Argentine Defence Minister, Agustín Rossi, revealed he is moving forward with a plan to buy a batch of China North Industries’ (NORINCO) VN-1 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicles for the Argentine Army.
The Minister also confirmed the Army has expressed a need for a total of 200 vehicles, 60 of them to be equipped with a 30mm-armed turret and the rest with a mount for a 12.7mm machine gun as main armament. The force has also stated it will require some modifications to the vehicles, if bought, such as a rear access ramp, instead of doors, and the use of western equipment, mainly in the communications domain, to make them compatible with those already in use by the force.
Minister Rossi stated his intention is to buy the vehicles in disassembled form and assemble them in Argentina, with the possible addition of local manufacture of some components.
The Argentine Army has had a long-standing desire for 8x8 armoured vehicles, having analysed several options and obtaining US government authorisation for the sale of a batch of 27 surplus M-1126 STRYKERs, but this was inadequate for the force’s needs. In 2015,when Rossi was again Defence Minister, he had already negotiated a deal for the Norinco VN-1, but programme stagnated during President Macri’s administration between 2015-2019.
Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON