The Argentine Army has recently upgraded its armored capabilities with the introduction of the upgraded TAM 2C.

The Tanque Argentino Mediano (TAM) has long been the cornerstone of Argentina’s armored forces. As the landscape of modern warfare continues to evolve, the need for upgrades to the TAM becomes increasingly apparent.

The Argentine Army has recently upgraded its armored capabilities with the introduction of the upgraded TAM 2C. The Military Balance 2023 reports that Argentina’s arsenal includes 225 units of the TAM tank.

The Tanque Argentino Mediano (TAM) represents an important milestone in Argentine military engineering, reflecting a blend of international collaboration and specific national requirements. Initiated in the 1970s, the TAM project was Argentina’s response to the need for a modern armored fighting vehicle capable of operating effectively across the country’s diverse landscapes.

The upgraded TAM 2C version, a project developed and produced by Elbit Systems, an Israel-based defense electronics company. The upgrade aimed to address and improve upon the limitations of the original TAM models, incorporating advanced technologies that significantly boost the tank’s performance across various domains.

The TAM 2C was upgraded with many features, mainly revolving around electronics and other secondary features. The upgrades included a thermal imager for the gunner and commander, a thermal sleeve for the barrel, and an auxiliary power unit to provide power to critical systems when the main engine is off and reduce fuel consumption while idling.

The TAM 2C also had numerous firepower upgrades, including new APFSDS shells and a new HEAT shell, and the capability to fire LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles, with over 800 mm of penetration and 8 km range. It is not known whether or not the Argentinian government will purchase such missiles. The TAM 2C also received a new turret storage basket.

The main armament of the TAM 2C is FMK.4 Model 1L, a licensed variant of the British L7A1 105 mm, which is standard for medium tanks of its class. The 105mm gun provides the TAM 2C with the capability to engage armored vehicles, fortified positions, and infantry targets effectively.

The main gun fires all standard NATO 105 mm munitions. Vehicle carries a total of 50 rounds, 20 of them are located in the turret, while remaining are stored inside the hull.

In addition to the main gun, the TAM 2C is typically equipped with secondary armaments to engage infantry and lightly armored targets. This may include a coaxial machine gun, typically a 7.62mm machine gun, and a commander’s machine gun for close-in defense and suppressive fire.

In terms of protection, the TAM 2C has received upgrades to its armor, including the addition of modular armor packages that can be tailored to specific threat environments. This modular approach allows for a more flexible deployment strategy, adapting the tank’s protection level to the anticipated battlefield threats, thereby enhancing crew survivability.

TAM inherited many features of the German Marder 1 infantry fighting vehicle. Front armor protects from up to 40 mm armor-piercing rounds, all-round protection is against small arms bullets. Engine is located in front of the hull, thus adding protection.

Mobility enhancements have also been a focus, with improvements to the engine and transmission systems ensuring that the TAM 2C can maintain high mobility across varied terrains. This is critical for operational flexibility, allowing the tank to maneuver effectively in diverse combat scenarios.

The Tanque Argentino Mediano is powered by an MTU-MB 833 Ka-500 6-cylinder diesel engine, with 720 hp. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of up to 75 km/h, a maximum range of up to 800 km with auxiliary fuel tanks. Vehicle is fitted with a deep wading kit, enabling to ford water obstacles up to 4 meters deep.

Situational awareness has been significantly improved through the integration of advanced electronic systems, including new sensors and communication equipment. These enhancements provide the crew with better battlefield awareness, enabling more informed decision-making and coordination with other units.

The TAM 2CA2 is another prototype of the TAM 2C, currently being tested by the Argentine Army. It integrates upgraded electronics and optics to the ones present on the 2C. The 2CA2 also adds a hunter-killer system for the commander, allowing them to automatically track targets independently of the gunner. 74 TAM and TAM 2C vehicles are expected to be upgraded to TAM 2CA2 by 2030.

The TAM 2C represents a significant leap forward in terms of capability, addressing the evolving demands of modern warfare and ensuring that the Argentine Army’s armored forces remain capable and ready to face contemporary challenges. The enhanced mobility features make it a versatile and maneuverable platform capable of operating effectively across different battlefield environments, including urban areas, rugged terrain, and adverse weather conditions.

 

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