UK Chooses General Dynamics ASCOD AFV
This General Dynamics ASCOD vehicle has been chosen to replace the Scimitar, as part of the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) program. Called a Specialist Vehicle it appears to be a sound design, in service with the Spanish as Pizarro and Austrian Army Ulan. Being Austrian, this is an excellent endorsement, which has a history of top armored vehicle production. Says Army Recognition.com:
The ASCOD 2 SV is an armoured infantry fighting vehicle designed and manufactured by Steyr now General Dynamics European Land Systems. The ASCOD 2 (in Austria named ULAN and in Spain Pizarro) is a tracked armored vehicle in the class of 30 to 35 tons. The development of the ULAN began under the name ASCOD (Austrian-Spanish Cooperative Development) as a joint cooperation between General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas of Spain and Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug GmbH. The ASCOD company consists of the Austrian Company, Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug AG & Co AG and the Spanish company, Santa Barbara Sistemas. Following extensive trials with prototype vehicles, the Spanish government placed the first contract for the Pizarro early in 1996. The first prototype (PT01) was completed in 1990, with the turret and chassis being built in Austria and systems integration taking place in Spain. Prototype 2 was completed in 1992, and the last prototype was built in Spain in 1994, baseline for the Spanish army version. The ASCOD 2 SV is a modern, highly agile Infantry Fighting Vehicle that can be adapted to meet the reconnaissance requirement with the stretch potential to meet other FRES SV roles.
Here are the specs:
- Weight-28 tons
- Length-6.24 meters
- Height-2.43 meters
- Crew-3 crew + 8 troops
- Armament-30 mm Mauser MK 30-2
MG3 7.62 mm (Pizarro)
MG74 7.62 mm (Ulan)
- Armor-Up to 14.5 mm in front
- Speed-72 kmh
- Range-500 km
There is also a light tank version with a 105mm cannon, in service with the Royal Thai Army. The following are portions of the General Dynamics Press Release:
General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited has been selected by the Ministry of Defence to provide the next generation of armoured fighting vehicles to the British Army. The MoD has chosen General Dynamics’ ASCOD SV tracked vehicle as the winning design for the demonstration phase of the Specialist Vehicle competition, providing both the Scout variant and the Common Base Platform for up to 580 SV vehicles…
British troops using the ASCOD SV will have the best protection available in this vehicle class, both as it is delivered and as it grows to meet future threats. The vehicle will be immediately capable of delivering load-carrying growth potential of up to 42 tonnes thanks to a modern, proven drivetrain. This means that ASCOD SV is capable now of being equipped to meet future threats likely to appear over its entire 30 year life, without the need to upgrade its engine or transmission during that time.
Here is a FRES update from GD in pdf.