The Ministry of Defense has released new images of both vehicles

VCR Dragón and VCZAP Castor, the new armored vehicles of the Spanish Army

The Spanish Army is carrying out the first steps to renew its armored vehicle fleet.

The delivery of the first Dragon VCRs to the Spanish Army: this is how these vehicles are
The new VCR Dragón armored vehicle of the Spanish Army and the controversy over its size

Yesterday, the Ministry of Defense published a series of photos of these vehicles: the Wheeled Combat Vehicle (RCV) Dragón and the Sapper Combat Vehicle (VCZAP) Castor, the latter with tracked traction. The photos correspond to a visit by the Minister of Defense to the Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) factory in the Sevillian town of Alcalá de Guadaíra, in the province of Seville, which is where these vehicles are being produced.

This visit has not provided new information, but the Ministry of Defense has indicated that the forecast is that the first vehicles of the VCR Dragon model will be in perfect operating condition in 2024. During the event these vehicles and the VCZAP Castor could be seen on static display and in a moving demonstration.

In December 2021, the first 12 Dragon VCRs were officially delivered to the Army, a batch made up of 7 sapper vehicles and the 5 demonstrators used for testing this model.

One of the details shown in the photos published yesterday is the troop compartment of a Dragon VCR, apparently from one of the seven sapper vehicles delivered in December. This vehicle has a crew of three people and its rear compartment has the capacity to transport eight equipped soldiers.

Soldiers from the Army participated in yesterday's demonstration. Specifically, in the photos released by the Ministry of Defense there appear members of the VII Bandera "Valenzuela" and the Bandera de Zapadores II of the Brigade "Rey Alfonso XIII" II of the Legion, and members of the Sapper Battalion XII (BZAP XII) of the Brigade "Guadarrama" XII.

The VCR Dragon will replace the BMR 600 and VEC M-1 and part of the TOA M-113 of the Army, covering different specialties that include Infantry Combat Vehicle (VCI, 219 units), Cavalry Scout Vehicle (VEC, 58 units), Sapper Combat Vehicle (VCZ, 58 units), Battalion Command Combat Vehicle (VCPC, 14 units) and Advanced Observer Combat Vehicle (VCOAV, 8 units) , in the first phase. Another 365 units would be received in a second phase (between 2026 and 2030), and 285 more units in a third phase (between 2031 and 2035), if it is finally confirmed.

The VCZAP Castor will serve to replace the Army's M-113 VCZ, some very veteran sapper vehicles.

The VCZAP Castor program is somewhat late: its delivery was scheduled for last year, but finally are expected for 2023 and 2024.

The Spanish Army expects to receive 36 VCZAP Castor, including a prototype and 35 production vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with a Mini Samson remote turret armed with a 12.7 mm caliber heavy machine gun.

The VCZAP Castor is based on the ASCOD Pizarro, an infantry combat vehicle that is already part of the Spanish Army's armored fleet. Unlike its predecessor, the Castor has greater protection for the barge, and can carry a rake, a roller or a pusher blade on its front, depending on the mission to be carried out at any given time.

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