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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

The Brazilian EE-T1 Osório Main Battle Tank was an advanced design with main efforts on firepower and mobility, which resulted in high
standards within its weight category.

EE-T1 Osório Main Battle Tank

Introduction

Engesa was formed as a private firm in 1963. Initially, it was involved in renovating World War II-vintage tanks.
Engesa built wheeled APC's, such as the EE-11 Urutu amphibious APC, the EE-9 Cascavel armored reconnaissance
vehicle, the EE-17 Sucuri tank destroyer, and the EE-3 Jararaca scout car, in addition to a wide range of other
products. The EE-11 Urutu armored troop carrier is an amphibian that can also be used by naval forces. It is still
used by the Brazilian Army. It made a success in the international sales market, and is in service ia at least six
Armies worldwide, in addition to the Brazilian Army. In terms of product development, all of Engesa’s armored
fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers shared the same characteristics: simple and flexible design
concepts, low cost, good performance and reliability, ease of use, and simple maintenance. These characteristics
were the major selling points of Engesa’s products to its customers in the developing countries.

Engesa's APC's were all based on a new proprietary suspension system, called "Engesa Boomerang". This ingenious
suspension system, along with many other modifications, expanded the life span of many otherwise obsolescent
World War II-vintage vehicles. Engesa's weapons were exported almost exclusively to the developing world,
especially to countries in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. By the mid-1980s, Engesa had expanded to a
group of twelve subsidiaries and employed more than 5,000 people.

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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

The medium tank MB-3 Tamoyo, the first All-Brazilian tank, produced by Bernardini SA.

Chronology of Main Battle Tank development in Brazil:

1982: conceptual development of a new light MBT (the MB-3 Tamoyo)


1985: construction of first prototype with 105mm gun.
1986: delivery of a second prototype with 120mm gun.
1990: agreement with Saudi Arabia to establish a local armament plant for the assembly of Osório
MBT.

Brazil emerged in the mid-1980s as the leading arms producer and exporter among the defense industrializing
countries, and the sixth largest arms exporter in the world. Although there were over 500 manufacturers of defense-
related equipment in Brazil, three firms have been largely responsible for Brazilian defense exports: in aircraft,
Embraer; in armored fighting vehicles, Engesa; and in missiles, Avibras.

Engesa was well positioned to take advantage of Brazil’s nonaligned position in the international system and its
affinity with other developing nations. The company has exported its armored and reconnaissance vehicles to over
20 countries in the Middle East and Africa. Annual export earnings amounted to over US$53 millon for the 1977-82
period and US$122 million for the 1983-88 period. The largest regional market was the Middle East, to which Brazil
sold roughly half of its arms from 1977 through 1988, with nearly half of all Brazilian arms transfers from 1985 to
1989 going to Iraq. A related factor was Engesa's well-known after-sales support in terms of guaranteed access to
spare parts, training for system operators, and maintenance (including front-line repair during the Iran-Iraq war).

However, with the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the decline in state support, the Brazilian arms industry collapsed in
the late 1980s, and by the mid-1990s had virtually disappeared. In early 1990, Brazil's two major manufacturers,
Engesa and Avibras, filed for bankruptcy. Engesa has been dismembered, with some of its companies sold to private
interests, and ordnance-related firms taken over by the state and integrated with the Indústria de Material Bélico do
Brasil (IMBEL - Brazil's Industry of War Weapons and Equipments).

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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

EE-T1 Osório, in a different cammo outfit. This picture was largely used for promotion, and appeared in various
publications.

Development and Production History.

In the early 80's, Saudi Arabia began searching for a new MBT, with the objective of replacement for their AMX-30
MBT's. At first, they wanted the Leopard 2, which had just began to be received by the Bundeswehr, as the Saudis
were impressed with the success of the Leopard 1 both in Germany and in other European countries as well.
However, the German government refused to sell weapons to countries that were not NATO's members. This way, a
new market was opened, and Engesa decided to go for it.

At first, Engesa searched for a partner for the project's development, and contacted Tyssen-Henschel in Germany,
but the conversations came to nothing. Then, Porsche showed interest in participating in the Brazilian MBT project.
However, the German government once again intervened and the German-Brazilian cooperation project was
cancelled.

