Armor: Britain Buys General Dynamics Vehicle


April 4, 2010: Britain has selected an American firm (General Dynamics, or GD) to develop a replacement for the 7.8 ton Scimitar tracked armored reconnaissance vehicle. Scimitar is 4.9 meters long, 2.2 wide and 2.1 high. It has a three man crew and is armed with a 30mm autocannon and a 7.62mm machine-gun. The 30mm weapon can fire up to 90 rounds a minute.

The GD candidate is a recon version of their ASCOD2 infantry fighting vehicle. This is a 28 ton, tracked vehicle that is 6.8 meters long, 3.1 wide and 1.8 high. In addition to the crew of three, the vehicle can carry seven passengers. Armament for the scout version would be a 40mm cannon similar to the 30mm one in Scimitar. The increased heft and size of the ASCOD would provide better protection against mines and roadside bombs, as well as the ability to carry more electronics, ammo, fuel and so on. The British SV versions could end up weighing over 40 tons (the ASCOD design can handle up to 45 tons and most current models are about 30 tons).

Various versions of ASCOD are in use by Spain, Austria and Thailand. The British SV version would actually be four models (scout, command post, Forward Reconnaissance and recovery vehicle.)



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