SAO PAULO — Brazilian missile-maker Avibras has partnered with Spanish defense firm New Technologies Global Systems to compete for a contract that would see Spain’s military acquire mobile multiple rocket launchers, the businesses announced Sept. 26.
The Spanish Defense Ministry’s program, dubbed SILAM, is worth €714.5 million (U.S. $749.1 million), the government told Defense News this week. The effort aims to fill a gap in artillery capability that emerged a decade ago when the Teruel multiple rocket launcher, made by Santa Barbara Sistemas, was decommissioned, according to documentation from the Spanish Army.
If selected, the Brazilian-Spanish team, named Ibramisil, would become the primary supplier for SILAM, according to Avibras. The company, best known for its missile and rocket artillery system Astros, said the partnership aligns with its strategy of expanding into the international market for export opportunities.
The deal may also involve some technology transfers, which “will depend on the needs of the Spanish government,” Avibras noted. However, the company maintains its intellectual property will remain in Brazil. The decision comes after a metallurgy union issued a statement criticizing the business over a possible transfer, calling it a “crime against the homeland.”
Spain is seeking an industrial plan from the eventual contract awardee for local production, according to a statement from the government. The Spanish government told Defense News that “proposals must come from national companies that sign an agreement with a technologist.” That technologist “must commit to facilitating a very high degree of technology transfer and production,” the government added.
Meanwhile, local industry has aligned itself with Israeli electronics defense company Elbit Systems to compete for the SILAM contract. Those Spanish companies include explosives and ammunition manufacturer Rheinmetall Expal Munitions, a subsidiary of Germany company Rheinmetall; mechanical and engineering company Escribano; and technology firm GMV.
Elbit manufactures the artillery rocket system PULS, which “can fire a variety of ammunition types” and reach a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), according to the company. The agreement between the Spanish and Israeli industrial parties involves technology transfer in relation to the system.
Pedro Pligher is a Latin America correspondent for Defense News. He has reported on politics, economics and the Brazilian small arms industry.