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  • 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.

     Updated: 5/26/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Attempting to modernized its extensively outdated armored corps consisting of World War 2-era M4 Sherman Medium Tanks and M3/M9 Half Tracks, the Argentine government sought new alternatives entering into the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.

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    TAMSE TAM (Tanque Argentino Mediano) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1983
    Type: Light Tank / Medium Tank
    National Origin: Argentina
    Manufacturer(s): Thyssen-Henschel (Rheinmetall Landsysteme) - Germany / TAMSE - Argentina
    Production: 200

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 4
    Length: 27.00 feet (8.23 meters)
    Width: 10.79 feet (3.29 meters)
    Height: 7.97 feet (2.43 meters)

    Operating Weight: 33 tons (30,000 kg; 66,139 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
    Nightvision Equipment: Yes

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x MTU MB 833 Ka 500 supercharged 6-cylinder diesel engine developing 720 horsepower at 2,400rpm.

    Maximum Road Speed: 47 mph (75 km/h)
    Maximum Road Range: 367 miles (590 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 105mm main gun
    1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun
    1 x 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun
    2 x 4 smoke grenade dischargers

    50 x 105mm projectiles
    6,000 7.62mm ammunition
    8 x smoke grenades

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    Model Variants

    TAM - Base Medium Tank Production Model Designation; entered service in 1983; 200 vehicles produced.

    VCA 155 - 155mm Self-Propelled Gun variant; TAM tank chassis mated to Italian OTO-Melara Palmaria 155mm gun and turret; adopted in 1995; 19 vehicles produced.

    VCI - Initial Infantry Fighting Vehicle designation; based on TAM chassis.

    VCTP - Updated Infantry Fighting Vehicle designation; based on TAM chassis; entered service in 1983; 216 vehicles produced.

    VCRT - Armored Recovery Vehicle based on TAM chassis.

    VCA - Battlefield Ambulance based on TAM chassis

    VC AMUN - Proposed Ammunition Carrier

    VCLC - Battlefield Rocket System; Israeli launcher and rockets in 160mm and 350mm size.

    VCPC - Command Post Vehicle with increased communications; limited production.

    R301 - Further Development of the base TAM system wiht increased armor protection.

    VCTM - Mortar Carrier; 50 examples produced.