Brazil transfers M41C 25 M41 light tanks to the Uruguayan army

Brazil transfers M41C 25 M41 light tanks to the Uruguayan army

The Brazilian Army (Exército Brasileiro) completed the transfer of 25 M41C light tanks to its Uruguayan counterpart in Rivera, Uruguay, on 7 December. The negotiations about this transfer have started in 2011, and now the agreement is accepted by the two countries and the United States Department of Defense. On September 28, 2018, Brazilian President Michel Temer sanctioned Law 13,720 authorizing the Ministry of Defense to donate 25 M41C light tanks to the Uruguayan Army. These M41C light tanks will be delivered to the Cavalry and Armoured Infantry units of the Army Uruguay to replace old M24 Chaffee.

Of the 25 vehicles, 15 were completely refurbished by Brazil while the remaining 10 will be used for parts. The donated vehicles are at the Regional Maintenance Park of the Brazilian Army’s 3rd Military Region in Rio Grande do Sul state, at the border with Uruguay. Those that will remain intact will be assigned to armoured infantry units, which currently use M24 light tanks. While the M41Cs are also legacy vehicles, they will enhance the capabilities of the Uruguayan Infantry. Uruguay has also 22 M41UR armed with a 90 mm Cockerill cannon in place of the original 76mm light gun.

M24 Chaffee light tank of Uruguay Army

M24 Chaffee light tank of Uruguay Army

The Brazilian Army, which once had 340 units of this US-made tank, now has only 152 ones left, all deactivated. Brazil purchased the M41 Walker Bulldog tanks from the United States in the 1960s. The EB finally used these tanks almost five decades for training purposes. In 2009, all units were deemed obsolete and were permanently retired from the inventory. Some of them were placed in museums and others used as monuments. The Brazilian Army replaced the M41C with Leopard main battle tanks.

Brazil modernised its M41C variant tanks several decades ago with new engines and a recalibrated gun with 90 mm Ca 76/90 M32 BR3 gun with thermal sleeve and muzzle break made in Brazil instead of the original 76 mm M32 gun used by other armoured vehicles in the country. The latest version of the M41C is motorized with Brazilian build Saab-Scania DS-14A O4 eight cylinder diesel engine with modifications to the rear hull and electrical system. The transmission package is upgraded allowing the tank to run at a speed of 70 km/h. Night vision and a laser range finder is added to the gun sight. Additional spaced armour plates are added to the forward part of the hull, glacis plate and turret.

M41C light tank of Brazilian army

M41C light tank of Brazilian army


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