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ASCOD Variants and Foreign Sales

In the late 1990s ASCOD took part in a competition organized by the Norwegian Army, together with the US M2 Bradley and the Swedish CV 90, and performed very well, even though the Swedish vehicle won the contract. The ASCOD was ultimately discarded due to still being a prototype back then in favor of the CV90 which was already in production and, admittedly, is also a very good vehicle. The Netherlands was considering replacement of their YPR-765, however the Ulan had not the required specifications. The Ulan would be ready for delivery in 2010. The RNL Army bought the Swedish CV9035 instead.

ASCOD Pizarro

ASCOD Pizarro is built by Santa Brbara Sistemas. It has multiple variants.
  • VCI/C - Infantry / Cavalry Vehicle; This is the basic ASCOD Pizarro.
  • VCPC - Command Vehicle
  • VCOAV - (Vehculo de Observacin Avanzada) Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle
  • VCREC - Recovery Vehicle
  • VCZ - Engineering Vehicle
  • LT-105 Light Tank - A light tank, designed for the export market, with a 105 mm gun. There are three turrets available, each made by a different manufacturer. These manufacturers are Oto Melara, General Dynamics, and Denel Land Systems (formally known as LIW). The vehicles for the Royal Thai Marine Corps will use the turret from Denel.Donar - Medium 155mm SPA based on the KMW PzH 2000ASCOD Ulan


ASCOD Ulan is built by Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug. It includes a more powerful 530 kW engine, and a different fire control system built by Kollsman.


ASCOD SV (also called the ASCOD 2 SV) is the ASCOD variant chosen for the British Armys Specialist Vehicle Programme, and will be built by General Dynamics UK. Currently, there are four variants planned for this programme.
  • ASCOD SV - Scout Variant (This is the main variant of the programme.)
  • ASCOD VCPC - Command Post Armoured Vehicle Variant
  • ASCOD VCOAV - Forward Reconnaissance Armoured Vehicle
  • ASCOD ARV - Armoured Recovery Vehicle The ASCOD SV is planned to include the following upgrades:
  • The main weapon will be a 40mm Case Telescopic Weapon System (CT40 cannon).
  • The armor will provide basic ballistic and mine protection, with upgrade add-on packages for improved protection when needed.
  • The chassis will be upgraded, including an increased engine rated at 600 kW.
  • The turret will be built by Lockheed Martin UK.
  • The vehicle is expected to weigh 42 tonnes.

    ASCOD AFV Users

  • Austria - 112 ASCOD Ulan
  • Spain - 356 ASCOD Pizarro (293 VCI/C, 26 VCPC, 28 VCOAV, 8 VCREC, and 1 VCZ)
  • Thailand - 15 ASCOD Pizarro LT-105

    ASCOD in Spain - Pizarro

    This new armored combat vehicle formed the backbone of the main Spanish defense forces, together with the Leopard 2 A5, well into the 21st century. Several different versions of the Pizarro were developed, including a CP version, a mortar and fire support vehicle, and an ambulance, all due in the short run. On February 9th, 1996, the Spanish Council of Ministers finally gave the green light to the procurement of the Ascod Pizarro, a newly developed infantry and cavalry combat vehicle. More than 400 were to be provided over ten years, completely replacing old M113 APCs in the mechanized infantry units and cavalry formations. Several different versions of the Pizarro were developed, including a CP version, a mortar and fire support vehicle, and an ambulance. This new armored combat vehicle forms the backbone of the main defense forces, together with the Leopard 2 A5, well into the 21st century.

    On January 15, 2003 General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas, a General Dynamics Spanish subsidiary, was selected by the Spanish Ministry of Defense to execute the second phase of the Pizarro IFV program. This second phase includes manufacturing 176 Pizarro fighting vehicles, 22 command post vehicles and associated logistics support. Phase Two Pizarro program could be valued as much as 520 million. Phase one of the Pizarro program included 121 Pizarro IFV and 21 command post vehicles. The first delivery of the second phase vehicles would be in 2005 and completion by 2010. By 2010 the Spanish Army Pizarro inventory would total 340 vehicles, 297 Pizarro fighting vehicles and 43 command post vehicles.

