Spanish Army concludes qualification tests of the Castor armoured engineering vehicle
The Spanish MoD announced on 28 December the conclusion of the qualification tests with the prototype of the Castor armoured engineering vehicle (VCZAP in Spanish). The programme enters now serial production with the delivery of 35 platforms scheduled for 2023 and 2024.
Castor was approved in several trials including firing with a remote weapon, opening and signalling breaches, digging in with a dozer blade and trenching and fording, among others.
A press release issued by the Spanish MoD pointed out that the tests validate the fulfilment of the technical requirements and the design of the platform.
Built by General Dynamics European Land Systems – Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS – Santa Bárbara Sistemas under the second phase of the Pizarro programme, Castor is based on the ASCOD IFV/APC and was designed to provide protection and mobility.
Shepard Defence Insight notes that the Pizarro-based engineering vehicle is slightly bigger than the IFV variant and includes a rear-mounted breach marking system, a trailer coupling for attachment of mine clearance systems and a dozer blade (with additional roller and mine ploughs attachments also available).
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