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EE-3 Jararaca – Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle Bf Brazilian Origin

Although not deployed by the Brazilian Army, it has been exported to several Latin American countries, namely the EE-3 Jararaca developed by Engesa in the late 1970s.

Current operators are Cyprus, Ecuador, Gabon and Uruguay. A total of 63 reconnaissance vehicles were exported. The EE-3 Jararaca is designed to perform reconnaissance and patrol missions, and also as a base for an anti-tank guided weapons of light anti-aircraft missile carrier.

By the 1960s and 1970s, most modern armies had recognized a niche for armored vehicles in secondary battlefield tasks, such as providing information and rear security for larger mechanized formations. This trend to “mechanize” auxiliary land warfare elements placed an emphasis on the use of light armor to fulfill roles outside the traditional armored doctrine of maneuver and combat.

The EE-3 joined several other Engesa wheeled armored vehicles adopted by the Brazilian Army – including the EE-9 “Cascavel” 6×6 and EE-11 “Urutu” 6×6 – in a line-up primarily intended to replace the outgoing American-made M8 “Greyhound” armored car. The first Jararaca prototype appeared in 1979 and serial production commenced in 1982 after extensive operational testing in Brazil.

The EE-3 Jararaca has a fully enclosed hull, which is welded from a multi-layer armor, similar to one used on other Engesa armored vehicles. Vehicle has a crew of three. Occupants enter and leave the vehicle via the roof hatches or a side door, located in the middle of the hull, from the left side.

The armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. Since the armament is pintle mounted without gun shield the gunner is fully exposed. Engesa also offered some optional equipment including an NBC kit and night vision equipment support.

The EE-3 Jararaca is armed with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, mounted over the commander’s hatch. However a wide range of weapons can be installed, including an ATGW launcher, breach loading mortar or a 20 mm turret-mounted cannon.

Vehicle is fitted with 4-cylinder OM 314A 120 h.p. diesel engine, developed by “Mercedes-Benz”. Vehicle is blocked with “Clark” mechanical transmission. Jararaca’s chassis has 4 x 4 wheel formula. Frontal wheels are directing.

Wheels have independent suspension, based on springs and hydraulic absorbers. Vehicle is fitted with a wider dimension tyres with developed protector pattern and centralized air pressure system. The vehicle is not amphibious.

At the end of the 1980s, Engesa found the Jararaca increasingly non-competitive as it had to compete with a surplus of other light armored vehicles appearing on the international market in the wake of the 1989 Revolutions and the reduction of Cold War tensions.

Furthermore, the market was increasingly skewed towards heavier wheeled armored fighting vehicles, which had become more readily available to the armies of developing nations. An unrelated financial crisis forced Engesa to suspend its operations in 1990 and by 1993 production of Jararaca was formally terminated.