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Brazil funds launch system acquisition

  |   Aug. 31, 2011 at 12:15 PM
BRASILIA, Brazil, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The Brazilian army will be equipped with advanced Astros 2020 surface-to-surface missile launch systems for high-precision cruise missiles.

Additional funding for the project -- about $28.2 million -- was approved Friday.

The Astros 2020 is an evolved version of the Astros II, manufactured by Avibras Aerospace.

Exported to many countries, the Astros system is considered a market leader among the small, select and highly competitive group of manufacturers of such systems.

Altogether, the project includes the acquisition of 49 vehicles for the army, divided into three batteries: 18 launch vehicles, 18 ammunition resupply vehicles, three fire control units, three weather stations, three recovery vehicles and three armored command-and-control vehicles for each battery and another, final vehicle for integrated command-and-control.

The main advantage of the new concept is the incorporation of the AV-TM, a high-precision cruise missile with a range of 186 miles.

Funding approval signals the government's willingness to carry forward the armed forces modernization process and also is viewed as a major financial recovery point for Avibras, which applied for bankruptcy protection in 2008.

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