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IAV 2024: Spain outlines progress on Army 35 armoured vehicle modernisation programmes

The Spanish Army is planning to upgrade the firepower, mobility, protection, command, control, and communications of its Leopard 2E fleet by 2032 under a three-phase modernisation programme. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Spain is making progress on several armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) modernisation programmes and intends to start a three-phase programme to modernise its Leopard 2E main battle tank (MBT) fleet, Janes learnt at Defence iQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2024 conference held in London from 22 to 25 January.

Part of the overarching Army 35 modernisation programme, these procurements aim to make the Spanish Army more suitable for the future operating environment, which it foresees as being characterised by high-intensity warfighting in an urbanised, non-linear battlespace. As the name of the programme suggests, the goal for achieving this transformation is 2035, although a mid-term force is desired by 2030.

In terms of armoured vehicles, Army 35 will see the procurement of vehicles for the army's heavy, medium, territorial, and light brigades. This will involve development and production of the Dragon 8×8 Wheeled Combat Vehicle (Vehículo de Combate sobre Ruedas: VCR) and the Tracked Support Vehicle (Vehículo de Apoyo de Cadenas: VAC), procurement of new variants of the 4×4 High Mobility Tactical Vehicle (Vehículo de Alta Movilidad Táctico: VAMTAC), and modernisation of the Leopard 2E MBT fleet.

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