The Spanish version of the Ascod armoured fighting vehicles, called Pizarro, were deployed to Latvia.
The Pizarro VCI/C vehicles designed and manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Bárbara Sistemas were transported by the Spanish Army to the port of Bilbao to form part of the operation known as the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Latvia, one of the four defensive multinational NATO coalitions in the Baltic states and Poland with the aim of guaranteeing the stability of Euro-Atlantic security.
NATO’s multinational EFP battlegroup in Latvia aims at boosting defence and deterrence capabilities in the eastern part of the Alliance territory. The presence of the battlegroup is sending an unmistakable signal about the unwavering resolve of NATO members to consider an attack on one Ally as an attack on the whole Alliance of 30 members. NATO Enhanced Forward Presence is defensive in nature, proportionate to the challenge and fully in line with NATO’s international commitments.
The Pizarro armoured fighting vehicle was designed to replace ageing light armored vehicles in service with Spanish Army, such as the M113 armored personnel carriers.
The VCI/I is an advanced version of Ascod family of vehicles. The modular design architecture offers adaptability and scalability and is remarkably cost-efficient for maintenance.
The Spanish Pizarro is fitted with 30 mm autocannon in a fully traversable electro-mechanical turret and an MG-3 machine gun.
The vehicle is additionally fitted with limited amounts of SABBLIR explosive reactive armour along the frontal arc and might be upgraded with more later. The SABBLIR reactive armour increases protection against shaped charge warheads as used on rocket propelled grenades.
Currently, the Spanish Army now has four Mechanised Battalions equipped with “Pizarro” VCI/C.