TAMSE VCTM

     Notes: The VCTM (sometimes called the VCTM-TAM or TAM-VCTM) is an Argentine mortar carrier based on the chassis of the VCTP armored personnel carrier.  The Argentines have 54 of these vehicles on hand at present, though they do not currently have plans to manufacture more. In this role, the turret is removed, and in its place is a hump-backed rear with a set of large hatches, which are opened when the mortar is to be fired.  What is normally the rear cargo area is taken up by the mortar, a turntable built into the floor of the vehicle, a special bipod and sight assembly designed for the vehicle, and ammunition racks. However, the VCTM carries only a limited amount of ammunition and charges internally (like almost all mortar carriers) and during most extended firing missions, the VCTM is fed by crewmembers manning ammunition stacks and charge containers outside the rear doors of the vehicle, who attach the charges to the rounds according to the range required and then pass them by hand to the assistant gunner (the crewmember who actually drops the round down the tube).  The VCTM also carries a normal baseplate and bipod for firing the mortar outside of the vehicle if necessary.  The VCTM retains the rear-mounted remote-control machinegun of the VCTP. Firing ports and their associated vision blocks are deleted.  There is a commanderís cupola, but it has no provision for armament, though it does rotate manually and all-around vision blocks.  The driver has three vision blocks to his front; the two on the outside are wide-angle vision blocks and the one in the middle gives a normal field of view.  The middle block can be removed and replaced by a night vision block.

     Like the VCTP, the VCTM is a sort of descendant of the Marder.  It therefore shares having decent armor protection, though it is not as good as an actual Marder.  The VCTP series, including the VCTM does, however, use a more powerful MTU MB-633 720-horsepower turbocharged diesel.  The engine is coupled to a manual transmission, and the VCTP series (including the VCTM) is mechanically simplified as much as possible over the Marder or its TAM descendant. The VCTM is amphibious with a minimum of preparation; a trim vane must be erected (this can be done by the driver from the driverís compartment), and the driver must switch on bilge pumps.  However, crews are loath to swim the VCTM, as freeboard is not great, and swimming speed is slow. On the front of the glacis, towards the outside and about halfway up, are a cluster of four smoke grenade launchers on either side.  A small, hand-held mortar ballistic computer is included in the price below. Drums on each side of the VCTM carry auxiliary fuel, though they are normally filled only during long movements, and the driver draws from those tanks first. The reason for the simplification is because the VCTP series was to be built in Argentina as much as possible (a few specialized parts are built in Germany and the mortar is built in France), and the Argentines have a lesser manufacturing base.  Some 70% of the VCTM components are built in Argentina, and 100% are assembled in Argentina.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$93,995

D, A

400 kg

26 tons

5

9

Passive IR

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

195/136

45/32/2

640≠≠+400

385

Stnd

T3

HF14  HS6  HR6

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

120mm TDA AM-50 Mortar, MG-3 (R)

61x120mm, 2500x7.62mm