IFV ASCOD 42 – favorite of the Czech tender?

IFV ASCOD 42 – favorite of the Czech tender?
Caption: ASCOD 42
23 / 07 / 2020, 10:00

The Nordic CV90 from BAE Systems, the brand new LYNX from Rheinmetall and the ASCOD 42 from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) remain in the tender for tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles. GDELS is also behind the Pandur II wheeled IFVs used in the Czech Army for a decade - the original manufacturer of Pandur II 8x8 CZ vehicles, Steyr-Daimler-Puch, has been part of the GDELS Group for almost twenty years. If we look at the parameters of ASCOD 42 and the long-term ties of its manufacturer to the Czech industry, the vehicle can probably be described as the favorite of the ongoing competition.

One of the important elements, the production of which the company GDELS and the Israeli ELBIT Systems offer to transfer to the Czech Republic is the turret of the ASCOD 42 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. There are two versions of the MT / UT30 Mk2 turret, manned and unmanned. The first being chosen by the Czech Army, and it could, according to preliminary agreements, be produced by the Czech Excalibur Army company.

The turret is mounted with ATK MK44 Bushmaster II caliber 30 mm automatic cannon and a coaxial machine gun caliber 7.62 mm. Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, which also equip the currently used Czech Army Pandur II CZ 8x8 vehicles, are fully integrated with the turret fire control system. There is a Laser Warning System (LWS) and smoke grenade launchers connected to the turret control system, which allow a quick response according to the degree and type of threat. The passive turret protection is modular and can reach levels 2, 3, 4 or 6 according to the STANAG 4569 standard.

See also: 16 Uncrossable Requirements for the new Czech Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles

The cannon is stabilized in both axes and the fire control system allows effective shooting during the day, at night and in bad weather. The commander's and the gunner's independently stabilized sights enable the hunter-killer ability (the commander selects targets, the shooter destroys them) and, in addition to thermal cameras, they also allow automatic tracking of targets.

The main weapon can be replaced with a cannon of another type or another caliber. A very important parameter of the turret is the elevation of the main weapon in the range of -15 to 60 degrees, which gives the vehicle the ability to effectively act against air targets (helicopters and drones), and to be effectively deployed in urban environment. There, the large elevation of the weapon allows to fire into the upper floors of buildings, and in combination with air burst ammunition, which can explode over or behind the obstacle, makes the vehicle equipped with such a turret effective even for very difficult conditions. The 15-degree depression of the cannon allows for a use of the terrain to cover the vehicle and it reduces the radius of the blind area around the machine.

See also: IDET 2019 - memorandum signed between GDELS and RETIA (ASCOD 2 IFV)

With systems such as Iron Fist, ie active protection against RPGs, guided missiles and artillery projectiles, and Iron Vision, which uses a system of cameras, artificial intelligence and virtual reality to allow the crew to "see through" the vehicle with special helmets, as well as durable armored body and block passive protection the ASCOD 42 is one of the most modern and durable vehicles in its class. Its advantages in the tender include GDELS' already existing close cooperation with Czech companies, potential cooperation between Czech companies and Israeli manufacturers of proven and technologically advanced equipment, and last but not least the American origin of the parent General Dynamics corporation, which can strengthen the Czech Euro-Atlantic ties, while the vehicles themselves would be produced in the Czech Republic.

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