TAMSE TAM (Tanque Argentino Mediano) Light Tank / Medium Tank
The TAM tank was a German-Argentine product designed to resolve the Argentine armor requirement for modern tracked vehicles.
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Attempting to modernized its extensively outdated armored corps consisting of World War 2-era M4 Sherman Medium Tanks and M3/M9 Half Tracks, the Argentine government sought new alternatives entering into the 1970s. Since the nation lacked the historical base needed for indigenous design and development of an expensive tracked vehicle program, they commissioned the German concern of Thyssen-Henschel (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme of Kassel, Germany) in 1974 for the task. Key to the Argentine Army requirement was development of a frontline Light/Medium class combat tank and an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) utilizing the same chassis and powertrain to keep costs under control.
Thyssen-Henschel responded by outfitting the existing German Army Marder IFV for the roles - the combat tank to feature a full-sized traversing turret and large-caliber armament and the IFV to sport a more compact turret with autocannon and fighting compartment for passengers. The Germans - with Argentine input - developed three prototypes of each vehicle and these underwent extensive tests and trials while still in Germany. Upon successful completion of the tests, the vehicles were then shipped to Argentina to which the TAMSE (Tanque Argentino Mediano Sociedad el Estado) factory was established at Buenos Aires for serial production. Some 70% of the vehicle was Argentine with the remainder of components being German in manufacture with final assembly in Buenos Aires.