Brazil has requested additional 26 machines AAV7 under the contract as part of the program of sales of military equipment abroad. The existing fleet of these cars will also be upgraded.
Modern machine modernization programs in South America not only increase the capabilities of the participating countries, but also help develop the local industrial base for future projects. The article gives a brief overview of the ongoing work in this area.
The volume of the South American market of ground systems is smaller than the volume of the maritime and air sectors, the capacity of the local defense industry for the production of machinery and weapons is limited. However, there are signs that the situation is changing. The recent economic growth has allowed for the modernization of air and sea forces, and now the ground forces are waiting for their turn.
Brazil is leading modernization work on the continent, spending about half of all funds allocated for defense by the countries of South America. She is modernizing her armored vehicle fleet according to the army reform plan, which expects to create larger, but more flexible and rapidly deployable forces by 2030. The focus is still on internal operations and border security, with particular attention to the Amazon region and security at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.
Modernization began in 2006 with the purchase of 240 tanks Leopard 1A5 from the surplus of the German army. They were modernized by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall for the Brazilian army. The first company transferred the initial batch of upgraded MBTs in 2009 and completed deliveries in February 2012.
In parallel with these purchases, the army began long-term work to create a family of wheeled vehicles 6x6, and Iveco Defense was selected as the lead contractor for this work. The development contract was concluded in the 2007 year, and he soon moved to the stage of manufacturing a prototype floating BTR (VBTP-MR) (also known as the Guarani Project) in two configurations 6x6. At the end of 2009, an open order was announced with the potential cost of 2,6 a billion dollars on 2044 machines to be manufactured by 2030.
Paolo Del Noche, head of military equipment at Iveco Latin America, said that the company was chosen because of its high level of responsibility for organizing the local production base for the project and that so far there is no final and “exact number of machines”, but this number is “regulated every year through fixed orders. ”
In accordance with the contract, the company announced that it will build a plant in 70 km from the city of Belo Horizonte with a cost of 30 million dollars specifically for the production of the VBTP-MR machine.
In August, 2012, the company Iveco received an order for the first 86 machines and immediately began production at its new plant. By December 2012 of the year, only five were delivered, 49 machines are expected during 2013 of the year and remaining in 2014 of the year. “We are currently working on getting another order, signed in 2013, for delivery in 2014 – 2015,” noted Del Noche.
Machine Guarani 6x6 production company Iveco. The machine in the photo is armed with a Bushmaster 30-mm gun
VBTP-MR 6x6 machines are designed to protect borders, they can float to force rivers in remote areas. The machines also have a high level of mine protection, and several hundred units will be equipped with an 30-mm UT-30BR combat module manufactured by AEL Sistemas, a subsidiary of Elbit. It has an ATK MK44 Bushmaster gun and a REMAX 12,7 / 7,62-mm installation from Ares Elbit. They are purchased in accordance with a framework contract worth up to 260 million dollars. Acceptance tests were completed in 2011 year, and a contract for initial production worth 15 million dollars was issued in September 2012 year.
The MK44 Bushmaster cannon will be installed on some Guarani vehicles to provide enhanced fire support for infantry units.
Work is also underway on the Guarani version in the 8x8 configuration, which Iveco hopes to develop this year. The original idea was to develop the 8x8 model in parallel with the 6x6, but progress slowed down, because the company "do not know what weapons the Brazilian army will use."
The army is expected to select the 105-mm gun for this vehicle. In addition, the requirements for armor protection for 8x8 above and this will require additional design. The creation of a larger number of options is also envisaged, as the Guarani project vehicles will replace the existing EE-11 Urutu BTR and the EE-9 Cascavel reconnaissance vehicles. Del Noche said that the capabilities of the new machines cannot be compared with the outdated 30-summer models, because they are “from another world.”
