Ukraine wants to buy new Spanish tanks, talk of Ascod LT105

MADRID ($1=1.00 Euro) — Ukraine wants to buy Spanish tanks. This is clear from the statement of the Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles. According to Robles, Ukraine is interested in “new and modern” Spanish tanks. Several Spanish media are analyzing the situation.

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

La Razon suggests several possibilities. If Ukraine wants new, modern, and purely Spanish tanks, the only option is the Ascod LT105 light battle tank. This light battle tank is from the Ascod/Pizarro family and is a Santa Bárbara Sistemas [SBS] product. Ascod LT105, which is the most advanced version, was presented in 2021 in Paris for the first time. This tank weighs between 30 and 50 tons. It is armed with a turret from Elbit Systems, Israel.

The Ascod LT105 can be armed with a 105mm or 120mm gun. La Razon writes that the Ascod LT105 is the only Spanish modern weapon that Madrid can offer Kyiv from its catalog. The problem is that Ukraine wants them now and immediately, and Spain does not have them. I.e. – will have to produce them, which takes time. How much time? Years – the process starts from purchasing steel to delivery.

Leopard 2A4s are not an option

La Razon writes again about the Spanish Leopard 2A4 tanks. Both BulgarianMilitary.com and La Razon write that this tank is not an option.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: Defence View

Spain has two types of Leopard tanks – the 2A4 model and the Leopard E model. On the one hand, the Leopards are being retired because they are outdated, and on the other hand, the Leopards are waiting for modernization because they are outdated. In fact, the need for such an upgrade has become more pressing precisely since the invasion of Ukraine.

The damage that drones do to cars and the need to deploy them in urban environments is the basis of long-standing requirements, such as the addition of a small arms turret to protect the vehicle from such threats.

There is also talk of the inclusion of an active defense system, specifically Rafael’s Trophy, capable of firing countermeasures as well as interceptor projectiles. In addition, both systems will depend on Germany’s permission to be sent to Ukraine. On the other hand, the ones that were in stock (2A4) are the ones that couldn’t be shipped due to their condition, so the ones that remain are active and both are essential.

Pizarro light tanks are also not an option

We leave the Leopards in the background and head for the Pizarro light Spanish tanks. They are also part of the Ascod/Pizarro family. Spain has just over 220 active Pizarro light tanks in excellent condition.

But there is a problem here – all the units are between two phases of modernization. Since the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard E tanks are inactive and in very poor condition, the Pizarro is effectively the only tank defending Spanish territory. I.e. sending a quantity of Pizarro to Ukraine will greatly weaken the Spanish defenses. Madrid doesn’t want that.

M113 is back “on the market”

Spain can only offer the M113 to Ukraine. But the M113 is not a tank, but a tracked infantry fighting vehicle. The problem is that the M113 is from the Vietnam War. Although the Spanish authorities have modernized a significant amount of M113s by replacing their engines, they remain simply armored vehicles.

Spain repairs transmission of its 6-cylinder diesel M113 APC
Photo credit: Flicr

But this is all Spain can offer in the short term. Everything else will require time for new production. It is not known how long it will last, even assuming time is constant. Spain has the opportunity to give modern and new armored fighting vehicles and light tanks, but it cannot do so now.

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