Argentina has placed an order for 54 Mercedes Benz Atego 1726 4×4 heavy-duty trucks worth 1,073 million pesos for its Army. Argentina-based company Besten Handler was selected to provide the Atego 4x4s ahead of four other bidders for the contract. The purchase of a total of 54 15-ton trucks destined for units of the Argentine Army, amounted to 1,073 million pesos. This process was carried out within the framework of the public administration supply acquisition regime, through a public tender in which five bidders participated and in which 54 Mercedes Benz Atego 1726 4×4 militarized trucks with trooper box were purchased.
The Argentine Army received 10 4×4 trucks, purchased with contributions from the National Defense Fund (FONDEF). With the arrival of these vehicles, a total of 40 units have been incorporated into the fleet of this force to increase the operational cargo transport capacity and logistical support for the different training and community support activities. These trucks come fitted with boxes for transporting cargo and militarized personnel. The innovation presented by the troop box for 17 people includes an anti-tip system, new folding seats with upholstered seat and backrest, 3-point safety belts, which will be fully developed in the national industry.
The Mercedes-Benz Atego is a light two-axle truck. It is a militarized commercial design, modified to suit specific requirements. The Atego was proposed as a lighter alternative to heavier-duty Actros trucks. This military vehicle is in service with a number of countries, including Germany, Argentina, Bulgaria, Finland Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Since 2004 an updated Atego II is available. Also the heaviest models of the Atego I became the part of the Axor II range of general utility trucks. This truck is conventional in terms of design and layout. It has a payload capacity from 3 to 5 t, depending on the model. There are six base models with various wheelbase and engine combinations.
The Atego range of military trucks uses only proven and commercially available automotive components. Vehicle is powered by various Mercedes-Benz turbocharged diesel engines with their power output ranging from 177 to 326 hp. Engines meeting EURO 2, 3, 4 or 5 emission requirements were available for certain territories. Manual gearboxes were normally fitted, however automatic gearboxes were also available on heavier models. Both 4×4 and 4×2 drive configurations were available. A central tyre inflation system and self-recovery winch were optional. With a deep wading kit installed this truck can ford water obstacles up to 1.2 m deep. The general troop/cargo body was fitted with drop-sides and drop-tailgate. The cargo area was covered with bows and tarpaulin.