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LAAD 2017: ASTROS artillery stays on target

  • Publicado: Segunda, 10 de Abril de 2017, 14h03


Brazil's rocket artillery modernisation and acquisition programme remains on track to meet its full entry into service in 2020.

Jose Julio Dias Barreto, the ASTROS 2020 programme manager told Shephard that it was unaffected by the recent budget issues. He explained further that the Brazilian contractor Avibras has delivered 18 of 38 modernised Mk3M launch vehicles (AV-LMU) and 21 of 50 new Mk6 launchers.

Under the programme, the Brazilian Army will receive a second rocket artillery battalion in 2020 (16th battalion) which will join the existing 6th battalion and they will also be equipped to fire the TM-300 missile and SS-40 guided rockets.

Each battalion has three batteries and each battery has six launchers, making 18 launchers per battalion. Barreto said that the 6th battalion has two batteries (12 units) of modernised Mk3M launchers and one battery (six units) of the new Mk6 launcher.

The new 16th battalion will consist of three batteries, each equipped with six new Mk6 launchers. The army has had the ASTROS system since the early 1980s.

The existing launcher units are being modernised under the ASTROS 2020 programme from the Mk2 and Mk3 standard to the Mk3M standard so that they match the capability of the new Mk6 launchers that are being introduced.

With the new missile and guided rocket it will extend the range and precision attack capability of the Brazilian Army's rocket artillery battalions to 300km and increase the deterrence capability of the force against any potential invaders of Brazil's territory.

Barreto said that the missile has been in development at Avibras for the past five years and will completed in about 2-3 years' time. A spokesperson at Avibras told Shephard that the missile is in an advanced stage of development and has been tested and that the guided rocket development was following.

Assistance has been provided by Lockheed Martin which builds the HIMARS rocket artillery system and the British Army, which operates the M-270 unguided rocket artillery launcher.

Avibras said that a range of other new and modernised vehicles will accompany the launcher into service. These include the AV-RMD ammunition supply vehicles, one of which will be allocated to each AV-LMU. In each battalion there will be a number of AV-UCF fire control units, AV-OFVE workshop vehicles, AV-VCC command and control platforms, AV-PCC battery command and control vehicles, and an AV-MET meteorological vehicle.


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