    Twenty-two years after the conquest of Mexico, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Peruvian empire. When Pizarro conquered the Incas of Peru in 1532, he acquired large amounts of gold and silver which the Indians had accumulated through long years of arduous labors. Having possessed themselves of the wealth on hand, the explorers sought the source of the precious metals and not in vain. From the time of Pizarro, until the last of the exiled Incas, a term of twenty-five years, there is nothing but perfidy and murder on the side of the Spaniards, and generous and high feeling confidence on the part of the sovereigns of Peru. The exiled Incas preferred the scanty bread found in the wilds of the Andes to the promises of Spanish munificence; but intrigue and power prevailed, and the blood so long hunted for was sucked at last. What remained of the Inca race, they sent to uncongenial climes to be destroyed by disease. Thirty-eight of the Inca race were sent to Lima, and in less than two years all but three of them were dead, and these soon followed. Thus perished the males of the blood royal of Peru. Tupac Amaru, the head of the Inca family, was sentenced to the scaffold, and those who invented the inquisition racked their imagination to make his death degrading.

    ASCOD in Austria - Ulan

    There could be no doubt that by 2003 the inventory of the Austrian Armed Forces needed modernisation. The problem, however, was financing. After the purchase of battle tanks, tank hunters and selfpropelled howitzers, the obsolete Saurer APCs were being replaced. The Austrian Army selected the Ulan Schtzenpanzer vehicle for its mechanized units, and an initial batch of 112 Ascod vehicles were procured to start replacement of the Saurer 4K4E/F APCs still in service. The Ulan, the Austrian version of the Pizarro, provided a flexible complement to the Leopard 2A4 MBT. A new era began with the delivery of the first infantry fighting vehicle "Ulan" on the mechanized infantry task force in 2002. After many years the armored infantry was able to keep up with main battle tanks on the battle ground again. The Panzergrenadiere are the ultimate type of weapon for the final seizure and securing targets. Mechanized combat troops need therefore a similarly high proportion of infantry forces.

    A certain description of militia among the modern Tartars was called Ulan (Lancer). They formerly did duty in Poland and Lithuania, and served as light cavalry. Although the origin of the word Ulan, as far as it regards the modern militia so called, does not appear to be indisputably ascertained, it is nevertheless well proved, that besides the Tartar chief under Stephen Bathori, the person, who in the reign of Augustus II formed the first pulk, or regiment of that description, was not only called Ulan himself, but likewise gave the name to the whole body under his command. This chief is mentioned in the records of the military institution of Poland in 1717. He was then colonel or commandant of the first pulk, or king's regiment, and there were three captains under him of the same name, viz: Joseph Ulan, David Ulan, and Cimbey Ulan. In 1744, one of these was captain of a company of Ulans m Bohemia, and was afterwards colonel of a corps of the same description in Poland. He is likewise said to have been de. scended from the Tartar princes.

    It is however, left undecided, whether Ulan be the name of a particular family, or a term given to distinguish some post of honor; or again, whether it barely signify a certain class of turbulent haughty soldiers, such as the Streletz of Russia, or the Janizaries of Constantinople. It is acknowleged by all writers, that the Ulans are a militia, and not a particular nation or class of people; their origin, in this particular, resembles that of the Cossacks. When Augustus II. in 1717 altered the military establishment of Poland, he formed two regiments of Ulans.

    The Ulans were mounted on Polish or Tartar horses, and did the same duty that is allotted to hussars; with this essential difference, that they are better armed and accoutred, and that their horses excelled those of the hussars in strength and swiftness, although they are mostly of the same size. Their principal weapon was a lance five feet long, at the end of which would hang a silk streamer, that served to frighten the horse of the Ulan's opponent, by its flattering and noise. The lance was suspended on his right side, by means of it belt that was worn across the Ulan's shoulders, or by a small leather thong which went round his right arm, the end of the lance resting in a sort of stay that is attached to the stirrup. The Ulans frequently distinguished themselves on service, particularly in Bohemia.

    ASCOD in the UK - FRES SV Specialist Vehicle

    In November 2009 General Dynamics has submitted its bid to provide the British Armys next generation of reconnaissance Armoured Fighting Vehicles. The General Dynamics team, led by General Dynamics UK, is offering a low-risk evolution of the ASCOD Infantry Fighting Vehicle, already in use with the Spanish and Austrian armies, for the Specialist Vehicle element of the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES SV).

    The Ministry of Defence selected General Dynamics UK on 22 March 2010 as the preferred bidder for the demonstration phase of the new SV program. This will include development of Scout, the principal reconnaissance vehicle that will replace the Scimitar vehicle currently deployed in Afghanistan. The Specialist Vehicle fleet will provide improved protection against a wide range of threats and bring significant benefits to the Army, including greater firepower, longer range sensors and sighting systems and a higher level of reliability. ASCOD-SV came out at 42 tonnes, with a 600kw engine (roughly 800+hp).

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    Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:20:02 ZULU