That being the situation, Engesa decided to go on with the project by itself, a decision that would prove later to be
too risky. In face of the way the Brazilian state participated in the Brazilian armament industry at that time, some
restrictions imposed by the Brazilian Army had to be considered. The first one stated that the new MBT should weigh
no more than 36 tons, which was a technical impossibility, as it would set the Brazilian MBT outside of the first class
MBT's weight, which was between 44.5 tons (T-72) and 62 tons (Challenger), at that time. The second Brazilian
Army's restriction was that the maximum width of the new MBT could not be larger that 3.20 meters, a limit
imposed by the Brazilian railway structure.

Engesa's engineers accepted the second restriction, but rejected the first, and the target weight was stipulated as
42 tons, on grounds that most of the transportation would be realized by roads, anyway. Another important decision
was that the development would consist of a basic chassis and two different types of turret, allowing the possibility
of two different main gun possibilities: the 105 mm and the 120 mm. Engesa was determined that the first
prototype had to be ready in one year, so the company decided that it would develop the chassis project, and the
turrets project was to be realized by Vickers Defence Systems, Great Britain.

The first turret, the "default", was designed to accommodate the British 105mm L7 series gun, which was NATO's
main battle tank gun specification, until the 120 mm L/44 Rheinmetall gun was adopted, but at that time, this was
still to happen in the future. The British 105 mm L7 series gun was an excellent option, because it was used by so
many countries, its cost was reasonable, and there were many types of ammunition available for its use. The fire
control system for this turret, fully computerized, consisted of a laser range finder and a LRS-5DNLC Olp Belgian
periscope, and the commander had an LRS-5DN periscope. This fire control system and the main gun were fully
stabilized.

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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

EE-T1 (120mm Gun version) prototype, just after firing a round, on the firing grounds.

The second turret was developed for being used by the Saudi Arabia's Army. This turret would receive the French
smooth-bore 120mm GIAT G1 gun, because tests proved that the British rifled 120mm L11 gun, although more
powerful, also had stronger recoil forces, that a 42 ton MBT could not support. The German Rheinmetall 120 mm
L/44 smooth-bore gun was not tested because of the weapons selling politics of the German government at that
time.

As a result of all that, the tank was either armed with a L7 105mm gun with 45 rounds stowage or a GIAT 120mm
gun with 40 rounds. One 7.62 mm MG was mounted coaxial, another one (or 12,7mm) was used as ADMG (5000
rounds / 3000 7.62mm 900 12,7mm).

The 105 mm rifled gun was the well proven British L 7 series, with a fume extractor, and a thermal sleeve. Various
kinds of ammunition were used with this gun including: APDS, APDSFS, HEAT, HESH, and Smoke. The 120 mm was
a French GIAT smooth bore gun, firing APDSFS-T and HEAT-MP ammunition. Both the guns with their respective
ammunition were to be produced under license in Brazil, by Engesa.

The EE-T1 firing at night. The 120 mm GIAT gun could be fired by both the gunner and the commander, both using a passive thermal
imager. The Osório's fire-control system, at that time, could only be compared to the one used by Germany's Leopard 2.

The computerized fire control system, by Marconi Command and Control Systems, used a SFIM stabilized periscope
with laser range finder for the gunner and another one for the commander. A Philips/TRT stabilized thermal
periscope was linked to both sights. This fire control system was state-of-the-art and assured a very high first round
hit probability.

Initially, Engesa wanted to use an MTU engine, since they were used with great success with the Leopard 1 and 2,
and also because MTU already was operating in Brazil. But its price was way too high, and the MWM 1,000 hp diesel
TBD 234 turbo charged diesel engine was selected, coupled to a ZF LSG 3000 transmission. Both companies, MWM
and ZF, were already operating in Brazil. This engine was tested for over 3,000 km in Saudi Arabia, and proved to
be most efficient and easy to maintain. The suspension was of hydro pneumatic type (like the one used by the

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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

British Challenger) and designed by Dunlop. The Osório MBT was provided by an auxiliary power unit in the left hull
rear. Fuel capacity was of 1354 liters.

The EE-T1 Osório armor was entirely developed by Engesa and was a combination of aluminum/steel and carbon
fibers and ceramics (bimetal+composite/laminate armor). This armor was said to provide complete protection
against all HEAT threats existent at that time.

