The VBTP Chaimite was a light armored troop transport vehicle with 4x4 drive, developed and manufactured in Portugal. This was the first armored vehicle produced in series in the country and was later sold to Peru, the Philippines, Libya, and Lebanon.
The project started to be developed in the late 1960's by Bravia - Sociedade Luso-Brasileira de Veículos e Equipamentos, SARL for the Portuguese Armed Forces. The Portuguese Armed Forces were then involved in the Overseas War and needed more armored vehicles to carry out missions of escort, reconnaissance and support - in fact, in 1964, the number of armored vehicles in Africa was not more than 57 and those that existed were inadequate or obsolete.
In 1965, Portugal tries to acquire 50 Commando V-100 armored vehicles, but the United States insists that they cannot be used in Africa. However, the company Bravia manages, in 1967, to bring to Portugal a team of technicians who had worked at Cadillac Gage and even a Commando V-100 vehicle to create Chaimite. The Army approves, in 1967, the acquisition of the first batch of 28 Chaimite armored cars followed, in 1968, by a batch of 56 more.
Since Bravia did not have a manufacturing unit, it resorted to subcontracting: the first hulls of the Chaimite were made at Sorefame in Amadora and the final assembly was done at OGME - Oficinas Gerais de Material de Engenharia de Belém, a manufacturing facility of the Portuguese Army. Later on, production moved to the new Bravia factory in Samora Correia, in the Porto Alto region.
The first units were delivered as early as 1970, and a first batch is sent to Guinea-Bissau in January 1971.
When the Carnation Revolution broke out (April 25, 1974), these armored cars took position in the Carmo square, in Lisbon.
Engine: Diesel, 6 cylinders in V; 155 HP at 3300 rpm
Maximum Speed: 99 km/h
Autonomy: 800 km
Length: 5.6 m
Width: 2.26 m
Height: 2.39 m
Weight: Depends on version
Author of the Work: António Colaço