VCTP

†††† Notes:† This is an Argentine armored personnel carrier based on the same chassis as the TAM tank.† Most of the design work was done by Germanyís Thyssen-Krupp AG, who had already developed the TAM light tank for Argentina.† The idea of an APC based on the TAM chassis was the idea of the Argentine Army, and this was done to decrease the cost of the VCTP as well as the cost of maintenance by producing a vehicle that had a large percentage of parts that were the same as the TAM.† It also meant that mechanics trained to work on the TAM could be quickly trained to also work on the VCTP, and a driver who could drive a TAM could drive a VCTP.† The Argentine Army originally intended to replace all of their APCs and many of its scout vehicles with the VCTP, for a total of 350 VCTPs and VCPCs; however, only 210 (of all versions) were actually produced, due to budgetary problems.† Production was carried out in Argentina by TAMSE, in a plant that was fitted out under the supervision of technicians from Thyssen-Krupp.† The VCTP is part of a family of vehicles, including the VCPC command post carrier and the VCTM mortar carrier.† (There were to be more members of this family produced, but they died a premature budgetary death.)

 

The VCTP

†††† The general layout of the VCTP is very much like that of another German vehicle, the Marder IFV.† The small, 1-man turret incorporates a simplified version of the fire control system of the Marder; in fact, many systems of the VCTP use simplified versions of those found in the Marder.†

†††† The main armament is a 20mm Rheinmetall Rh-202 autocannon, as found on the Marder 1A3 IFV; a pintle-mounted machinegun is found at the commanderís hatch.† (Some sources list the autocannon used as the 20mm Oerlikon KAA. Most sources, including most reliable sources, say the autocannon on production vehicles is indeed an Rh-202, though early prototypes did mount a KAA.) The Rh-202, being a dual-feed weapon, has ammunition belts feeding from both sides of the autocannon; on the VCTP, 100-round belts are normally carried already loaded into the VCTP as ready ammunition. Two more belts are in the turret, with the rest of the ammunition being stowed in the front of the passenger compartment. The VCTP also has a remote control machinegun over the rear of the passenger compartment, again a feature found on the Marder.† The commander has an IR night sight, and functions as both the commander and gunner; he has a coincidence rangefinder and a small ballistic computer. The commanderís controls for the autocannon are situated so that he can fire them even when his head and shoulders are outside of the hatch. The commanderís hatch is ringed with vision blocks, with the night vision head to the front and slightly to the left of his hatch. On each side of the hull, just to the rear of the driverís compartment, there is a cluster of four smoke grenade launchers, with the grenades being manually fired by the commander.

†††† The driver is on the left front hull, with the commander on the right side of the turret.† The driver has a standard vision block to his front and two wide-angle vision blocks on either side of that block; the center vision block can be removed and replaced with a night vision block that comes with the VCTP and is normally kept in a case on the left wall of the driverís compartment.† The suspension of the VCTP is the same as that of the TAM, which gives the VCTP a reasonable cross-country ride and good road ride.† The engine is a German-designed MTU MB-833 diesel engine, developing 720 horsepower.† The VCTP has a surprisingly large pair of fuel tanks in the walls of the passenger compartment, and a pair of reserve fuel tanks (200 liters each) may be fitted to either side of the hull rear. The VCPC is amphibious with 3 minutes of preparation; this preparation consists of the deployment of a trim vane and the turning on of a bilge pump.† A swimming VCPC does, however, have alarmingly little freeboard.

†††† The passenger compartment is surprisingly roomy, though less so when carrying its normal complement of 10 troops.† Bench seats are found on either side of the compartment, with a squad leaderís individual seat at the front of the passenger compartment which faces to the rear.† Entry and exit is by a door in the rear of the hull; there are also small roof hatches (large enough for two troops to stand in each of them) on the hull deck over the center of the passenger compartment. Three firing ports are found on each side of the passenger compartment; these can accept the individual small arms used by the Argentine Army, including machineguns.† There are no firing ports at the rear of the vehicle, but there is a vision block, and a periscope is also a part of the rear machinegun turret. Vision blocks are just above these firing ports.

 

The VCPC

†††† The VCPC differs from the VCTP only in the lack of a turret and in the interior arrangements.† As a command post carrier, the VCPC carries up to six radios (which may be short, medium, or long-range), map boards, and drawers and compartments for stowing the various equipment needed by command post personnel.† An additional AM-band very long-range radio is often carried, as well as one or more rugged military-type laptop computers. (For the stats below, I have included the AM radio and one laptop.) Additional hand-held observation devices, ranging from binoculars to a thermal imager, are carried. (I have included a hand-held image intensifier and thermal imager in the price below, though they are not listed, as they are not integrated equipment.) The driverís compartment is the same; the commanderís station is simply a hatch where the turret would normally be, with a pintle-mounted machinegun.† This machinegun is sometimes found with a gun shield to the front or even all-around gun shields. The rear remote-control machinegun of the VCTP is deleted on the VCPC.† Roof hatches of the same type as on the VCTP are found over the passenger compartment in the same place as on the VCTP (just to the rear of center.)† The smoke grenade launchers and firing ports of the VCTP are retained. Due to the additional equipment in the passenger compartment of the VCPC, the capacity of the passenger compartment is reduced to six, and the rear-facing squad-leaderís seat is deleted.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

VCTP

$123,140

D, A

1.01 tons

28 tons

2+10

16

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

VCPC

$213,056

D, A

825 kg

26 tons

2+6

19

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

VCTP

178/125

43/26/4

640+400

378

Trtd

T3

TF9† TS4† TR4† HF14† HS6† HR6

VCPC

178/125

43/26/4

640+400

378

Trtd

T3

HF14† HS6† HR6

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

VCTP

+2

Fair

20mm Rh-202 autocannon, MG-3 (R), MG-3 (C)

1400x20mm, 5000x7.62mm

VCPC

None

None

MG-3 (C)

2500x7.62mm