The Twilight of the EE-T1 Osório Main Battle Tank Project.

The EE-T1 Osório Main Battle Tank was an advanced design with main efforts on firepower and mobility, which
resulted in high standards within its weight category. Engesa was hoping to sell 318 Osório MBT's to Saudi Arabia,
but the Saudis choose the M1 Abrams.

By the mid-1980s, Engesa had spent US$100 million on the development of the Osório MBT, but was unable to find
a buyer for it. This design of the Brazilian armaments industry was sophisticated, and demanded a high investment
in technology. It was equipped with computers and endowed with a modern weapons system. The Osório project
came to an abrupt end with Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in 1991. In 1990, Engesa had won the evaluation
process by the Saudis. After Desert Storm, Brazil was no match for United States competition, given the close ties
that developed between Saudi Arabia and the United States during the war with Iraq.

OSÓRIO EE-T1 (120mm GIAT gun version) SPECIFICATIONS:

Type: MBT

Crew: 4

Dimensions:

Length (Hull) (mm) 7,130

Length (Gun Forward) (mm) 10,100

Width (Maximum) (mm) 3,260

Width (without Track Skirts) (mm) 3,200

Height (Maximum) (mm) 2,890 (2,680 according to the used AAMG)

Height (Turret Roof) (mm) 2,370

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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

Ground Clearance (mm) 460

Weight:

Empty (kg) N/A

Combat (kg) 43,700

Armaments:
Cannon - Type/Caliber GIAT 120 mm smooth-bore gun.

- Ammunition 40(APDSFS-T and HEAT-MP)

- Stabilizer yes

- Traverse (º) 360

- Elevation (º) -10 to 20

- Max. Slew Rate (Elevation) (º/s) 11 - 15

Machine guns - Coaxial - Type/Caliber Hughes X34/7.62

- Range (meters) 1,000 N/A

- Antiaircraft - Type/Caliber M2HB/12.7

- Range (meters) over 1,500

- Ammunition 7.62 mm 5,000

- Ammunition 12.7 mm 600

Smoke Grenade Launchers 2x4

Suspension: Hydro pneumatic

Tracks - Manufacturer/Width (mm) Diehl/570

- Length of Track on Ground (mm) 4,490

Drive and Performances:

Engine - Type MWM TBD 234-V12

- Performance (kW)/at rpm 746/2300

Transmission - Type ZF LSG300 Automatic

- Gears - Forward/Reverse 4/2

Fuel/Fuel Capacity (liters) Diesel/1,354

Power-to-Weight Ratio (kW/t) 17.5 (17.3)

Ground Pressure (kg/cm.2) 0.85 (0.80)

Max. Road Speed (km/h) 70

Acceleration (0 to 32 km/h (20 mil/h) (in


6
seconds)

Range (on Road) (km) 550

Gradient (%) 60

Side Slope (%) 40

Trench Crossing (meters) 3,0

Vertical Obstacle (meters) 1,15

Fording without Preparation (meters) 1,2

- with Preparation (meters) 2

Deep Fording (meters) no

Protection:

Fire Suppression System yes - Automatic

NBC System yes

Armour:

Hull - Front Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Bimetal + Composite/Laminate N/A

- Sides Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Bimetal + Track Skirts /N/A

- Rear Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Steel /N/A

- Bottom Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Steel /N/A

Turret - Front Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Bimetal + Composite/Laminate /N/A

- Sides Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Bimetal + Composite /N/A

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Main Battle Tank: EE-T1 Osório

- Rear Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Bimetal N/A /N/A

- Top Type/Max. Thickness (mm) Bimetal N/A

Fire Command System:

Ballistic Computer yes - Digital

Sights Stabilized by SFIM

Rangefinder Type Laser

Driver Periscope Optical or Passive Thermal Imaging

Other Information:

Manufacturer ENGESA Engenheiros Especializados SA, Brazil

Development (from Year) 1982

1985 (with 105 mm L 7 series gun); 1986 (with 120 mm GIAT smooth-bore
Prototypes
gun).

RESOURCES

FAS - Military Analisys Network

Armas de Guerra do Brasil (Brazil's Weapons of War): Editora Nova Cultural Ltda., São Paulo, Brasil, 1989 (in
Portuguese).

MBT Osório, by Reginaldo da Silva Bacchi (in Portuguese).

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