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SDLE Can Repair Most NATO Armored Vehicles

October 2, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The Spanish contractor Star Defense Logistics & Engineering (SDLE) is now the main supplier for parts used on the Ejército de Tierra’s tracked armored vehicles. This month it was awarded a EU 7.5 million contract by Spain’s defense ministry to provide road wheels for the Pizarro troop carrier used by the army’s mechanized brigades. SDLE will complete deliveries between 2019 and 2020 and is eligible for another contract worth the same amount that extends to 2023.

SDLE is a military-industrial enterprise specializing in the maintenance and repair of military equipment. The company is also responsible for spare parts needed by the Spanish army’s Leopard 2A4 and Leopardo 2 tanks. Later this year SDLE is participating at the Egypt Defense Expo (EDEX) in Cairo to attract clients from abroad.

The Pizarro AIFV is the result of a joint venture from the mid-1990s between Austria’s Steyr conglomerate and Spain’s Santa Barbara. The vehicle called the ASCOD was tailored for the needs of the two armies that adopted it and the Spanish Pizarro ran on a German diesel engine and was armed with a 30mm cannon. The Pizarro, which is operated by three crew and carries eight soldiers, is recognizable for the layer of reactive armor on its front and on the turret’s “cheeks.” Unlike other NATO infantry fighting vehicles like the Bradley or the Marder the Pizarro didn’t have an integrated anti-tank missile launcher as a secondary armament.

Production of the ASCOD is now owned by General Dynamics and it recently won a $4.5 billion contract from the UK’s defense ministry for the Ajax combat vehicle. This equips the British Army with a single platform that can be spun off to different roles. As an infantry fighting vehicle, the Ajax Scout SV boasts a 40mm cannon as a main armament and a suite of protective features, including a battle management system and extensive armoring.

Aside from the Pizarro, SDLE’s manufacturing solutions extend to a broad range of armored vehicles spanning main battle tanks and even logistical platforms. Depending on the size of the contract, SDLE is able to make spare parts for second and third-generation MBTs such as the Leopard 1/2, the US Patton-series, and the French AMX-30. The same applies to armored personnel carriers like the prolific M113 and its derivatives as well as self-propelled howitzers. The life cycle needs of wheeled platforms, light trucks, and other heavy vehicles are within SDLE’s capabilities as well.

SDLE is the sole remaining manufacturer of the Dragoon armored 4×4. Originally a US design from the 1980s meant to serve as a reconnaissance vehicle with modular weapons, the Dragoon had limited exports and was quickly forgotten after the Cold War. The vehicle lives on in SDLE’s catalog, however, and is offered as a new build with bespoke options. The Dragoon tactical vehicle has a gross weight of 13 tons and runs on a 300 horsepower engine giving it a 105 kilometer per hour top speed. Depending on the customer’s requirements, the SDLE Dragoon supports a variety of armaments, from a mortar to a 90mm gun.

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