An incredible dogfighter, the Kentauroi is second to none in its ability to tear other fighters to pieces. Four Rapiers
will shred anything in the sky to pieces in short order, and shields and armor are surprisingly good. A huge improvement over the Uhlan. If you're a fan of fast fighter craft, such as the Great-War era GTF Valkyrie
, this ship fits the bill, but this ship surpasses the Valk in every way save a larger profile.
With Paveways in the primary missile bank and some Scalpels, the Kentauroi is good for disarming and disabling GTA warships. You should be able to neutralize the armament of enemy warships and destroy fighters with equal efficiency using a primary weapon of your choice and the remaining missile banks. Plus, just look at those afterburner capabilities!
It also has some really neat model features you're (sadly) unlikely to notice in game, like the variable-geometry tailfins that open up when afterburning (if you want to notice afterburner or weapon slot priming features on UEF ships, you MUST use the external camera view, default numpad-* is third-person combat view). No real effect, it just looks cool.
Oh, and it is not lying about that fire control system lock-up, which occurs as a scripted event in certain missions. Stay sharp.
In terms of lethality, much better than the Uhlan. It has much better missile compatibility, and much more primary firepower; it helps that the player gets it at the same time they get the Rapier. On the other hand, in terms of survivability, the Kentauroi, despite 25 more hull points, is far less survivable by virtue of the synergistic effect of less maneuverability and a much larger target profile (it's somewhere between 20 to 25 meters long); where an Uhlan is about the size of a Pegasus a Kentauroi is larger than a Myrmidon. This is particularly noticeable when dogfighting with a maneuverable GTA opponent, the Nyx, Atalanta, Perseus are all good examples of fighters that are hard to dogfight in this. This is also noticeable around anti-fighter defenses, the edge of a Hyperion's pulse cannon range, while not particularly dangerous to the Uhlan, are devastating to this fighter. It is, however, much faster than the Uhlan and has comparable firepower to an Atalanta. If given a choice between this and the very comparable Atalanta (Aristeia), I'll choose the Atalanta every time for its halved target profile. You are actually warned about the dangers of anti-fighter defenses as early as The Intervention, where the introductory briefing does not lie about its low survivability rate around beam and flak envelopes (the safest way to avoid this is to use your Paveways or a Gattler at optimal range, and if you need some sort of long-range punch for whatever reason, Grimlers work too).
If you are used to fast yet fragile craft, the Kent is a lifesaver. Never try to take a GTF Nyx head on with this (as you can always bet on it slaughtering a Kent or an Uriel, which is basically its job), always go for the side or soften it up with missiles. The fact that you can carry four Slammers helps as well if you need to scatter or destroy a wing. Be aware of fighters that have the Prometheus S! If you're not careful, ships that carry that weapon can write your death sentence rather quickly.
Note that this ship has the largest amount of miscellaneous animations of any released craft, or very close to. It has animations for afterburners, primary switching and secondary switching. You can see some of those on the gallery. (This can also present a minor annoyance when your animating parts get shot, your damage display will show all of the parts under subsystem damage.)
While the Uhlan turns faster and slightly sharper, in the hands of a good pilot it won't matter--the Kentauroi's reverse afterburners and reverse thrust give it far more options for maneuvering. Its speed is second to none--only the GTF Draco can match it, but not for quite as long. What makes the Kentauroi so good beyond just an excellent dogfighter and interceptor is that it can pack a diverse and large punch. It can take out a couple wings of fighters, disable and/or disarm a cruiser or corvette, and then intercept two wings of bombers ten klicks away, all with the same loadout on the same mission. When paired with Uriel gunships, the Kentauroi is downright incredible.
If you afterburn to evade, and hold your stick hard to one side, your ship can go up to 230 meters per second. That's not a joke.
The Kent's strength comes mainly from it's large afterburner speed and reserve, so a good tactic is to divert power to engines to limit the chances of running out at a critical moment, and adopt hit & run tactics when facing hostile fighters instead of getting into a prolonged dogfight : pick a target, go in as fast as you can, fire your guns and missiles until it's dead or your reserves are depleted, then pull out to a friendly warship to rearm, repair and recharge. Repeat until the area is clear. Also, don't forget that your reverse afterburners give you extra mobility in a knife fight.