|Manufacturer:||Servicio de Material de Guerra|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Wheeled armoured personnel carrier|
Since new armoured vehicles could not be obtained from the US, in the late 1970s, Guatemala decided to develop its own armoured personnel carrier/reconnaissance vehicle to meet specific local operational requirements.
Design and subsequent production of this vehicle, called the Armadillo, was undertaken by the Servicio de Material de Guerra (SMG) in Guatemala City.
The first prototype of the Armadillo was completed in June 1981 using, wherever possible, standard commercial components. The first five production vehicles were completed in 1983 and since then at least five batches, each of three vehicles, have been completed.
Vehicles from number 10 onwards have a more powerful diesel engine and many other detailed improvements including firing ports. It is reported that all vehicles have recently been fitted with transfer boxes from the United States supplied Reo (6 × 6) 2.5 t trucks.
It is estimated that by late 2007 about 30 Armadillo vehicles were in service and these serve alongside seven US-supplied Textron Marine & Land Systems LAV-100 (originally designated the V-100) light armoured vehicles. Description
In many respects, the Armadillo is very similar in layout to the US Cadillac Gage (now Textron Marine & Land Systems) Commando LAV-100 (4 × 4) APC, which was built in large numbers for the home and export markets.
The hull of the Armadillo is of all-welded steel armour construction with the commander and driver seated at the front of the vehicle. There are windows to their front and sides and twin hatch covers above their position.
The troop compartment is in the centre with the engine compartment at the left rear. The exhaust is located on the left side of the hull.
In each side of the hull, between the front and rear wheels, is a two-part entry door, the upper part opening upwards and the lower part opening downwards to form a step. There is a similar door in the hull rear on the right side.
Each door has a vision block with a firing port below and additional firing ports and associated vision blocks are provided in the sides of the vehicle, two on the left and three on the right.
Mounted on the top of the hull is a cupola with roof hatches that open left and right and mounted on this is a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 HB machine gun. Some vehicles have a one-man manually operated turret armed with .50 (12.7 mm) and 7.62 mm machine guns.
Some Armadillos have also been fitted with one or two pods of six unguided rockets, which were previously fitted to aircraft or helicopters for use in the air-to-ground role.
More recently, some vehicles have been fitted with an externally mounted pod containing two 7.62 mm machine guns which can be aimed and fired from within the hull.
Four Light Robots Put Through Paces at Fort Benning (28.02.2012)