The M3 Stuart light tank and M4 Sherman appear to be going back into service, mostly for operational training purposes, with the Paraguayan Army. Paraguay is thought to have three Shermans medium tanks and up to fifteen Stuart light tanks in its inventory. A total of 15 M3s were delivered to the Paraguayan Army in 1970 in three successive lots as donations from neighbouring Brazil and the Shermans were delivered in 1980 from Argentina, according to the information published in The National Interest and IHS Jane's.
The M3 Stuart tanks of the Paraguayan Army during the Independence day parade, 15th of May 2002, in Asuncion [Via]
A Paraguayan military source told IHS Jane's that in 2014 it was decided to re-activate the M3 fleet to provide Cavalry Regiment N°4 (RC4) with a training tank. Thus, 10 (five M3 and five M3A1s) of the original 15 Stuart were put through a complete overhaul, had their engines refurbished (during the early 80-ties the 15 Stuarts received new engines, the work was done by Bernardini in Brazil), were repainted, and received M2 .50-calibre machine guns on a turret pintle instead of the original Browning .30-calibre.
According to IHS Jane's, the M3s have occasionally participated in the country's 15 May military parade in Asuncion. For the most part the tanks were mainly out of action, having been stored following a threatened army coup in 1996, until the last several years in which efforts have been made to get a portion of the fleet back in operational condition.
There are no further details about the status of the Argentine modified Shermans—which are still serving with Paraguay’s Presidential Escort Regiment, The National Interest reports. The history of the Sherman tank in Paraguay begins in 1971 when the Argentinean Army presented its Paraguayan counterpart with 3 Sherman Firefly tanks. According to “Blindados Argentinos”, by Ricardo Sigal Fogliani, Paraguay received another batch of 3 Shermans. According to the same source, in 1988 Paraguay gave back 3 of these Sherman Firefly Vs to the Argentineans (maybe 1 went back and the other two were used for spare parts by the Paraguayans) and in return Paraguay got 3 Sherman “repotenciado”.
The newly arrived Sherman “Repotenciado” tanks were powered by the Poyaud 520 V8 Diesel Engine and the daunting L44/57 FTR 105 mm main gun (manufactured in Argentina at the military factory of Rio Tercero). Another interesting detail is that these units are equipped with a T49 type track and drive sprocket, both built under licence in Argentina.