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Spanish Army Receives First VCZ CASTOR Engineer Vehicles

Delivery of the first Spanish Army VCZ CASTOR sapper combat vehicles [© Spanish Ministry of Defence]

The Spanish Army today received the first six VCZ CASTOR sapper combat vehicles at the GDELS factory in Alcalá de Guadaira.

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Press Release, Madrid, 13 December 2023: [auto-translated] The VCZ CASTOR Sapper Combat Vehicle (Vehículo de Combate de Zapadores) has been conceived from the outset to carry out the missions of the sapper units in support of the mobility of the armoured units, which it accompanies.

The Secretary of State for Defence (SEDEF) Mrs. María Amparo Valcarce García, accompanied by the Army General, Chief of Staff of the Army (JEME) Mr. Amador Enseñat y Berea and Admiral Mr. Aniceto Rosique Nieto, Director General of Armaments and Material, have attended the delivery of the first CASTOR sapper combat vehicles.

The delivery of the first six vehicles of a total of 36 in the series took place at the factory that GDELS Santa Bárbara Sistemas owns in the Sevillian town of Alcalá de Guadaira. According to the planned schedule, all of the VCZ CASTOR will be in the possession of the Army throughout 2024.

During the delivery, the Secretary of State for Defence highlighted that “this new capacity of our FAS represents a great technological advance that will provide the sapper units with greater protection, work capacity and mobility to fulfil their missions,” both on national territory and abroad.”

For his part, General JEME stressed that “the Army’s aspiration for our sappers to have a true specific combat vehicle is finally fulfilled.”

Likewise, for the general director of GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas Don Juan Escriña, it is a pride to be able to celebrate this milestone. The delivery of the first 100% Spanish vehicle designed and manufactured expressly for the missions of the sapper and engineer units of our Armed Forces, meaning the first new weapons system that enters service for these Army units in more than half a century. Completely Spanish technology and innovation,” he stressed.

The VCZ CASTOR has adequate firepower provided by both its stabilised rotating armament (12.70mm machine gun) and by the all-weather target acquisition systems (it is equipped with a thermal camera) that allow it to fire with precision in movement and operated from inside the vehicle. As an Engineer vehicle, it has the capacity to carry out light sapper work (explanation, filling ditches and funnels, cleaning obstacles…), collaborate in operations to cross water courses and the possibility of coupling a pusher blade, plough, roller and other specific sapper systems. It also has equipment for marking gaps and the use of a heavy minesweeper hose launcher system type MICLIC (M-58).

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