Brazilian Government Releases Resources for Acquisition of Rocket Launchers
By Dialogo September 02, 2011
The Brazilian federal Government has given clear indications of moving forward on the consolidation of a defense industrial base in the country, through a decree signed by President Dilma Rousseff releasing credits of up to 45 million reais (over 28 million dollars) to begin the Astros 2020 project, destined to equip the country’s Army.
The project, which has a total value of 1.09 billion reais and will be financed over six years, between 2011 and 2016, foresees the acquisition of an advanced land-to-land rocket launch system developed in Brazil. The Astros 2020 system is an evolved version of the Astros II and is considered a leading product of the select group of internationally competitive firms.
In total, the project foresees the acquisition for the Army of 49 vehicles of three kinds: 18 launch vehicles, 18 ammunition transport vehicles, 3 fire-control and monitoring units, 3 weather stations, 3 office vehicles, 3 command-and-control armored vehicles (one for each of the mentioned groups of vehicles), and one command-and-control armored vehicle for the whole.
The chief advantage of the new concept is the incorporation of the AV-TM, a high-precision cruise missile with a range of 300 kilometers. Unlike rockets, which have a ballistic trajectory, defined on the basis of the impetus they receive, missiles are guided and can have a controlled trajectory.
Another significant advance is in the electronics, now entirely digital.
The project is also seen as a way to increase future export levels and benefit the Brazilian balance of trade, since an essential condition for external sales of the product is that the system be adopted by at least one branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces.