Spanish Army deploys Pizarro IFVs and leopard 2 tanks in Latvia


According to a Tweet released by the Spanish Army on June 18, 2020, Spanish soldiers with Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks, M113 tracked APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) and Pizarro tracked IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) will be deployed in eFP (NATO Enhanced Forward Presence) Battle Group in Latvia.
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Pizarro tracked IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle and M113 APC Armored Personnel Carrier ready to be deployed in Latvia. (Picture source Spanish army twitter account)


Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) is a NATO-allied forward deployed defense and deterrence military posture in Central Europe through Poland and Northern Europe through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, in order to protect and reassure NATO's Central and Northern European member states on NATO's eastern flank of their security. Following Russia's invasion of Crimea and its War in Donbass, NATO's member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to those NATO member states perceived to be most at risk of a possible Russian attack or invasion.

The four multinational battalion battle groups are based in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, and led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States.

According to the military balance 2020, Spain has a total of 108 Leopard 2A 4 and 219 Leopard 2A6E that are the backbone of the Spanish army. The Leopardo 2E or Leopard 2A6E is a variant of the German Leopard 2 main battle tank, tailored to the requirements of the Spanish army.

The Pizarro is the Spanish version of ASCOD tracked armored fighting vehicle that was jointly produced by Austrian Company Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Spanish company General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas. The vehicle is also in service with the Austrian army under the name of Ulan.

The Pizarro is fitted with a two-man turret armed with a 30mm dual-feed, gas-operated Mauser mk30-2 automatic cannon with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. It has a crew of three and the troops compartment at the rear can accommodate eight infantrymen.

The hull and the turret of the Pizarro are made from all-welded steel armor that provides protection against firing of small arms 14.5mm armor-piercing incendiary rounds at the front of the chassis and 7.62mm all around the vehicle.


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