Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier
The Spanish Pegaso BMR 600 series armored personnel carrier is in service with a few national armies, some 1,300 having been produced to date.
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The Pegaso BMR ("Blindado Medio de Ruedas" - "Armored, Medium, Wheeled") series of wheeled vehicles are a multi-role 6x6 system developed by Enasa of Spain and has seen operational use by several world militaries in number including Spain, Egypt, Peu, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. The Austrian Army developed its "Pandur I" series vehicles from the Spanish BMR family. The key qualities of such a wheeled system are all-terrain mobility and modularity to which the BMR can be modified to suit mission requirements as needed while being used in a variety of roles. since 1979, over 1,200 examples of the vehicle have been produced.
With input from the Spanish Army, Pegaso set about in creating a new multi-wheeled design to which the initial prototype was available in 1975. After a period of evaluation, the system was formally entered serial production in 1979 (company designation of "BMR 3560.50"). The BMR series includes full amphibious qualities, the vehicle propelled in water by a pair of hydrojets at the rear of the hull. The vehicle utilizes a well-sloped glacis plate and armor protection against small arms and artillery spray. The roof of the vehicle includes enough surface area for specialized equipment to be carried while various armament mounts can be configured for use in turreted form. The BMR is designed to be airlifted by certain aircraft and the standard drivetrain includes six large "run flat" suspended road wheels, power steering, an automatic transmission and a Pegaso 9157/8 diesel-fueled engine of 306 horsepower (since upgraded to the Scania DS9 61A 24S series engines of 310 horsepower). Passive armor protection is available (since standard on newer versions).Internally, the driver manages steering from a front-left hull position. The engine is fitted to a compartment to the front-right of the hull. The fighting compartment is to the rear with a large square powered door at the rear. Firing ports along the hull sides are optional.
The "BMR 600" (BMR-PP) is the base Spanish Army designation of the BMR armored personnel carrier. The standard model is outfitted with a variety of light weaponry to include 7.62mm general purpose machine guns, 12.7mm heavy machine guns for light armor and low-flying aircraft and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. This array of weaponry allows the BMR crew to counter several battlefield threats at range while retaining good cross-country capabilities and allows the BMR to take on the role of infantry fighting vehicle - unloading troops while being able to supply suppression fire or fire support. The weapons are fitted to a powered station which can further be actuated from within the vehicle. The "BMR M1" is a modernized variant of the base APC and includes passive armor protection, air conditioning as standard as well as the uprated Scania DS9 series engine. Upgrades were completed under the "BMR 2" program designation.
Like other multi-wheeled, multi-role vehicles of this type, the BMR serves as the basis for several dedicated battlefield systems. The BMR 3560.51 (Spanish Army "BMR-PC") is a command post vehicle fitted with additional communications equipment and antenna. The BMR 3560.53E ("BMR-PM-81") (PM = "PortaMortero") is a mobile fire support vehicle armed with an 81mm mortar. Similarly, the BMR 3560.59E ("BMR-PM-120") is given a 120mm heavy mortar. The BMR 3560.54 ("BMR AMB") is a battlefield ambulance with room for medical litters and staff. The BMR 3560.55 ("BMR-Recup") is outfitted with a powered crane and winch for the battlefield recovery role. Likewise, the BMR VCZ ("Vehiculo de Combate Zapadores") is intended as a battlefield engineer vehicle and is completed with a dozer blade and powered winch. The BMR 3560.56 serves as a signals vehicle. The BMR EDX ("Equipo de Desactivacion de Explosivos") is an EOD version with higher roof and specialized bomb disposal equipment. The BMR VRAC-NBQ ("Vehiculo de Reconocimiento de Areas Contaminadas") is a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protected vehicle. The BMR GEL ("Guerra Electronica") is a specialized mount outfitted with electronic warfare equipment.
Several marks convert the base BMR model into a tank-hunting weapons platform and these are outfitted as such with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). This includes the "BMR C/C MILAN" and the "BMR C/C TOW", each carrying launchers for the MILAN and TOW ATGM missile respectively. The BMR 3560.57 is a prototype armed with the HOT ATGM (assumed designation of "BMR C/C HOT").
The VMA ("Vehiculo Mecanizado Anfibio") is a prototype form with suggested amphibious improvements.
To date, the BMR family of vehicles has seen extensive service in several high profile operations include UN intervention during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s and in Afghanistan after the 2003 US invasion. Spanish forces have also fielded their BMR vehicles in Iraq (following the US invasion of 2001) and in security duty across Lebanon.
The Pegaso VEC-M1 is a modified variant of the BMR series, armed with a turreted 25mm chain gun and two-man turret, currently in service with the Spanish Army. Both vehicles share commonality of components.