Spain unveils the 105mm Ascod light tank with Elbit turret

PARIS ($1=0.93 Euros) — A version of the light tank will be presented by General Dynamics European Land Systems, through the acquired Spanish company Santa Bárbara Sistemas [SBS] during the upcoming exhibition in Paris Eurosatory 2022, which takes place this year and this year is from 13 to 17 June. The tank is called Ascod LT [LT is an acronym for a light tank] but is more popular as Pizarro [Pizarro is the Spanish version, Ascod is the export version].

Spain unveils the 105mm Ascod light tank with Elbit turret
Photo: GDELS

Ascod LT can be seen on the stand of the Israeli company Elbit Systems, like the turret, weapon system, 105mm gun, and various subsystems to the turret are manufactured and integrated by the Israeli company.

Ascod is actually a platform for an armored vehicle. Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Spanish General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas are involved in its creation. The platform is already entering service in various countries. In Spain, 261 105mm Ascod LT units have been ordered, in the UK the Ascod platform is participating in the Ajax project, and in Austria, it is participating with an order of 12 units, but under the name Ulan. Ascod is used to build armored vehicles, such as light tanks, surface-to-air missile [SAM] launchers, anti-tank missile launchers, mortar carriers, R&R vehicles, command & control vehicles, ambulances, artillery observers, and the AIFV model.

Ascod is gradually breaking the competition in international markets. Apart from Spain, Austria, and the United Kingdom, the Philippines is the other country to have a light tank built on Ascod’s customer configuration. The United States and the Czech Republic are potential customers: in the United States, Ascod is competing for a new light tank for the US Army, while in the Czech Republic it is being offered as an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle to replace the obsolete Soviet BMP-2s.

Spain unveils the 105mm Ascod light tank with Elbit turret
Photo: Wikipedia

Specifically for the light Spanish tank, which will be shown in Paris, it will be presented with a 105mm cannon, but the turret allows the integration of a 120mm cannon, too. In addition to the Elbit Systems turret, this tank allows the integration of several different turrets from different manufacturers, such as Oto Melara, Cockerill, General Dynamics, and Denel Land Systems.

The Ascod armor is made of rolled steel armor options for explosive reactive armor and composite armor. It is powered by a diesel engine, which according to the chosen configuration and purpose can provide from 600 to 720 horsepower. The suspension is a torsion bar and Piedrafita rotary dampers models AR01 and AR02. Different engines provide different top speeds, but the average is up to 72 km / h.

In addition to the 105mm gun, the turret of the Ascod LT can be equipped with additional weapons such as MG3 7.62 × 51mm NATO [Pizarro] or FN MAG 7.62 × 51mm NATO.

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