BMS-1 Alacrán - The last half-track manufactured in the world

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BMS-1 Alacrán

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History:

  • The BMS-1 Alacrán was developed in the early 1980s by the Chilean company Industrias Cardoen. Chile had gained great experience in the modernization of the M3A1 half-tracks in the 1970s, so it was decided to develop a nationally manufactured vehicle. This vehicle developed and built in Chile was the last half-track that is known to have been built and even so there is little information and photos about it; Capable of surpassing all its predecessors in mobility, unfortunately it was never produced in series since the objective of this vehicle was to compete with the other tracked and wheeled vehicles but the Chilean army found it poor compared to vehicles with wheels or complete tracks so the army did not buy it and the same happened in foreign countries. The only photos that can be found are the ones of him holding the LAU-97 70mm rocket launcher.

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Characteristics of the vehicle

The entire vehicle is made up of welded steel which protects the crew from small caliber shots and blast splinters giving the crew decent protection. The driver is positioned in the left front part of the vehicle and has a hatch on which, when opened, has 3 periscopes. The engine is in the front of the vehicle to the right of the driver and It has a grille at the top of the vehicle for the entry and exit of air, and the exhaust pipe runs along the right side of the vehicle’s hull. The commander sits behind the driver and has a dome that allows him to observe 360° and in the front, on the roof, a mount for a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, the dome has a hatch that it opens to the rear allowing the commander to use said machine gun. The vehicle is spacious and allows 12 people to go inside in addition to the driver and commander, the entrance is at the rear of the vehicle. In the center of the vehicle, on the roof, there is a space reserved for the main armament that can be of different types, but only the rocket launcher has been seen in photos mounted and it is operated by the commander.

Interior of the BMS-1 Alacrán

Specifications:

  • Crew:
    • 2 (Driver, Commander), plus 12 staff
  • Armament:
    • Primary: LAU-97 70mm rocket launcher, 40 rockets (FZ-100 6.2 kg cargo warhead capable of penetrating up to 105 mm of conventional steel armour plate, FZ-49 3 kg anti-armour capable of piercing more than 350 mm of conventional steel armour plate, FZ-71 4.3 kg anti-personnel which forms more than 8,000 fragments on detonation and is lethal to between 18 and 21 m radius)
    • Secondary: Browning 12.7mm or 7.62 mm machine gun
  • Dimensions:
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Photos:


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Sources:

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Excellent quality photos of the BMS-1 ​​Alacrán