What exactly are these vehicles? First of all, fire support vehicles are armored army vehicles specifically designed to provide direct fire support or support infantry in other ways. There are differences between this type of vehicle and other military equipment such as main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, light commercial vehicles or armored passenger cars. When it comes to armament, their weapons are quite different from typical battle tank primary weapons.
Fire support vehicles are equipped with weapons ideal for supporting infantry on the battlefield. So it is easy to understand that their armament consists of smaller weapons with less range and a higher rate of fire. There is a common misunderstanding between fire fighting vehicles and multi-role vehicles designed as versatile options to operate in different roles and missions. And last but not least, self-propelled artillery is a completely different category of weapons† So let’s take a look at the top ten fire support vehicles in the world.
The Chinese 6×6 vehicle is designed as an affordable yet agile option that can provide effective fire support on the battlefield. Production started in 2004-2005 and today it is used in large quantities by the armed forces of the country.
Armament includes a 100mm high-pressure smoothbore gun, a 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun
The specific vehicle is engaged in fire support and reconnaissance missions. The French military industry has developed, designed and produced these weapons. It is announced that the AMX-10RCR will soon be replaced by a new armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle. It features a GIAT F2 105mm machine gun and two 7.62mm machine guns.
7 M1128 Stryker MGS
M1128 Stryker MGS began serving for the US military in 2007. It is one of ten Stryker versions, although it was produced in limited units. The vehicles have encountered several issues, especially with their turret. It features an M68A1E4 105mm main gun (tank gun), a 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm machine gun.
The Chinese vehicles have taken up most of the list as the ZTL-09 is another powerful vehicle designed and produced by China. ZTL-09 is still being produced in large numbers. The ZTL-09 is equipped with a 105mm gun, a 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm machine gun.
5 Pandur 2 FSV
Of course, you did not expect that Austria would produce such a powerful combat vehicle. But Pandur 2 FSV is excellent and able to perform efficiently on the battlefield. It carries a 105mm cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun.
The fourth most capable vehicle on the list also carries an attractive designation. The Italian 8×8 Centauro is the first successful fire support vehicle. That in itself is a fascinating fact about the weapon. When it was first announced, it was equivalent to Leopard 1’s firepower. Centauro has proven its capabilities countless times in conflict.
3 Maneuver combat vehicle
And here we have our first Japanese vehicle, the Maneuver Combat Vehicle which went into production in 2008. The vehicle was first announced in 2013. It is equipped with a 105mm cannon, 7.62mm machine gun and 12.7mm machine gun.
2 Centauro with 120mm gun
Centauro with 120mm cannon is a version of the original Centauro with upgraded weapons. When first seen in 2004, it was the only one of its kind with such heavy armament. It comes with a 120mm smoothbore gun, two 7.62 machine guns and a 12.7 machine gun.
1 Centauro 2
It’s not our fault… Centauro family fire trucks are just too good. Each of them is a first-class and powerful combat vehicle. You could say that these are the flagships of the Italian army. Centauro 2 made its first public release in 2016, while like the rest of the ‘family’ it was produced in Italy. This vehicle is considered the next generation of the Centauro fire support vehicle.
With such a design, the Centauro 2 offers excellent mobility. Powered by an IVECO VECTOR 8V diesel engine (720 hp), the vehicle can reach a top speed of 127 miles per hour. The range is limited to 500 miles.
Its 8×8 configurations allow it to carry heavy armament and outperform most of its competitors in this type of military vehicle. The ammunition load consists of 40 rounds for the main gun, 400 for the 12.7mm machine gun and 750 for the 7.62mm. With the available ammunition, Centauro can destroy 2 tanks and other armored vehicles belonging to enemy forces. It’s really understandable that with such heavy armament, the Italian fire support vehicle has the same firepower as most top-class main battle tanks. That fact is really impressive.
When it comes to protection, the Italian vehicle’s armor is obviously inferior to most modern main battle tanks. With additional armor, the Centauro 2 is protected by 20mm bullets in the forward bow and 12.7mm bullets in the rest of the hull. Its armament includes a 120mm high pressure gun, a 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm machine gun.
In addition to the fire support role, Centauro 2 is capable of operating in the tactical reconnaissance and territorial defense missions.
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