Wednesday, December 19, 2018

General Dynamics European Land Systems Pizarro (ASCOD/US Army Mobile Protected Firepower) CEV

via Janes
General Dynamics European Land Systems - Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) is completing the first of 36 Pizarro combat engineer vehicles (CEVs) for the Spanish Army at its Seville facility.

Following company trials, the vehicle will be handed over to the Spanish Army for formal qualification in early 2019, and will then be followed by 35 production vehicles with final deliveries due in 2021.

The Pizarro CEV has a new all-welded steel hull design with a higher level of ballistic and mine protection than the Pizarro infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) deployed by Spain; this is based on General Dynamics' Austrian Spanish Co-Operative Development (ASCOD) platform.

Mounted at the CEV's front is a Pearson Engineering Common Interface Attachment (CIT), which enables various engineer equipment to be rapidly attached. All vehicles are to be fitted with the hydraulically operated Pearson Earth Anchor Dozer Blade (EADB), which can be used for earth moving, obstacle reduction, and mobility support tasks. This can be rapidly replaced in the field by the Pearson Engineering Light Weight Mine Roller (LWMR) or Surface Mine Plough (SMP) to neutralize scatterable mines and munitions.

Mounted on either side at the rear of the hull is a Pearson Engineering Obstacle Marking System (OMS), known as Pathfinder. When deployed on mine-clearing operations these are swung outside of the hull and dispense marker poles into the ground as the vehicle moves through the cleared minefield.

The Pizarro CEV's crew consists of a commander, gunner, and driver, and it can carry six engineers. The latter can be reduced by one to enable anti-tank mines (ATMs) to be carried for manual laying.

The vehicle is fitted with a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Mini Samson remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a stabilised .50 M2 machine gun (MG) that is fed from the left with a sensor pod on the right.
Pretty damn frisky.  General Dynamics is sly as a fox.  They're putting together a real nice family of vehicles based off the ASCOD family.  Why is that impressive?  Because with the number of users increasing they're gonna have solutions ready out the box. 

Has anyone thought about what is going to recover those MPF's for the Infantry Brigades?  Yeah.  You're gonna need a similar size vehicle able to handle the load.  Combat Engineering?  A similar sized vehicle to keep up.

The US Army has probably already crunched the numbers but they're really (at least in my mind) building a more capable middle weight force.

What will be lacking?  Simpy rebadge the Stryker Brigades with a replacement vehicle, stick in the new MPFs along with supporting cast and then you have a force that can punch above, below and sideways in its weight class.

I've been cheering Army efforts on this but the Marine in me starts wondering what the end goal actually is.

Off topic but what should the Marines emphasize going into the future?  Our TRUE expeditionary nature.  While other forces struggle to get to hot spots we can be there, kill what needs to be killed and sipping coffee at the airport watching the relief forces arrive.  Get relieved in place and back on the ships heading to the next action before they're fully unloaded.

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