Thursday, December 13, 2007

Czech Republic cancels Pandur II contract?

The blog of the Spanish group Circulo Trubia - dedicated to the study of armoured vehicles - has made a brief analyses of the czech cancellation of the contract signed in 2006 with Steyr for 199 Pandur II armoured vehicles. According to this source, such radical decision it is seen more as a strategie to force the austrian company to accept a reduction of the number of vehicles.

[Photo from Steyr-Daimler-Puch.]

Meanwhile, the Portuguese Army is going to evaluate, next week, at Santa Margarida training camp, the first prototype of the Mobile Gun System (MGS) version. The prototype is equipped with a belgian CMI CT-CV turret, armed with a 105mm caliber gun. Such trials are included in the original contract, since Portugal has an option for 33 vehicles configured as MGS.

Pedro Monteiro

Saturday, December 8, 2007

New article about the Portuguese Army (II)

As previous noted, the December issue of the spanish defence magazine Fuerzas Militares del Mundo ( publishes the second part of an article about the Portuguese Army.
In resume, the article comprises both an analysis of the present equipment and a review of the main programmes for new weapon systems (such as the Pandur II armoured vehicle or the Leopard 2A6 main battle tank).

MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTED IN: Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Peru and USA.

Pedro Monteiro

Portuguese SAR helicopter fleet

The Montijo air base is one of the most important air bases of the Portuguese Air Force. In fact, it is there where is based the C-130 fleet, the EH-101 fleet, as well as the P-3C fleet. An interesting fact: from its huge area we can see, on the oposite side of the Tagus river, the portuguese capital - Lisbon.

Recently, I had the opportuniy of visiting the unit which operates the EH-101 Merlin fleet - 751 Sqn. "Pumas -, whose main mission is conducting search and rescue (SAR) operations along the portuguese coastline and maritime area.

Portugal has received twelve EH-101 Merlin helicopters. The photo shows one of them prepared for a new mission. [click to enlarge].

Pedro Monteiro

Military ceremony at Leiria

As part of the official comemoration of the Army Day, the military branch organizes, which year, a military ceremony at October 21st. This year, Leiria was the place chosen by the military for a ceremony which mobilized more than 1.000 troops. Such event also counted with the presence of the Minister of Defense, Professor Nuno Severiano Teixeira. In hs speech, the Minister underlined the modernization of the military branch in what he considers to be the "first great programme since the April 25th, 1974".

I made a report of the event for the Spanish magazine Fuerzas Militares del Mundo as part of an article about the Portuguese Army which I am writing.

The military ceremony included speechs by the Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army as well by the Minister of Defence. After it, during a brief encounter with the press, the Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army declared that his goal for personnel is to reach a total of 24.500 military, inclunding 14.500 foot soldiers [click to enlarge].

A M109 A5 self-propelled howitzer. Its 155mm caliber canon, as well the improvements in communications and data transfers have put the portuguese artillery up to the level of allied forces [click to enlarge].

Pedro Monteiro