Argentina also expressed interest in VBTP-MR, and Iveco received a request to purchase 14 machines. Some of the new prototypes were sent to Argentina, tested there at the end of 2012, and the results were "very good." The needs of Argentina in these machines are exactly the same as in Brazil and the company is discussing its next steps with Buenos Aires.
Brazil is also upgrading its 150 Army BTR M113B under a contract worth 41,9 million dollars, signed in December 2011. Under this agreement, BAE Systems will upgrade the machines to the M113A2 Mk 1 configuration by November 2014.
“Under this contract, hulls, hatches and ramps of machines will be reused, while other components, including engines, transmissions and cooling systems will be replaced or upgraded,” the company said. “BAE Systems will provide the materials necessary for the modernization, along with the tools and spare parts. The company will also transfer technology and train personnel to upgrade and maintain the machines. The contract will be carried out at the repair plant of the Brazilian army in Curitiba. ”
BAE will also provide service and life cycle support training. In addition, the M208B 113 BTR is being upgraded by Engemotors with overhaul of all mechanical systems and installation of radio stations with the assistance of Israeli Military Industries (IMI). Work is scheduled to complete by 2016 year.
Assault assault forces
In a preliminary request in August 2012, it was announced that 26 Amphibious Assault Vehicle 7 (Amphibious Assault Vehicle 7) Brazil was selling 233 million dollars to Brazil, including training, spare parts and logistics. This amount includes upgrading the existing AAV7 machines of the Brazilian army to the so-called “reliability, operational readiness and maintainability” configuration.
“Congress notification was issued and approved,” a BAE representative said. "We believe that the program is on schedule and we are ready to fight for the contract."
IMI began upgrading the M30 113 for the Brazilian Marine Corps to the MB1 standard after a prototype was made in the 2011 year. IMI secured a contract by defeating BAE and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau. The remaining cars should be ready by the end of this year.
The Marines also purchase 18 8 x 8 X-NUMX machines from Mowag Piranha IIIC from General Dynamics European Land Systems contract announced in 2009 year. Three options include armored personnel carrier, ambulance and commander. He followed an earlier contract announced in December 2007 of the year for five floating options for the Piranha IIIC. Six armored personnel carriers and one BREM made up the initial order in 2006.
Speaking at an international conference on armored vehicles in February 2013 of the year, Admiral Guimaraes, commander of the Brazilian marines, said that the infantry was going to buy M36A109 5 howitzers to supplement the existing 40 M109A3, which themselves will be upgraded to AXNX standard
In addition to the possible purchase of Guarani VBTP-MR machines, the Argentine army is also trying to update its fleet of ground vehicles. The Italian company CIO reported that it received an information request for the wheeled vehicle program and, although no specific requirements were put forward, the company will take part in any tender with its family of armored vehicles Centauro 8x8.
Meanwhile, the army is carrying out significant structural reforms announced in 2011, the purpose of which is to optimize its units and ultimately introduce new armored vehicles. In her plan for 2012, the year emphasizes the need to upgrade almost all military equipment, starting with the TAM (Tanque Argentino Mediano) fleet of tanks and ending with the individual equipment of the soldier.
Elbit was awarded a contract in October 2011 to conduct medium repairs on TAM tanks and equip them with a new, stabilized gun, battle control system, thermal imagers and power supply systems, hydraulic and electrical systems. The army recently received its first prototype and it is expected that an Israeli company will modernize the entire fleet.
The Argentine M113 machines are being upgraded to the A2 variant, and the Marine Corps has also successfully upgraded ten AAV7, but the most recent acquisition was the purchase of four WMZ-551B1 6X6 from the Chinese company NORINCO, which were delivered in 2010 year. The Argentine army also bought Agrale Marruá 18x4 4 machines, which are also bought by other South American countries and are used in the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
Chile is feeling a little better with its procurement programs and is completing its ten-year modernization program. The Chilean army purchased on a large scale second-hand weapons from stocks in Germany and the Netherlands. From 2007, the 172 MBT Leopard 2A4 has been upgraded to the CHL standard with new electronics, guidance systems and information management, the overhaul of mechanical components and the installation of the L55 gun. A remote-controlled combat module and additional armor were also added.
