According to information released by NATO on November 24, 2021, The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has delivered the last batch of 139 armored vehicles VAMTAC ST5 to the Portuguese Army, consisting of eight Emergency Response Vehicles, under the Light Armoured Tactical Vehicle program or Viaturas Taticas Ligeiras Blindades (VTLC).
The delivery concludes a multiyear acquisition project aimed to provide the Portuguese Armed Forces with a fleet of armored vehicles composed of 107 troop carriers, seven command vehicles, 13 medical evacuation, and 12 special operations vehicles. The vehicles supplied to the Portuguese army are the VAMTAC ST5 design and manufactured by the Spanish company URO Vehículos Especiales (UROVESA)
The VAMTAC ST 5 is an armored version of the VAMTAC 4×4 light tactical vehicle that was first shown publicly in mid-1998. It bears a visual resemblance to the US HMMWV, due to being designed to a similar specification and to meet a corresponding requirement from the Spanish armed forces for a multipurpose, air-portable, high mobility off-road vehicle with a viable payload capacity.
The contract was awarded to the Spanish company Urovesa in 2018 and included the supply of the vehicles a weapon station, training, documentation and special tools. The first batch of vehicles was delivered in October 2020 and has been deployed in support of Portuguese commitments to United Nations operations in the Central African Republic.
In September 2021, the Portuguese Army and NSPA project team participated in the First Article Testing and Acceptance of the configured ambulance vehicles at the contractor’s production facility in Pontevedra, Spain. The process involved the physical inspection, trials and verification of the vehicle’s performance and characteristics against the Portuguese Army’s specific requirements.
The medical units have been designed to operate in deep fording areas and are equipped with collective Nuclear, Biological and Chemical protection systems. They also have a sanitary cell equipped with electromedical, immobilization and communications equipment, as well as diagnostic and treatment material. In addition, the medical units are highly armored and protected against ballistic and mine threats.
“The completion of this project represents an important milestone for NSPA and is the result of several months of intense work in close cooperation with the Portuguese Army. We are grateful for the trust placed on our Agency to manage this major acquisition program and proud to enable the Portuguese Army’s future operations with the vehicles we have delivered”, assured Ian Bonallo, NSPA Senior Technical Officer, who managed the project.
All vehicles are configured for a variety of roles and missions and provided with ballistic, blast and mine protection while providing high dynamic performance in terms of capacity loading and mobility on all types of roads and terrain.