The Argentine Army plans to overhaul, modernise, and expand its armoured and transport vehicle fleets, according to Brigadier General Federico Sidders, chief of the service's Directorate of Plans, Programmes, and Budget.
The plans are part of a wider effort that includes buying a new assault rifle, antitank and air defence weapons, and other equipment, Brig Gen Sidders said earlier this month.
He said overhaul and upgrade programmes are being established for 400 TAM medium tanks and derivatives - including VCTP infantry combat vehicles and VCA 155 mm self-propelled guns - as well as 400 M113 armoured personnel carriers and derivatives. Local sources told Jane's the army is also considering buying up to 100 more M113s from the United States.
The army began overhauling M113s from the A1/A2 to the A3 standard years ago, but stopped for lack of funds. Work has now restarted at the Army's Materiel Command depot workshops, and new facilities are also being setup at the depot for the TAM upgrade.
Modernising TAM medium tanks has long been an army priority. An upgrade package began development in 2008 with support from a number of Israeli firms including Israel Military Industries (IMI), Elbit, and Tadiran. A first modernised TAM 2C prototype was completed in 2013, and a series of tests demonstrated its improved capabilities for night and all-weather operation.
The TAM 2C was fitted with a thermal sight, laser range finder, new digital fire control system with data link, and the ability to fuse data off-board sensors. The TAM 2C can fire three rounds per minute on the move, and engage targets out to 3.5 km using new guided munitions to be locally manufactured by state-owned firm Fabricaciones Militares, with license from Israel's IMI.
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