IFV ASCOD 42 was presented during the dynamic demonstrations at NATO Days 2020

IFV ASCOD 42 was presented during the dynamic demonstrations at NATO Days 2020
19 / 10 / 2020, 10:00

This year's NATO Days were influenced by the pandemic situation in the world, but despite this, several interesting products have appeared in the program of dynamic demonstrations, which have been demonstrating their capabilities at Mošnov Airport for several years. These include armored vehicles of the ASCOD family.

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. NATO Days are one of them, and it was no different this year either. The deadline for tests of the first functional vehicles, which the Army wanted to carry out in November this year, was postponed to the next year due to the pandemic, and we witness another delay of the tender. At the NATO 2020 Days, all three participants in the tender for new tracked vehicles had their stands. However, only the ASCOD 42 type produced by General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) was demonstrated in the dynamic demonstrations.

It was another stage of development of the demonstrator, from which the form of the ASCOD 42 vehicle for the Czech Army will emerge. Vehicles on the ASCOD platform have so far been manufactured or ordered in a thousand pieces and are used in the Spanish, Austrian and British armies. In addition, the parent company General Dynamics also offers the US Army a light fire support vehicle on the ASCOD platform.

The design of the ASCOD 42 IFV presented at this year's NATO Days had some differences compared to the previously demonstrated variants. At first glance, the narrower additional modules of the side armor of the hull were obvious. The vehicles measures 3 m in width, which is approximately the same value as the BVP-2, and it also means easier transport of vehicles by rail or on road semi-trailers.

The MT-30 Mk2 manned turret has also undergone some changes compared to the previous one. Smoke grenade launchers moved from the ceiling to the front of the turret, the head of the commander's independent observation system was placed directly on the turret ceiling, and its pedestal disappeared. To the right of the front of the turret was located the head of the observation and aiming system of the gunner copying the movement of the cannon, which corresponds to the standard MT-30 Mk2, which the Israeli manufacturer offers for this type of turret. The Iron Fist hard kill defense system, the effectors of which were visible at the rear of the turret, and a laser beam detection system were also installed on the turret.

The armament and parameters of the turret did not change. The demonstrated vehicle had a 30 mm ATK Mk44 Bushmaster II cannon charged from the interior, a 7.62 mm machine gun and a retractable two-shot Spike projectile launcher, which has its place in the right part of the turret. This combination of armaments is compatible with the Czech wheeled IFV Pandur II CZ. The elevation of the cannon and machine gun is -10 to +60 degrees, and these values ​​were clearly demonstrated by the vehicle during the dynamic demonstrations. According to the manufacturer, the construction of the turret also allows the installation of weapons of larger calibers. The large elevation angle can be used both in rugged terrain and, for example, in operations in urban areas, but it can also be used in defense against low-flying targets, drones or helicopters. During the dynamic demonstrations, it was clear that the rotation of the turret is very fast and the vehicle can transmit fire in different directions in a short time.

The interior of the ASCOD 42 was also partially different from previous presentations, however, it is yet to take it’s final form. For example, a new system of attachment of airborne weapons and ammunition for the main armament was added, the emergency exit of the crew from the turret basket was resolved, etc. In the interior there were eight explosion-proof seats for infantry teams. The crew consisted of driver, placed in the front left side of the vehicle, and commander and gunner, both sitting in the turret.

During the demonstrations, the vehicle also showed very good dynamic parameters of the propulsion system. The demonstrator was equipped with an MTU 8V MT199 TE21 engine with an output of 600 kW and a RENK HSWL 256B automatic transmission. For serial vehicles, if the army chose the ASCOD 42, more powerful power unit is expected. The ASCOD 42 can even be equipped with a modern hybrid drive system. 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.

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