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LAAD 2011: Gladiador 'light tank' nears production

13th April 2011 - 18:47 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Brazilian firm InbraFiltro Group is confident of securing a launch customer for its Gladiador 4x4 light armoured vehicle by the end of 2011, the company has told Shephard.

Displaying the final configuration of the vehicle for the first time at LAAD 2011, the company expects the high levels of regional interest for the vehicle, which it describes as a ‘light tank on wheels' (LTOW), to soon translate to a production contract.

The vehicle was developed to meet a stated request by the Brazilian Army and the company is now negotiating to start production at its Sao Paolo facility.

InbraFiltro Group business director, José Carlos Sampaio Alves, said the army had a requirement for some 350 light armoured vehicles but this number may be reduced due to budgetary pressures.

According to company literature, the army evaluated the Gladiador against similar-sized international vehicles, with the LTOW gaining the best result in the categories of weight/performance, capacity/armouring and mobility/consumption.

Alves said other armed forces and security agencies in Latin America, Africa and Asia had already shown interest in the vehicle. In addition, the Rio de Janeiro police planned to trial the vehicle in coming months, using the variant that was developed for the army.

‘This will certainly be a landmark year for the Gladiador where most of these decisions will be made,' Alves said.

He said the ‘100% Brazilian' vehicle had been designed from the ground up, with Brazilian company Agrale Industry responsible for the chassis and mechanical engineering.

Offered for $350,000 for the basic version, the seven ton vehicle has capacity for a driver and seven passengers, provides level four protection and has a top speed of 130km/h.

Beyond the Gladiador, the company used the show to highlight its filtration systems and personal protection products. It is also contracted by Helibras to provide composite armouring for the Brazilian armed forces EC725 transport helicopters.

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