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LAAD 2011: German companies target Brazilian M113 upgrade

12th April 2011 - 18:54 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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KMW and FFG announced at LAAD 2011 that they have entered a partnering arrangement to pursue an upgrade proposal for the Brazilian Army's M113 armoured personnel carriers and other similar opportunities in Latin America.

FFG has some 25 years of experience in upgrading the M113 and has upgraded the vehicle for a number of European countries, including Germany and Denmark, and is also significantly involved in the Australian Army's upgrade programme.

Karsten Glauning, head of sales and project development at FFG, told Shephard,' the focus here in Brazil is to try and get a foot in to the M113 upgrade for the Brazilian Army. The M113 we have here on show is the Danish configuration'.

The so-called WARAN configuration is an increased power rated version of the vehicle that comes with an enhanced driving gear, a better storage capacity and larger payload capacity. However, Glaunning said that the version that would be offered to the Brazilian Army would depend on cost and that a more economical upgrade could be achieved if desired.

He added that an upgrade of the M113 fleet would still allow the Brazilian armed forces to continue to utilise much of the logistics baseline of the system and that the upgrade would come with a guaranteed 25 years of spare parts. It also would have the benefit of being less expensive than procuring a new armoured personnel carrier.

A number of countries in Latin America operate the M113 and it could prove a lucrative market for KMW and FFG. The Brazilian Army is believed to have just under 600 M113s in service and there are also other sizeable fleets in the region.

To address the potential of the Brazilian and South American market, KMW also announced separately that it is establishing a Brazilian subsidiary. Named KMW do Brasil and located in Santa Maria in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, the company expects to also set up a research and development department staffed with local skilled labour that will work on specific South American vehicle solutions, which will then be manufactured in Santa Maria.

In addition, the newly founded subsidiary will act as a continental hub for KMW’s regional activities. As result, Brazil will be able to get its recently acquired Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks serviced locally.

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