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Spain to deliver two Tecnove BMR-600 armored ambulances to Ukraine.

| Defense News Army 2024

As reported by the AECID on January 8, 2024, Spain will provide two armored medical vehicles to Ukraine, based on the BMR-600 6x6 armored personnel carrier (APC). This action is part of Spain's ongoing humanitarian response to the crisis in Ukraine, which has totaled over 46 million euros in the last two years.
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Tecnove recently completed the modification into ambulances of two 6x6 BMR-600 APCs purchased by the Spanish agency AECID (Picture source: Tecnove)

The vehicles, modified by the Spanish company Tecnove, are intended for use in unspecified regions of Ukraine and were prepared in coordination with the European Commission. These vehicles have been converted into armored medical ambulances, designed for patient evacuation and medical care, following a request from the Ukrainian Ministry of Health via the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

José Manuel Albares, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, and Serhii Pohoreltsev, the Ukrainian ambassador to Spain, visited the Tecnove factory in Herencia (Ciudad Real) to observe the transformation process.

Albares stated that the objective of Spanish aid is to assist the Ukrainian population and provide essential goods, both within Ukraine and in communities hosting displaced persons. In 2022, Spain's humanitarian aid to Ukraine was over 37 million euros, predominantly distributed through the AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation), with additional contributions from other ministries and decentralized cooperation entities.

The AECID directed aid to international organizations such as UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, OCHA, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Federation of the Red Cross. This aid has included various interventions like supplying ambulances and deploying medical teams to conflict-affected areas. Additionally, NGOs received 6.35 million euros from AECID in 2022. AECID has also been responsible for directly shipping essential goods, including medical supplies and electrical generators.

In 2023, AECID allocated 7.8 million euros in aid, focusing on displaced people and refugees, healthcare, education for minors, and winterization efforts, especially in response to attacks on Ukraine's electrical grid. These efforts have enabled certain interventions, such as providing 30 ambulances to maternal and child hospitals and dispatching a medical team to recently liberated areas where humanitarian access had been previously restricted.

As reported on LinkedIn, Tecnove has recently completed the modification of two 6x6 BMR-600 armored personnel carriers purchased by AECID. These vehicles maintain their original BMR-600 structure but have been enhanced with added armor for security. These ambulances are equipped with medical technology such as oxygen equipment, immobilization tools, cardio-respiratory monitors, a defibrillator, a CPR board, splints, cervical collars, and more.

As reported by Army Recognition on September 20, 2023, one of the three existing BMR-600 VRACs, a specialized variant of the BMR-600 APC originally designed for reconnaissance in contaminated areas, has also been converted into an armored medical evacuation vehicle and is now in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The BMR-600, developed by the Spanish company ENASA in the late 1970s, originally named the Pegaso 3500, was later renamed BMR-600, which stands for "Blindado Medio de Ruedas" or "medium-wheeled armored vehicle". It is a modular platform adaptable to various mission profiles, including versions equipped with mortars, command centers, and artillery support capabilities. Another variant, the Pegaso 3562 VEC, serves as a cavalry reconnaissance vehicle.

Constructed mainly from aluminum armor, the BMR-600 provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters, weighs 13,750 kg, and features an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection system. It accommodates two crew members and up to 11 troops, is powered by a Pegaso 9157/8 diesel engine producing 310 hp and has a hydropneumatic suspension system for off-road performance. The vehicle is amphibious with hydrojets, can reach a top speed of 100 km/h on land, and has a maximum range of 600 km.


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