Testing of Infantry Fighting Vehicle contenders for the Czech Army programme begins, marking another step in the progress of the acquisition project that had looked vulnerable to cancellation as recently as last year. Participants include the ASCOD from General Dynamics European Land Systems, the Rheinmetall KF41 Lynx and the BAE Systems CV90. The Army of the Czech Republic has initiated tests of three tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) on 26 April that will conclude on 6 June.
There will be 210 new vehicles at an estimated cost of CZK 53 billion (USD 2.3 billion). The vehicles will be required to carry 11 soldiers (crew of 3, 2 specialists, 6 troopers), the 30mm cannons also stands confirmed, and it has been decided the vehicles are to be mounted with manned turrets. The Army requires the vehicles to be well armed and to provide a high level of protection for the crew and transported troops, to carry advanced command and control systems.
The tests will be about the capabilities of weapon systems, ie 30 mm automatic cannon, coaxial machine gun caliber 7.62 mm, guided anti-tank missiles, as well as the characteristics of the gunner’s and commander’s sights and sensor, communication and information systems, ballistic protection, vehicle mobility, required engine power and minimum road and off-road speed, terrain passability and total weight (vehicles should be transportable by heavy transport aircraft).
The ASCOD (Austrian Spanish Cooperation Development) armoured fighting vehicle family is the product of a cooperation agreement between Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Spanish General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas (both companies are now divisions of a unit of General Dynamics). In Spanish service, the vehicle is called “Pizarro”, while the Austrian version is called “Ulan”. The Ajax is a development of the ASCOD armoured fighting vehicle for the British Army.
The Lynx is a German armoured fighting vehicle developed by Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The KF41 variant was unveiled publicly at the Eurosatory defence exhibition on June 12, 2018. The Lynx family of tracked armoured vehicles is at the forefront of a new trend in IFV design toward armoured vehicles with lower unit and through-life costs and reduced complexity. One of the key principles of the Lynx concept is the integration of proven sub-systems with a high technology readiness level to reduce development time, cost and technical risk.
The Combat Vehicle 90 is a family of Swedish tracked combat vehicles designed by Sweden’s Defense Materiel Administration (Försvarets Materielverk, FMV), Hägglunds and Bofors during the mid-1980s and early 1990s, entering service in Sweden in the mid-90s. The export versions of CV90 is delivered with the combat proven BAE Systems Hägglunds E-series turrets with armament ranging from 30-120mm. The original model carries eight soldiers and is equipped with a 40 mm Bofors autocannon. The vast majority of the 600 turrets delivered are fitted with 30mm or 35mm guns.