ASCOD IFV, a joint product between Spain and Austria, entered service in 2002 as the Pizarro in Spain and the Ulan in Austria.

ASCOD Pizarro / Ulan is considered a new generation of highly agile, tracked, medium-weight armored fighting vehicle, possessing excellent maneuverability and reliability, along with good protection. ASCOD stands for speed, optimal protection and immediate performances day-night regardless of weather conditions.

Developed in the 1990s, since then, 356 vehicles have been built for the Spanish army and 112 for the Austrian army. The vehicle weighs about 26.3 tons for the Pizarro, while the Austrian Ulan is a bit heavier at 28 tons. It has a length of 6.83 m, a width of 3.64 m, and a height of 2.43 m.

ASCOD Ulan/Pizarro
ASCOD Ulan/Pizarro

Essentially it was the same vehicle, but Austrian and Spanish vehicles have some differences to suit local needs. It follows a conventional layout with a front-mounted engine and a rear compartment. The driver’s seat is located at the left hull front, whereas the commander and gunner sit in the slightly off-center-mounted two-man turret. The rear compartment also has two hatches on the roof. Ulan can carry eight soldiers, while Pizarro can carry only seven.

ASCOD’s main armament is a 30 mm Mauser MK-30/2 autocannon in a fully traversable electro-mechanical turret. The dual belt-fed 30 mm cannon, electrical stabilized on two planes, is able to fire at a rate of up to 770 rounds per minute and accurately engage targets on the move. As secondary armament, the ASCOD carries a 7.62 mm machine gun; the Spanish Pizarro is fitted with an MG-3 machine gun, whereas the Ulan is fitted with an FN MAG. In terms of mobility, the Spanish Pizarro is fitted with a 600 horsepower MTU SV-183 TE22 engine, while the Austrian Ulan includes a 720 horsepower MTU 8V-199-TE20 engine. The smaller Spanish engine gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 21, and the larger engine one of 25, offering both vehicles excellent mobility.


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