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Land Platforms

Portuguese Army expands its expeditionary capability

26 November 2019
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Portugal is due to receive 50 VAMTAC ST5s in 2019 and 89 in 2020. Source: Victor Barreira

The Portuguese Army's Rapid Reaction Brigade is receiving 139 VAMTAC ST5 4x4 light armoured tactical vehicles from URO Vehículos Especiales (UROVESA) to meet the "Viaturas Táticas Ligeiras Blindadas" (VTLB) requirement.

The order was placed in July 2018 and an initial ten vehicles in the troop carrier variant were received in October. Fifty vehicles in total are scheduled for delivery in 2019, with the remaining 89 to be incorporated in 2020 and progressively replace High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), Major Ricardo Camilo of the Army High-Staff, told Jane's .

According to Maj Camilo, the fleet, purchased through NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), cost EUR60.8 million and comprises 107 troop carriers, 12 special operations vehicles (three of which are fitted with a satellite communications [satcom] suite for a command role), 7 command post vehicles with satcom system, and 13 ambulances in three variants for the Commandos Battalion, 1st and 2nd Paratrooper Infantry Battalion, Special Operations Force, and Medical Battalion.

The command post, special operations, and ambulance versions are still being designed, Maj Camilo said. A two-year spares package, training, and camouflage nets from Saab Barracuda also are part of the contract. The integrated logistics support will be later contracted.

The troop carrier for Portugal is powered by a 245hp Cummins ISB 6.7 diesel engine, which is coupled to Allison Transmission S2100 6+1-speed automatic gearbox, and a four-wheel independent suspension. It has an EID PRC-525 software-defined radio with CDS-525 detachable console; MilDef Group's rugged tablet with GPS antenna for Critical Software's EyeCommand battle management system; air conditioning system; manual fire extinguishing system; 335/80 R20 Continental MPT81 tires with run-flat inserts and control tire inflation system; four fuel canisters; electric-powered recovery winch; removable wire cutter; and combat identification panels.

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