The Argentine Defense Ministry (Ministerio de Defensa), the Argentine Army (Ejército Argentino), and the Mendoza-based company Industrias Mecánicas Pescarmona SA (IMPSA) have signed an agreement to modernize the turrets of several locally-built Argentine Medium Tank (Tanque Argentino Mediano, TAM) 2C medium tanks. The initiative involving the TAM 2C, arguably the most powerful armored vehicle in the country, will be supported by the Argentine National Defense Fund (FONDEF). The contract includes welding services for the supports of the auxiliary power unit and the equipment-carrying bracket of the tower. Work is being carried out at the Arsenals Battalion 602. Argentina plans to ready two to three TAM-2S tanks by the end of the year. In addition to the current project, Impsa will supply the Army with spare parts for the TAM.
“Consolidating and expanding the capabilities of the national industry is one of our main objectives, through FONDEF, and in particular, the TAM 2C modernization project,” Undersecretary of Scientific Research and Industrial Policy Roberto Adaro explained.
“It is very important to partner with the Ministry of Defense and the Argentine Army in such an emblematic project for the country as the modernization of the TAM 2C. This allows us to continue developing our capabilities in the national defense industry, thanks to the technical and human capacity of our workers. Besides, it means more national production, more Argentine jobs, and boosts the development of the Argentine industry,” Impsa’s CEO Sergio Carobene said.
The TAM (Tanque Argentino Mediano, Argentine Medium Tank) is a medium tank in service with the Argentine Army. Lacking the experience and resources to design a tank, the Argentine Ministry of Defense contracted German company Thyssen-Henschel. The vehicle was developed by a German and Argentine team of engineers, and was based on the German Marder infantry fighting vehicle chassis. The TAM has never seen combat, although 17 VCTPs were deployed to Croatia for the United Nations UNPROFOR peacekeeping mission. In total, over 280 such vehicles were built, including armored personnel carriers, artillery and mortar pieces. The TAM series includes seven different variants, such as a 155 mm (6.1-inch) self-propelled howitzer and a self-propelled mortar vehicle.
In 2010, Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems was chosen to provide 3-axis gyro-stabilization. The first TAM unit upgraded by Elbit Systems was delivered in March 2013. The TAM 2C was upgraded with many features, mainly revolving around electronics and other secondary features. The upgrades included a thermal imager for the gunner and commander, a thermal sleeve for the barrel, and an auxiliary power unit to provide power to critical systems when the main engine is off and reduce fuel consumption while idling. The TAM 2C also had numerous firepower upgrades, including new APFSDS shells and a new HEAT shell, and the capability to fire LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles, with over 800 mm of penetration and 8 km range. The TAM 2C also received a new turret storage basket.