Brazilian defense authorities are moving ahead with their plans to donate military equipment to Uruguay consisting of M108 howitzers and Urutu vehicles after the Lower House passed a bill in that regard which has now been sent over to the Senate.
Bill PL 3212/21 provides for the donation of military equipment under storage: ten M108 self-propelled howitzers and eleven EE-11 Urutu transport vehicles.
The Brazilian Army has replaced the M108 howitzers with M109A5+, while the Urutus are to be phased out with the arrival of VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 units.
Joint efforts between the governments and armies of both countries date back to the end of 2019 when a delegation of the Uruguayan Army visited the 22nd Self-Propelled Field Artillery Group of the Brazilian Army in Uruguayana.
According to Brazil's Lower House, the donation of this military equipment to Uruguay seeks to strengthen relations with our Mercosur partners, as well as to demonstrate that the transactions will not harm our land forces in the fulfillment of their constitutional duties.
If the bill passes through the Senate, the Army has plans to transfer the units to the 7th Mechanized Cavalry Regiment, in Santana do Livramento, a Brazilian city bordering Uruguay's Rivera.
The M108 is a 105mm self-propelled howitzer of US origin introduced in the early 60s. The M108 was actively employed in the Vietnam War as a fortified firebase to provide artillery support to combat units. However, their operational life in the U.S. Army was short-lived. They were decommissioned in 1975 in favor of the introduction of new versions of the more modern 155mm M109.
The EE-11 Urutu is a 6×6 personnel carrier manufactured by the Brazilian company Engesa. With a long history, it has been used by various forces in the region, such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.