Brazilian Army Leopard 1A5BR Main Battle Tanks
Brazilian Army Leopard 1A5BR Main Battle Tanks

Brazilian Army Issues Request for Information to Upgrade Leopard 1A5BR Tanks

The global open-source intelligence company Jane reported that the Brazilian Army is seeking to upgrade its Leopard 1A5BR main battle tank (MBT) through a competition for local modernisation. The upgrade is part of the 2020–39 Armoured Forces Sub-program of the Brazilian Army Strategic Program. The request for information (RFI) and request for proposals (RFPs) are scheduled to be issued by the Directorate of Materiel, part of the Logistics Command, in 2022 to modernise 116 of the existing 220 main battle tank.

On the mandatory front, for example, the Leopard 1A5BR will receive a new electric drive turret and control system, a driver’s thermal imager, climate control unit, remote-controlled weapon station, and automatic fire suppression system for the engine compartment, as well as upgrades to the command and control (C2) and modernised EMES 18 fire-control system. The requirement also includes provisions to add a combat dozer blade, full-width surface clearance device, remote weapon station, and add-on armor protection kit.

Brazilian Army Leopard 1A5BR Main Battle Tanks. (Photo by Exército Brasileiro)

On 28 October 2009, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) handed over the first of 220 LEOPARD 1A5 main battle tanks to the Brazilian army at the company’s site in Kassel, Germany. The tanks come from the reserve stocks of the German army and have been overhauled and modernised since the start of this year. Brazil’s Leopard 1A5BR is fielded by the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Combat Tanks Regiments and the 4th, 6th, and 9th Armoured Cavalry Regiments. At present, the Brazilan Army include 220 Leopard 1A5BR and 41 and Leopard-1A1.

The Leopard 1 is a main battle tank designed and produced by Porsche in West Germany that first entered service in 1965. The Leopard 1A5 was based on 1,225 vehicles of the Leopard 1A1A1 model. The turrets were again modified for the 1A5, both in order to store all of the new equipment, as well as to move more of the ammunition into the rear of the turret, as opposed to the left side of the driver where it had previously been stored. Almost all users of the Leopard 1 have also applied similar changes and in most ways the 1A5 be considered the “standard” Leopard 1 today.

Brazilian Army Leopard 1A5BR Main Battle Tanks, (Photo by Exército Brasileiro)