General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has been awarded a contract from Elbit Systems for ASCOD tracked armored vehicles. The vehicles will be outfitted with the latest 105mm large-caliber turret and delivered to an Asian-Pacific customer over a period of three years. Three other nations — Austria, Spain, and the United Kingdom – have already selected the ASCOD as their preferred tracked armored vehicle platform. With its modular design and open system architecture, the ASCOD can be outfitted easily for multiple roles, including as a Light Tank (LT) or Medium Main Battle Tank (MMBT), and outfitted with large-caliber cannons up to 120mm. The vehicles for the fourth customer will be branded with the name Sabrah.
“We are delighted that the first customer outside of Europe selected our ASCOD as their future Light Tank platform,” said Dr. Thomas Kauffmann, Vice President of International Business & Services for GDELS. “It indicates a clear trend in the armored vehicle segment to medium weight (≤ MLC 50) and multi-role platforms, which provide modern armies with commonality, interoperability, flexibility, as well as advanced military mobility, while significantly reducing logistic complexity and cost of ownership.”
“With this contract, the number of ASCOD vehicles in service or under contract reach 1,000 units, proof of the innovation of the system and its capability to adapt to all customers´ needs. The modular design and open architecture of ASCOD is a great example for this advanced approach,” Kauffmann said.
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) 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”.
ASCOD Medium Main Battle Tank (MMBT) is a light tank, designed for the export market, with a 105 mm or 120 mm gun. There are multiple turret options available, made by a different manufacturers: Oto Melara, Cockerill, General Dynamics, and Denel Land Systems (formerly known as LIW). Sabrah Light Tank ASCOD 2 is a new variant developed and offered by Elbit Systems for the Philippine Army’s Light Tank Acquisition Project, it uses the ASCOD 2 with a new turret armed with 105 mm gun developed by Elbit in partnership with Denel Land Systems after the Philippine Army required an autoloader and a larger firing arc that the ASCOD 2 MMBT’s Oto Melara Hitfact turret failed to meet.