many reasons as to why this vehicle was promising was due to how easy and cheap it would’ve been to mass produce, due to both Centauro production lines going ahead as expected and the fact that the main armament it used was widespread and easy to aqcuire. Italy sadly did not put up any orders for this vehicle despite its great characteristics, this is likely due to more modern artilery platforms which started to come out, and would generate more interest over the Centauro version. Something interesting to note was that according to some American army docs of the time, the US Army actually used the Semovente Pegaso as a surrogate to explore some of their howtizer requirements, its unknown what came out of it but likely it was sent back to Italy and the project would be scrapped.
x1 FH-70 da 155/36 (able to fire all compatible NATO standard 155mm munitions)
Why it should be in game
I think this vehicle would be a great addition to the game as Italy can really use the extra firepower, although this was just 1 prototype we could still see this vehicle introduced as a regular premium or event vehicle given out to players. It would not be overpowered and can easily be implemented due to the fact most of the vehicle is already partially modelled in game already.
OTO MELARA 1905-2005
Century of Italian armored cars - Nicola Pignato
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Centauro Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicle - Army Technology
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Studi del Gen. B.Fulvio Poli by Biblioteca Militare - Issuu
Centauro I 105 - War Thunder Wiki
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