Manufacturer: General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Reconnaissance Vehicle  

As a result of the BMR, the Spanish Army contracted Santa Bárbara Sistemas to develop the VEC version, an armored vehicle for light cavalry units which have served successfully on numerous peace keeping missions (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo) protecting infantry units. Like the BMR, VEC have been updated affecting its motorization and protection capabilities.


The VEC (Vehiculo de Exploracion de Caballeria), or cavalry scout vehicle, was designed to meet the requirements of the Spanish Army and shares many common components with the BMR-600 (6 x 6) infantry fighting vehicle which is fully described in the Armoured personnel carriers (wheeled) section. The VEC is also known as the VEC 3562. The first of five prototypes was completed in 1977-78.

It is understood that total production of the VEC vehicle amounted to about 340 vehicles, all for the Spanish Army as there have been no known exports of the vehicle.

The 32 vehicles of the first production batch were fitted with the Italian Otobreda TC20 turret armed with a Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 cannon.

A further 100 vehicles were fitted with the complete H 90 turret of the Panhard AML-90 (4 x 4) armoured car which was phased out of service with the Spanish Army in 1986.

The remaining 208 vehicles were fitted with the Otobreda TC25 turret armed with The Boeing Company 25 mm M242 Chain Gun as covered in the following description.


The hull of the VEC is of all-welded aluminium construction providing protection over its frontal arc against 7.62 mm x 51 armour-piercing ammunition, and standard 7.62 mm x 51 rounds overthe remainder of the vehicle. Some areas of the VEC have spaced armour protection.

The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle on the left side and has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right, in front of which are three periscopes for forward observation. The centre periscope can be replaced by an image intensification periscope for night driving.

The turret is in the centre of the vehicle, between the first and second axles. A variety of turret installations can be fitted including the same turret as fitted to the Italian FIAT - Otobreda Type 6616 (4 x 4) armoured car which is fully described earlier in this section. A variety of other weapon stations ranging from 7.62,12.7,20 up to 90 mm in calibre can be installed.

Spanish Army VECs are fitted with an Italian-designed Otobreda TC25 two-man turret manufactured under licence by SANTA BARBARA. It was expected that main armament would be an Oerlikon Contraves 25 mm KBA cannon but, early in 1987, it was announced that Spain had selected The Boeing Company M242 25 mm Bushmaster cannon as installed in the M2 Bradley; 208 weapons were ordered at a total cost of US$7 million and all these have now been delivered to Spain.

The engine compartment is to the rear of the vehicle on the left side with air inlet and outlet louvres in the roof, a silencer on the left side of the hull and a hatch in the rear of the hull on the left side.

Early in 1996, following a competition, Scania Hispania (Scania Spain) was awarded a contract by SBB Blindados SA, part of the SANTA BARBARA Group, for the supply of 700 new Scania DS9 diesel engines for installation in the VEC cavalry scout vehicles and BMR-600 armoured personnel carriers of the Spanish Army.

These are being delivered over a five year period which started in late 1996 with the total value of the contract being SKMOO million. The engines will be installed in a total of 642 VEC and BMR-600 series vehicles.

The Scania DS9 is a six-cylinder in-line diesel engine which develops 310 hp at 2,200 rpm and is more compact and fuel efficient than the current engine.

In the hull to the rear of the turret on the right side is a seat for the fourth crew member and above this is a single-piece hatch cover opening to the right with a periscope in the hull roof. The fifth crew member is seated at the very rear on the right side and has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear, and three periscopes for observation. There is also a downward-opening door in the hull rear on the right side.

All three axles are of Pegaso design and manufacture and are of the double reduction type with self-locking differentials. Suspension is independent for each wheel with variable flexibility and 275 mm suspension travel achieved by an oleopneumatic system with MacPherson arrangement. Steering is power assisted on the front and rear axles.

Standard equipment includes a toolset, a 4,500 kg winch, a semi-automatic fire extinguishing system protecting the engine and transmission and two 5 kg portable fire extinguishers.

Optional equipment includes an NBC system, a water-jet propulsion system (one unit either side of the hull at the rear and a trim vane that folds back onto the glacis plate), a 4,500 kg winch, a communications system, a land navigation system, 14.00 x 20 tyres, run-flat tyres and an air conditioning system.


The VEC can also be used in the anti-aircraft role (guns or missiles) and the anti-tank role with ATGWs. Apart from the three models in service with the Spanish Army and covered in the development section, no variants of the VEC have ever entered production.


Production complete, but can be resumed if required. In service with the Spanish Army.

Property Value
Weight (kg)
Max. road speed (km/h)
Max. water speed (km/h)
Max. road range (km)
Trench (mm)
Gradient (%)
Vertical obstacle (mm)

Has folowing part:
Total Amount
6HP 500 (Transmission)
? (Damper)
Bushmaster M242 (Gun)
DS9 (Diesel engine)
TC-25 (Turret)

VEC quantities:
Country Qnt

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