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Brazilian Army releases requirements for its new MBT project

The Brazilian Army has recently published two documents, one outlining operational requirements and the other technical, logistical, and industrial requirements, that will lead to the potential future acquisition of a new main battle tank (MBT).

Project ‘Viatura Blindada de Combate-Carro de Combate’ (VBC-CC) points to an armoured fighting vehicle manned by a crew of four with a combat weight of less than 50 tonnes and maximum dimensions of 12 m in length and 4 m in width with a maximum hull height of 3 m. It is expected to have a top speed exceeding 60 km/h, a range of 400 km, and the ability to ford to a depth of 1 m and to be able to traverse a ditch or trench up to 2.5 m wide at maximum load.

The army is seeking a tracked chassis with a multi-fuel engine and semi-automatic or automatic transmission and a turret with manual and electric drive, with both offering low thermal and radar signatures. The turret must be armed with a stabilised, low-recoil 120 mm smoothbore main gun, a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, a remote-control weapon station armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun, and eight 76 mm smoke grenade launchers.

Mandatory items would include a 24V electrical system; an automatic fire suppression system; a fire control system with ballistic computer, weather station, target auto-tracking, laser rangefinder and thermal imager for commander and gunner; an air conditioning unit; a command-and-control system comprising a radio, intercom and battle management system (BMS); an auxiliary power unit; a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection kit; a hard- or soft-kill protection system; an external rear-mounted telephone; and provisions for frontal obstacle-breaching components, a signature management system, additional armour and an internal spall liner.

The Leopard 1A5BRs acquired from Germany in 2006 are currently the most advanced MBTs in the Brazilian Army’s inventory. (Brazilian Army)

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