Avibras confirmed on September 22nd, its intention to establish a strategic partnership with New Technologi
es Global Systems (NTGS), a Spanish defence industry focused on expanding its business in the international market. The strategy is to become a multinational company through partnerships with Spanish companies and the consolidation of a European subsidiary. The agreement will allow the company to bid for the new High Mobility Launcher System (SILAM) program for the Spanish Army, with the production of the ASTROS Missile and Rocket Artillery System, which is combat-proven and well established in the world defence market. The technology transfer of the system foreseen in the cooperation will depend on the needs of the Spanish government, and the intellectual property will remain at Avibras’ headquarters in Brazil. In addition to focusing on its economic and financial recovery to increase its participation in the international market, Avibras is adopting a series of strategies and actions to become even more competitive, including the establishment of strategic partnerships to further strengthen its portfolio of high value-added products and further explore export opportunities to expand its presence in the global market.
Astros (Artillery Saturation Rocket System) is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher produced in Brazil by the Avibras company. It features modular design and employs rockets with calibers ranging from 127 to 450 mm (5–17.72 inches). It was developed on the basis of a Tectran VBT-2028 6×6 all-terrain vehicle for enhanced mobility based on Mercedes-Benz 2028 truck chassis while later versions use Tatra 815-7 chassis. A full Astros system includes 1 wheeled 4×4 Battalion level Command Vehicle (AV-VCC), which commands 3 batteries, and a series of 4×4 and 6×6 wheeled vehicles. In the older version of the system, the fire control vehicle were listed as optional vehicle in a battery. The command vehicles and weather stations are recent additions, designed to improve overall system performance on newer versions. All vehicles are transportable in a C-130 Hercules. The launcher is capable of firing rockets of different calibers armed with a range of warheads. Each rocket resupply truck carries up to two complete reloads.
ASTROS III Self-propelled Missile and Rocket-launching System. (Photo by Avibras)
The next step is an ambitious program, the ASTROS III (ASTROS 2020), based on a 6×6 wheeled chassis. Being a new concept, it will require an estimated investment of R$1.2 billion, of which about US$210 million will be invested solely in development. It will be integrated with the cruise missile AVMT-300 with 300-km range during the stage of testing and certification. It is said that the venture will, for example, enable the Army to integrate the Astros with defense anti-aircraft guns, paving the way for the utilization of common platforms, trucks, parts of electronic sensors and command vehicles. The new tracking radar used by MK6 AV-UCF was later revealed to be the Fieldguard 3 Military Measurement System from Rheinmetall Air Defence. The Astros 2020 will also be equipped with a 180 mm GPS-guided rocket called the SS-AV-40G with a range of 40 km (25 mi) and SS-150 newly developed rockets with a claimed maximum range of 150 km. Four of them are carried. 36 Astros 2020 systems are to be acquired.
Avibrás Indústria Aeroespacial, based in Jacareí, São José dos Campos, Brazil, is a diversified Brazilian company which designs, develops and manufactures defense products and services. Its range of products encompasses artillery and aircraft defense systems, rockets and missiles such as air-to-ground and surface-to-surface weapon systems, including artillery rocket systems; 70 mm air-to-ground systems and fiber optic multi-purpose guided missiles. It makes armoured vehicles as well. It also manufactures civilian transportation through a division called Tectran, telecommunications equipment, electronic industrial equipment (Powertronics), automotive painting and explosives. With more than 60 years of experience and certified as a Strategic Defence Company (EED), Avibras has consolidated its position as one of the world’s leading companies in the Defence and Aerospace segment, with the development and manufacture of special vehicles for military purposes, becoming a reference in Multiple Rocket Launch System (MRLS), ballistic and guided rockets, missiles and pioneering participation in space research programs.