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Spain signs contract to produce new VAC tracked armored vehicles.

| 2023

The Spanish Army has agreed with Tess Defence for a new armored vehicle, marking a significant step in the modernization of its fleet with the upcoming introduction of the Vehículo de Apoyo de Cadenas (VAC). This ambitious project, estimated to be around 2 billion euros, signifies a major advancement in the operational and logistical capabilities of the Spanish Army. The Spanish Ministry of Defense announced on December 21, 2023.
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Spain signed a contract with Tess Defence for the production of the VAC. (Picture source: Spanish MoD)

Previously, on November 22, 2023, we discussed on Army Recognition about this contract to be signed in December. The Spanish Ministry of Defense has now announced the contract's signing. The vac was presented for the first time at the Feindef 2023 defence exhibition.

The VAC program dates back to 2021, indicating Spain's ambition to replace the aging Armored Caterpillar Transport (TOA) vehicles. The VAC is designed to enhance mobility, protection, and firepower, and will complement units currently equipped with Leopard 2E tanks and Pizarro infantry vehicles.

The VAC is a product of a Spanish consortium led by Tess Defence, which includes Indra, Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Escribano, and Sapa. Based on the platform of the Vehículo de Combate de Zapadores (VCZAP) Castor, the VAC incorporates advanced technologies like a Sapa ACT850 transmission and the possibility of employing common systems with the 8x8 Dragón vehicle. The VAC also stands out for its ability to integrate modern technologies such as 5G connectivity and an advanced monitoring system for optimized maintenance.

The Tracked Support Vehicle (VAC) is designed to replace the old Armored Caterpillar Transport (TOA) and is a versatile armored vehicle, adaptable to numerous missions and operational environments. Its modular design allows for various tasks, ranging from troop and material transport to more specialized roles such as artillery support, combat engineering, or command and control functions.

Technically, the VAC, weighing about 34 tons, is designed for optimal mobility on both roads and rough terrain. It has a maximum speed of 74 km/h and a range of 450 km on paved roads. Its platform is based on the Ascod model from GDELS-SBS, known for its reliability and robustness. Moreover, the VAC integrates cutting-edge protection technologies, compliant with NATO standard 4569, including adaptable armor and sophisticated active protection systems capable of countering various threats, from projectiles to electronic attacks.

The VAC can be configured in several specific versions, including configurations such as the command post, personnel transport, and the engineering vehicle. Specialized versions like the mortar carrier, anti-tank vehicle, advanced artillery observer, as well as models intended for recovery and ambulance functions, demonstrate the exceptional versatility of the VAC.

The acquisition of 394 VACs in its first phase is a major milestone for the Ejército de Tierra, marking the beginning of a new era in Spanish terrestrial military operations. The VAC program is part of a broader modernization of the Spanish armed forces, and its success will likely influence future acquisitions and developments.

With the VAC, Spain demonstrates its commitment to maintaining a modern and capable armed force. This vehicle represents a leap forward in Spain's terrestrial military capabilities, reflecting the constant evolution of military technology and the need to adapt to contemporary battlefield requirements.


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