The Army of the Czech Republic has been choosing a successor for the age-old BVP-2 for some time, and tenderers use various events to present their solutions. One of the bidders in the tender for new tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic is the ASCOD 42, which is offered by General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS). This modern platform meets all the requirements of the Czech Army and also offers top parameters and capabilities. GDELS offers a vehicle as part of the Czech Army’s tender, which is also the basis for the vehicles currently supplied to the British Army under the Ajax program. ASCOD 42 as an infantry fighting vehicle has a standard weight of 38 t, the maximum can reach up to 42 t. This means that a total of up to 19 t of the total weight of the vehicle is reserved for weapons and ammunition, equipment, additional armor, electronic systems, etc.
For the selection procedure of the Czech Army, the ASCOD 42 vehicle is equipped with the Israeli Elbit MT-30 MK2 manned turret, while this turret also exists in an unmanned variant, which is more than 90 percent identical. The configuration of the vehicle with the manned turret allows the transport of eight troopers exactly according to the requirements of the Czech Army. The main armament of the vehicle is the ATK Mk44 Bushmaster II caliber 30 mm cannon charged from the interior of the turret, which is also mounted with a 7.62 mm machine gun. In addition, in the MT-30 MK2 turret a retractable launcher for two anti-tank guided missiles Spike is hidden, which are also in use, for example, with the Czech wheeled Infantry Fighting Vehicles Pandur II 8×8 CZ. The equipment of the vehicle’s turret includes two independent aiming and observation optoelectronic systems for gunner and commander.
The ASCOD (Austrian Spanish Cooperation Development) armoured fighting vehicle family is the product of a cooperation agreement between Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG (in 1998 the production of heavy armed vehicles was sold out under the name Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug, which is now the producer) and Spanish General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas (both companies are now divisions of a unit of General Dynamics). The ASCOD family includes the LT 105, a light tank equipped with a 105 mm gun, a SAM launcher, an anti-tank missile launcher, mortar carrier, R&R vehicle, Command & Control vehicle, ambulance, artillery observer, and the AIFV model. In Spanish service, the vehicle is called “Pizarro”, while the Austrian version is called “Ulan”.