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Spanish Ejército de Tierra News & Discussion

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Old May 13th, 2008   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain
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Spanish Ejército de Tierra News & Discussion

I couldn't find a thread on the Spanish Army using the search function, so I decided to create one - given that Spain is one of the most rapidly 'modernizing' forces in Europe [albeit having one of the smallest defense bugets in terms of percentage of the budget].

Current major procurement efforts of the Spanish Army:

Leopard 2E
Although Spain's Leopard 2 program, to replace the M60A3TTS and AMX-30EM2, began in 1998 with the renting of 108 Leopard 2A4s, which have now been officially procured and will be paid for by 2015 [€15 million], production of the Leopard 2E [improved Leopard 2A6 with a level of nationalization of roughly 60%, including the tracks [SAPA], auxiliary power unit [SAPA], assembly [Santa Bárbara Sistemas], LINCE battle management system [Indra], fire control system [Indra], et cetera] only commenced in December 2004 at a theoritical rate of around 4 Leopard 2Es per month. Unfortunately, program difficulties [including KMW sending SBB plans for the Leopard 2S, not the Leopard 2E] have meant that by 1 June 2006 the Army received only forty-eight Leopard 2Es and 1 Büffel ARV [I personally went to the El Goloso Armor Museum in November of 2007, and can attest that they have received the majority of the Büffels stipulated by the contract by that date] and the program will likely be finished this year - 2008 - instead of last year; although, according to Colonel Antonio Candil, the Spanish Army only received three Leopard 2Es in 2007, instead of the forty-three stipulated by the contract. Regardless, the contract for 219 Leopard 2Es represents about €1.9 billion.

Tiger HAD Attack Helicopter
Spain's twenty-four HA-28 Tiger HAD attack helicopters represents a €1.4 billion contract. Spain has received three HAP helicopters from the French, with plans to receive another three, with production of the HAD beginning this year at the new Eurocopter plant in Albacete [the six HAPs will be modified to HAD standards]; the first HADs are supposed to arrive by 2010 and the contract will be complete by 2014. The Spanish HAD is equipped with the MTR390 engine, with a thrust improvement of 14%, in which the Spanish company ITP partook in the development - the increase in thrust is to compensate for the increase in weight of roughly 200kg in the Spanish version, compared to the French and German versions of the helicopter. Spain has decided to equip her new helicopters with the Spike-ER anti-tank missile.

Spanish MRAP
Due to the destruction of two BMRs in Lebanon and Afghanistan, Spain has decided to begin an emergency procurement of a large number of wheeled MRAP vehicles. Insofar, Spain has already ordered 120 Lince LMVs in three batches for a total of roughly €40 million, while Spain has also ordered 100 RG-31Mk5Es for €100 million. Over the next year Spain has plans to procure about another 275 Linces and 80 RG-31Mk5Es, which will replace Spanish URO VAMTACs and Anibals in Lebanon and Afghanistan, while Spain also needs to decide which 8x8 AFV [currently between Nexter's VCBI, General Dynamic Mowag's Pirahna V and Patria's AMV] will replace her large fleet of 6x6 BMRs [BMR-600s and BMR2s, included].

[Photograph by me: One of the Tercio's BMR vehicles during the October 12th, 2007, Día de la Hispanidad military parade in Madrid.]
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