The Spanish Army (ET) has numerous retrofitting programs to meet the needs of different units. Many years ago, I was informed of the willingness to purchase armored vehicles in some exercises that the Almogvares IV Paratroopers Brigade – at that time it had not that name but the acronym BRIPAC – had carried out at the facilities of the San Gregorio National Training Center . 4×4 light for you, back then you were looking for the Panhard M11.
Years later, on a visit to the Valladolid Cavalry Academy, I heard again the desire to include new light armor for certain expeditionary units in their assets. Today the problem arises again. In the final issue of the Caballera Memorial, various details of what is now known as the Air Launchable Exploration Vehicle (VEAC) are discussed. The Lusitania 8 Cavalry Regiment concentrates its activities on behalf of BRIPAC and contributes to groups of Parachute Cavalry. In this sense, with the last organic adjustments from January 1, 2021, it now has three light tank squadrons (ELAC), one tank squadron (EAC) and one staff and service squadron (EPLMS), which are accompanied by a staff defined as a transition.
In a process that will last until 2023, it is expected that the 6×6 Cavalry Exploration Vehicle (VEC) 6 armor will be replaced by the more compact 4×4 VAMTAC ST5 from Urovesa, material that would provide cover for some squadrons of the Lightweight ( ELIG), which keeps its 8×8 Centauro with 105 mm barrel in its EAC. The idea that is envisaged is to take advantage of the ST5’s capacity in terms of armor and mobility, promoting the fact that it can be carried as external cargo in CH-47 Chinook helicopters and transported in the Airbus A400M by Ala 31 in Zaragoza. From the latter they can even carry out parachutes or air strikes.
Since this VEAC is required and there is no economic prognosis for the purchase of a model, the suggestion arises to use the VAMTAC ST5 and to transform it in a convenient way. The idea advocates the integration of a turret with a 20mm automatic cannon that gives it considerable volume and firepower, and keeps it of a size and weight that would make it easier to use in parachute launches. Urovesa has already validated this possibility in its vehicle and there are companies like Escribano M&E that have presented similar projects and are able to manufacture this assembly in Spain.
It would be more than interesting and economically very profitable to advocate redesigning vehicles that are already owned by national industry. In addition to the 20mm cannon, it would be good to incorporate an exploration and surveillance solution similar to that of the VERT (Land Exploration and Reconnaissance Vehicle) that is already in operation. On a small budget and in three or four pensions, thirty or more of the ST5’s could be converted into VAEC, thus meeting the needs of the Caballero paratrooper. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
Photo: Concept presented by Escribano that could be a particularly valid solution for the national industry to meet the need for VAEC in BRIPAC.
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