VCTP, Also called TAM VCTP, it is the modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle of the Argentine Army. Currently VCTP still plays an active role in the warehouse of the Argentine army. Argentine did the production locally. Based on the Marder, the 31-ton VCTP showcases the same body lines and running gear of its predecessor.
The VCTP is an infantry combat vehicle belonging to the Tanque Argentino Mediano family, to provide the Argentine Army with a means of effective troop transport and that could be manufactured locally. It shares most of its components with the TAM Argentine Medium Tank. Both vehicles were built by the state-owned Tanque Argentino Mediano Sociedad del Estado before production was stopped altogether in 1983.
The VCTP vehicle was to be based on the 1971 Thyssen German Marder chassis. The design work started in 1977.
The VCTP chassis is similar to the TAM tank, but the hull is roomier. It has a rear compartment, large enough for 10 infantrymen, being able to enter or exit the vehicle through the rear door. The basic VCTP IFV is essentially similar in layout to the German Marder but simplified and modified to meet Argentinean Army requirements, which consists of a diesel engine, built by the firm MTU Friedrichshafen that deploys 720 horsepower coupled to a Renk brand transmission, six-speed.
The main armament in its turret is operated by two crewmembers, it consists of a 20 mm automatic cannon built locally under license of the Swiss firm Oerlikon Contraves and an external FN MAG machine gun, mounted as 7.62 mm caliber anti-personnel weapon, which at the same time it fulfills the roles of anti-aircraft machine gun. Another machine gun of similar caliber is mounted on a remote control station on the back. This is controlled from the troop compartment.
Firing ports and vision devices are located around the troop compartment for use by the occupants. Four smoke grenade launchers are mounted on each side of the hull. An essentially similar command post variant has provision for only six men in the troop compartment and lacks a turret, as does a 120 mm mortar carrier version (the VCTM) which has a crew of five.
Like the TAM, production of the VCTP still shared many components with the German Marder, but at least 70% of the parts were produced in Argentina. Air intake is through a front-right grille, and replacement of the engine can be done through a large hinged door panel opening to the right. Mobility specifications include a top speed of 75 to 80 km/h on flat ground, the capability to climb a 60% slope gradient, 30% side slope, 1 m vertical step, gap a 2.5 m wide trench, or ford 1.5 m deep water without preparation. The vehicles are NBC protected, with two banks of four Webman Gmbh 88 mm smoke dischargers fitted on either side of the hull for concealment.
This vehicle can travel at a top speed of 75 to 80 km/h on flat ground, the capability to climb a 60% slope gradient, 30% side slope, 1 m vertical step, gap a 2.5 m wide trench, or ford 1.5 m deep water without preparation. The vehicles are NBC protected, with two banks of four Webman Gmbh 88 mm smoke dischargers fitted on either side of the hull for concealment.
These vehicles entered into combat in internal conflicts in Argentina, staged the military raids carapintadas with combats on repeated occasions, as well as in the recovery of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment 3 during the takeover of the barracks of La Tablada.
In 1992, 15 units were deployed to Croatia to participate in the United Nations Protection Force, forming the armored element of the Argentine Army armored battalion. They were used for logistics, escort missions, and protection of civilians. They finished their mission in August 1995, when they were part of the eighth contingent of troops.Compared to the Marder, the VCTP is faster, due to its more powerful engine. But despite all its advantages, the VCTP was never exported. The level of German technology included could also be an issue due to thirlicensees licence issues. Thyssen-Henschel is now part of the larger Rheinmetall Landsysteme group.