FAMAE, a company operated by the Chilean Army, has selected OIP Land Systems (an Elbit Systems company) to modernise the fire control system (FCS) of the service’s LEOPARD 2A4s, and their associated simulators, plus the sighting and targeting systems of the MARDER 1A3 fleet. Aselsan has also been selected to provide new internal Communications systems for both vehicles. In a parallel move, FAMAE plans to develop its own FCS for the Army’s M109 self-propelled howitzers, collaborating with Chilean company Village and basing the new system on the NEKULPAN fire C2 system (SMCF), already in Service on the LARS 160 rocket artillery systems and the TRALCAN 70mm MLRS.

OIP must therefore develop the basic and conceptual engineering, before making the modifications that allow installation of the new observation and targeting system.

A mid-life upgrade has been planned for the LEOPARDs (approx. 170) and MARDERs (approx. 280) since their acquisition some 15 years ago. In 2018, the Army’s Directorate of Projects and Investigations (DIPRIDE) initiated the ‘PROACO’ programme, to develop modernisation plans for the upgrades noted above. An estimated budget of $7 million (€5.9 million) was approved for development of prototypes and in 2020 the Army assigned the project to FAMAE.

Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenoa Aires for MON

A LEOPARD 2 in Chile’s Atacama Desert. (Photo: Chilean Army)

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