289 vehicles and 1,400 soldiers participated in these maneuvers in Portugal

The Armies of Spain and Portugal train together with armored vehicles and live fire

From April 29 to May 10, Portugal has hosted a major multinational exercise with several allied countries.

Joint training of special operations units from Spain and Portugal
“We are Soldiers of Portugal”, a video showing the materials of the Portuguese Army

The exercise, called Orion 24, has brought together 289 vehicles and 1,400 soldiers (171 of them from other countries and the rest Portuguese) at the Santa Margarida Military Field, about 100 km northeast of Lisbon. These maneuvers have had the participation of the Portuguese Army and the Portuguese Air Force, as well as the Armies of Spain, Slovakia and Romania.

In Santa Margarida, armored vehicles of the Portuguese Army have been seen such as the Leopard 2A6 battle tanks (below these lines), M-113 armored vehicles (in mortar-carrying, anti-tank versions and others), M-109 self-propelled howitzers and Pandur II armored transports, in addition to the Humvee and Arquus Ultrav M11D tactical vehicles, the latter operated by the ISTAR Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Target Acquisition Battalion.

Spain has contributed Leopard 2E battle tanks and ASCOD Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles to this exercise, as well as M-113 VCZ sapper combat vehicles.

The Portuguese Army has published two videos about this exercise. In the first, published on May 9 and which you can see below, you can see Spanish Leopard 2E and VCI Pizarro battle tanks:

In the second video, published yesterday, we can see images of the live fire exercises carried out during these maneuvers:

You can see below some more photos of this exercise that have been published by the Portuguese Army through their social networks.

A VCI Pizarro of the Spanish Army during the Orion 24 exercise.

Two Leopard 2A6 battle tanks of the Portuguese Army. This version is practically equivalent to the Leopard 2E used by Spain.

A Portuguese soldier, on the left, observes a Spanish soldier who is looking through the optics of the launcher of a BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile mounted on a Portuguese M-113A2. The Portuguese Army has 17 M-113A2 equipped with this type of launchers.

A live fire session at the Santa Margarida Military Field, in Portugal. Several battle tanks fire their 120 mm cannons, accompanied by a Portuguese M-113.

An Arquus Ultrav M11D of the ISTAR Battalion followed by several Humvees of the Portuguese Army.

A Portuguese Leopard 2A6 (left) and a Spanish Leopard 2E. In addition to the different decoration (the Portuguese tanks are painted with three-color NATO camouflage: olive green, brown and black, while the tanks Spanish are entirely painted olive green), both vehicles are differentiated by the number of smoke grenade launchers they have on both sides of their turrets. The Spanish Leopard 2E carry eight launchers on each side (a row of six and below another row of two), while the Leopard 2A6 carry only six launchers on each side. Likewise, and as seen in the photo, the Leopard 2E has additional protection on the front part of its chassis.

A curiosity that can be seen in the first of the videos: two Spanish ASCOD Pizarro waving flags with the Cross of Burgundy. Let us remember that this emblem was the one that identified the Spanish Empire when Spain and Portugal were united, between 1580 and 1640.


Photos: Exército Português.

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