Tracked RESET: Brazil Sticks With its M113s
In the early 1970s, the Brazilian Army acquired a number of tracked M113 armored personnel carriers from the US Army, to serve alongside their locally-built EE-11 Urrutu 6×6 wheeled APCs. The mix is a smart one; wheeled vehicles offer easier mobility, while tracked vehicles offer broader military options, and can handle all types of terrain. Both vehicle types are very old, however, and the Urrutus will soon be replaced by over 2,000 of Brazil’s new VBTP/ Guaranis.
That leaves the Army’s tracked APCs, which are set to get attention of their own now. Under a $41.9 million contract with BAE Systems Land and Armaments in Santa Clara, CA (W56HZV-12-C-0083), the Brazilian Army Depot in Curitiba will receive the supplies and training they need to upgrade 150 of Brazil’s roughly 600 M113A0s (“M113B”) to the M113A2 Mk1 configuration. “Upgrade” is really too modest a word – the depot will strip the APCs down to shells, leaving only the vehicle hulls, hatches and ramps. All other components including the engines, transmissions and cooling systems will be replaced or upgraded using components, tooling and spares from BAE, who will also train the depot staff. This RESET approach lowers the overall upgrade cost, but note that the true cost will be substantially above the BAE contract’s value alone. The M113A2 Mk1 program is expected to last until November 2014, by which time the Guaranis will also be in full production, and entering service. BAE Systems.