General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) is a business unit of General Dynamics Corporation and conducts its business through European operating sites located in Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

With more than 2,150 highly skilled technical employees, GDELS companies design, manufacture and deliver wheeled, tracked and amphibious vehicles, and other combat systems such as armaments and munitions to global customers.

The group is the combination of four entities: GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas, GDELS-Germany, GDELS-Steyr and GDELS-Mowag, whose collective value was unified as a single business unit under a parent company in 2003.

As one of the European leaders in the land combat systems sector, GDELS has focused itself on four specific divisions with the aim of producing greater synergies and coordination between its eight facilities.

The four divisions are Tracked Vehicles, Wheeled Vehicles, Bridges, and Artillery & Ammunition, plus a network of R&D centres, and logistic and customer relations activities.

Wheeled vehicles

The production of the Wheeled Vehicles Division occurs at two sites, one in Switzerland and one in Austria. The Swiss and the Austrian factories are designers and manufacturers of armoured and non-armoured vehicles in the weight classes from 8t to 33t.

With more than 11,000 vehicles fielded worldwide, the development of the PIRANHA family continues. The experience gained from over 30 years of operations with more than 20 countries is reflected in the latest designs. The vehicles offer a range of distinguishing features such as custom built driveline, modular protection, unrivalled payload to gross vehicle ratio, high capacity air conditioning, almost unlimited range of weapon stations, amphibious capability and renowned PIRANHA mobility.

The tactical vehicle families DURO and EAGLE complement the PIRANHA family, offering a range of tactical and logistics vehicles in the 8t to 14t weight class.

The highly protected EAGLE has proven its survivability in recent operations in Afghanistan. The DURO, also deployed in Afghanistan, is a highly mobile and versatile platform for all kinds of applications. These include NBC reconnaissance, Ambulance and Armoured Personnel Carrier.

PANDUR vehicle, available in 6×6 and 8×8 configurations and produced in the Austrian factory, completes the Wheeled Vehicles portfolio. Based in Vienna, GDELS-Steyr designs and manufactures both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, and currently has more than 3,000 of them in use around the world, 1,200 of which are operated by NATO member countries.

Tracked Vehicles

The main product of the Tracked Vehicle Division is the ASCOD. A joint programme developed by GDELS-Steyr and GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS), both part of General Dynamics European Land Systems, it is one of the best Infantry Fighting Vehicles of its class (30-40 ton).

The Spanish version (Pizarro) is produced in Spain by GDELS-SBS and the Austrian vehicle (ULAN) by GDELS-Steyr. Today a total of 256 units are in service in both armies, and the Spanish Government has ordered another 190 that includes the design and manufacturing of the family – forward reconnaissance, recovery and combat engineering, to add to the infantry/cavalry, fire support and the command post vehicles. Both the Spanish and Austrian versions mount a 30mm cannon as their main weapon.

The ASCOD is a tracked combat vehicle designed to operate in conjunction with main battle tanks. It provides space for a crew of 11 and has a top speed of 70km/h. Regarded as one of the best infantry combat vehicles in the world, it can mount any turret in the market.

The SK 105 Light Tank combines high firepower, extreme mobility and rapid deployment by C 130 aircraft in the class of less than 20t combat weight. Several armies worldwide trust in these outstanding features of the SK 105.

The Tracked Vehicle Division is also responsible for the manufacture under licence of the Leopardo 2E Main Battle Tank for the Spanish Army.

Bridge Systems

General Dynamics European Land Systems-Germany GmbH (GDELS-Germany), formerly known as EWK (Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern GmbH), has been one of the worldwide leading companies in mobile military bridging equipment for almost 60 years. The company’s leading position has always been determined by floating and dry-gap bridge systems whose designs met the technical and operational requirements of their users and were ahead of their time.

M3 is the world’s fastest and most modern amphibious bridge and ferry equipment in terms of loading capacity, construction time, cross-country and marine manoeuvrability. M3 optimizes the high availability and low operating costs of its predecessors by faster mission readiness, higher mobility, a reduced crew of three soldiers and an increased level of system automation. As a bridge or multi­bay raft, M3 can carry loads up to MLC85T/132W.

The IRB Improved Ribbon Bridge provides wet gap crossing capabilities either as floating bridge or multi­bay raft for tracked and wheeled combat and tactical vehicles up to loads of MLC96. IRB has successfully been operated by the US Army, the US Marine Corps and the German Army and has seen extensive combat operation since 2003.

The REBS Rapidly Emplaced Bridge System is an aluminium dry­gap bridge that provides tactical gap crossing capability for light and medium mechanized combat units. REBS allows the crossing of unprepared gaps up to 13m for wheeled and tracked vehicles with loads up to MLC50. REBS can be transported on and launched from any 10­15t PLS truck and has seen extensive combat operation since 2009.

The IAB Infantry Assault Bridge is a lightweight foot bridge for infantry and airborne troops. The IAB can be used to cross dry or wet gaps. One complete bridge set is qualified to produce a clear span bridge of maximum 30m. With additional bridge modules and floats even wide wet gaps can be crossed. Launch and retrieval of the IAB is done manually.

The increased need for a self-sufficient gap-crossing capability of ground forces has led to the development of the Medium Trackway Bridge (MTB), a modular lightweight bridge of aluminium that provides bridge lengths of 2, 4, 6 or 8m for maximum loads of MLC40. The single bridge modules can be transported directly by even small tactical vehicles and can easily be launched and retrieved by the crew with a simple adapter.

Artillery & Ammunition

The fourth functional division of GDELS includes the design and manufacturing of a wide range of armaments and ammunition, all of them in facilities in Spain, with a tradition that goes back to the 16th century.

GDELS-SBS is a world-class centre of excellence in the Artillery field. The currently-produced towed 155/52 SIAC howitzer is in service with the Spanish and other international armies.

In the missile sector GDELS-SBS produces, among others, the Spike LR missiles (under license) for Spain and various components for the new long-range Pan-European METEOR (BVRAAM) missile project.

In the Ammunition line GDELS-SBS manufactures at Spanish sites a wide range of large-calibre ammunition along with powder and propellants.