The president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, has signed a decree authorizing the Ministry of Defense to acquire a series of tactical vehicles for military use.
The mentioned decree states that “with the acquisition of these tactical military vehicles, it will become possible to increase the operational capabilities of the Paraguayan Army, enabling it to operate tactically with greater security, versatility, flexibility, and mobility.”
The decree in question emphasizes that “it is of interest to highlight the fact that, in order to achieve our ends in relation to national security, it is of the highest importance to keep confidential the acquisition of automotive vehicles and vehicles for tactical use, since an exhaustive public presentation of the armed forces’ needs through a request for bids could be prejudicial to operations planned for this purpose.”
Military sources said that the vehicles that the Paraguayan Army is expected to acquire are High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), multipurpose military vehicles with four-wheel drive.
These vehicles have to a large extent taken over the roles previously carried out by the quarter-ton M151 MUTT, the M561, in its M718A1 and M792 ambulance versions, the CUCV, and other light vehicles used by the United States military. HMMWVs were originally called Hummers, but this term was subsequently reserved for a civilian SUV based on the Humvee.
The countries in the region that possess tactical vehicles of this kind are Argentina, with 16 units out of a planned purchase of 30; Bolivia, with 6 units for border patrols; Chile, with more than 200 units of the M-1097 model belonging to the Chilean Army and 20 units of the M-998 model belonging to the Chilean Navy; Colombia, with more than 1600 units, some equipped with Tow anti-tank missile systems; and Peru, with 12 second-hand units donated by the United States in 2009.