- GDELS presented four new AFVs at Eurosatory
- Two of these were based on the company's ASCOD Common Base Platform
General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) presented four new armoured vehicles at this year’s Eurosatory defence exhibition, held in Paris from 11–15 June. Making their debut were two amoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) based on the company’s ASCOD Common Base Platform (CBP) – a direct-fire variant and an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) – along with a new version of the Pandur wheeled AFV family and a new medium mechanised bridge system.
The ASCOD Medium Main Battle Tank (MMBT) was shown armed with the Leonardo HITFACT turret sporting a 120 mm smoothbore main gun, a 7.62 coaxial machine gun (MG), a 7.62 mm pintle-mounted MG and a 12.7 mm MG-armed remote weapon station on the roof. The main gun is coupled to a computerised fire control system, giving the commander and gunner stabilised day/thermal sights that incorporate a laser rangefinder.
Speaking to Jane’s on 12 June, Manuel J Serrano, the senior director for tracked vehicles at GDELS, said that the MMBT’s gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 42 tonnes was particularly attractive to customers in the Far East whose operating environment puts heavier 60- to 70-tonne main battle tanks (MBTs) out of favour.
“We were asked about a light tank – this was really a request from the market – and so we developed this, which is effectively the last member of the ASCOD family,” he said. Serrano additionally noted that transportability was a major consideration in the MMBT’s design (the vehicle is transportable in an A400M or C-17 airlifter), along with affordability; the MMBT’s life-cycle costs, he said, were less than half those of a standard MBT.
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