To support the Leopard tanks in Germany, 138 BMPs Marder 1A3 worth 47 million dollars were also purchased and delivered in 2009 – 2011 with subsequent upgrades by KMW. The BMP Marder is expected to be equipped with Israeli Spike Medium Range / Long Range anti-tank guided missile systems. These vehicles will complement the 139 BMP YPR-765, bought in Belgium from the 2006, and the M113 BTR, purchased from the United States.
Chilean Army bought 2011 12-mm M155A109 self-propelled howitzer M5 from the United States in August in accordance with the 15,8 million dollar contract. BAE Systems carried out restoration and retrofit work, which was completed in October 2012. According to the company, it has ensured the digital compatibility of data on the position of the gun and navigation systems "to get less positioning time, less response time, which provides for increased stability of firing."
As for the lighter machines, the Chilean Marines bought nine PVPs from Panhard, which have an increased volume in the rear. A company spokesman said that there were two options: seven armored personnel carriers and two sanitary models. The PVPs were delivered in 2010 year in UN colors for the mission in Haiti.
The most recent acquisition on the continent was made by Colombia, which issued a contract worth 10 million dollars to General Dynamics Land Systems Canada 65,3 in January for the purchase of 24 light armored vehicles Light Arm Vehicle (LAV) for the Colombian army. Deliveries will be completed in May 2014.
The LAV III has a double V-shaped hull and an additional reservation for the habitable compartment to protect against mines. IEDs and other threats. On all machines will be installed combat module Rafael Samson Mini with 12,7-mm machine gun. It meets the requirements of the army for the wheeled armored vehicle 8x8, although there is a need for more platforms and additional contracts are expected.
Textron Marine and Land Systems (TM&LS) received a $ 45,6 million contract to supply 39 M1117 4x4 armored vehicles under an agreement to sell weapons to foreign countries in 2009. They were delivered by July 2010, and in March the company received another $ 5,5 million contract from the Armored Command for 12 armored turrets, technical support, vehicle repairs and spare parts for the Colombian army's armored personnel carriers.
There is a need for 41 more vehicles and an additional contract is pending. Tom Walmsley, vice president at TM&LS, said: "We are working with Colombia to increase the number of armored personnel carriers in the Colombian army, while maintaining its entire fleet with an agreed program of maintenance, training and repair in the field."
The emphasis on wheeled vehicles was the result of the failure to purchase a fleet of modernized MBTs. Concerned about the purchase of Russian MBT by neighboring Venezuela, Bogota has studied the possibility of acquiring options such as Leclerc and Leopard, for example, but failed with this program. However, the army is still in search of a tank.
In the past decade, arms imports by Venezuela have increased dramatically due to Russian ground weapons. In 2011, the armed forces accepted deliveries of 92 T-72 tanks and Pechora C-125 air defense systems after they had already received the BTR-80, BMP-3 and artillery pieces. Additional 50 T-72 tanks are expected to be funded.
In addition to all these procurement programs, South American governments have a desire to strengthen their local defense industry. The Brazilian branch of Iveco Defense Vehicles belongs to the Brazilian army, and the company would not have won the Guarani vehicles contract without the proposal to build a factory.
Iveco also pledged that the local industry would provide 60% of the Guarani program volume. Del Noche explained that in the event that components cannot be found, Iveco helps to establish production lines; and while engines, electrical systems and chassis may be of Brazilian origin, suppliers of special defense materials, such as reservation systems, are likely to come from abroad.
It is unlikely that machine factories will be opened in every South American country, as the demand for platforms is not so high. However, even if the demand for cars is small, technology transfer will play an important role in any future transaction for the purchase of military equipment.
Land Warfare Iinternational 2 / 2013