The military vehicle produced by Brazilian Engesa was a success in the 80s and 90s. Now it is back in the national military force.
Sau Paulo, Brazil. Considered out of action – as the last units have been for years parked in the battalion storage of the Brazilian Army – the armored Engesa EE-11 Urutu may be ready for action again. Destined fortroop transportation, the EE-11 also has among its main characteristics being an amphibious vehicle, even weighing over 13 tons. Those features made Urutu very popular among many national armies in South America. Its name was taken from the venomous Urutu snake, from the family of Veperidae, the same of the rattlesnake, the bushmaster and Jararaca – three feared reptiles of the South American forests. But Urutu still keeps unique attributes and undisputed importance to the Brazilian Army, and that made the local force decide to reactivate 226 units and more 600 armored Cascavel vehicles (or rattlesnake, military vehicles with similar mechanical conceptions employed on Urutu). All of those were out of combat. With a very old-fashioned power train, some with manual gearboxes and others boasting automatic gears, Urutu and Cascavel have a sizeable technological disadvantage. The Brazilian Army expects that the updating of their armored vehicles will keep them running for the next 15 years. That position was validated after an evaluation made with a prototype produced by the companies involved in the project.
On the prototype the old Mercedes-Benz OM 352 engine was replaced by a militarized OM 366 LA increasing the power output from 158 hp to 230 hp. Coupled to the Engesa transfer box, the original Mercedes G3-36 gearbox was changed to an Allison 3000SP automatic transmission, with electronic controls. The initial tests on light terrain took the prototype to a 110 km/h top speed. Over heavier off-road situations the vehicle reached 80 km/h. The fuel autonomy was increased from 750 km to 950 km.
Engemotors, a company of Brasília Motors group is performing the upgrade. According to Glauco Bueno da Silva, general manager for Engemotors, “One of the reasons for applying Allison’s automatic gearboxes on all Urutu and Cascavel units is the better conditions of drivability. In a combat vehicle, during battle, it is difficult for the driver to keep his mind on the gear change coordination, clutch usage, choosing the best gear to each situation and so on. With an automatic transmission the driver is free from those additional distractions and so he can be more focused on the battle necessary maneuvers. The Allison 3000SP gearbox we use now is more resistant and brought very interesting results during the tests. The performance we have reached is superior to old versions equipped with manual/automatic transmissions as that older transmission generation, when applied to Urutu, had no electronic management and lacked many updates which help vehicles to have better serviceability”.
Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) is the premier global provider of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems. Allison products are specified by over 250 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,900 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,500 distributor and dealer locations.
More information about Allison is available at www.allisontransmission.com