Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Chaimite Project: A visit to Escola Prática de Cavalaria

On the first week of February, I have visited the Escola Prática de Cavalaria (EPC, Practical School of Cavalry) as part of the research which I am doing about the Chaimite and the Bravia-VM (please, check my last post). More recently, as part of the new organization of the Portuguese Army, the EPC has been moved from Santarém to Abrantes, where it was located a former infantry regiment.

Besides, this was a good opportunity to photograph some of the armoured vehicles which have served in the portuguese Cavalry (and that are preserved in Abrantes), as well as the present armoured fleet. In fact, the EPC has already in service the new Pandur II 8x8 armoured vehicle.

One of the new Pandur II 8x8 received by the EPC in the right side of the photo. In the left side, we can see a Chaimite V-600 4x4 armoured vehicle [click to enlarge].

The french-built Panhard AML was a light armoured vehicle used in the Colonial War (1961-1974) in missions such as scort and reconnaissance. Some of the vehicles were upgraded in the 1980s with a new engine and systems and, finally, redraw from service in 2001-2002 [click to enlarge].

An impressive M48 A5 Patton main battle tank in the main gate of the EPC. It was used by the 1ª Brigada Mista Independente, now known as Brigada Mecanizada (mechanized infantary). They were replaced by the M60 A3 TTS [click to enlarge].

Though Portugal does not use horse cavalry any longer, the Portuguese Army still has the tradition of learning how to ride a horse [click to enlarge].

Pedro Monteiro