|pic via Air Power Australia.|
Argentina has finalized an order of 110 8×8 VN-1, the export version of ZBL08 wheeled fighting vehicles from China North Industries Corporation, reports Reference News, a subsidiary of China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.Here.
Designed with an operational weight of 21 tons, a single VN-1 armored vehicle is capable of carrying 11 soldiers in full equipment and an additional three-man crew. The VN-1 Argentina was developed for amphibious warfare. Unlike other ZBL08, usually fitted with 105mm anti-tank gun or 155mm howitzer, it is only equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun. Argentina is licensed to assemble the vehicles at its Tandanor-CINAR shipyards, according to the report.
While the first batch of the vehicles will be supplied to the Cruz del Sur, a joint peace keeping force formed by Argentina and Chile, the rest are going to be provided to the 10th Brigade of the Argentine Army. Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner made her decision to purchase the vehicles during her visit to Beijing earlier this year to improve the relationship between the two nations, said the report.
Uh HELLO! Is anyone paying attention to China's inroads into S. America?
Many will discount this move by Argentina to buy Chinese armored vehicles, but if you add it to other countries in the region that are doing the same and its obvious that we need a pivot to Central and South America as well as the Pacific.
The focus on the Middle East...the more than a decade of continuous war in that region is leaving us vulnerable at our backdoor.
We are seeing a perfect storm on the horizon. Russia has us tied up in Europe. China has our allies going nuts in the Pacific which means we'll be reacting there. The Middle East will boil for another 100 years before it has a chance of calming down....and now the Chinese are setting the stage to have S. America set on fire. The arms purchases are insane (especially when you consider how impoverished some of those nations are), the border disputes go back many years and all have a population that is unhappy.
Your next flashpoint? Venezuela, Argentina or another S. American country I haven't been paying attention to.
Sidenote: I'm waiting to see what airplanes the Chinese gift Argentina. That will tell us if we're looking at a Falkland Islands II.