General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has just announced that it signed a contract on December 22, 2016 with the Austrian Ministry of Defence to deliver 34 additional PANDUR 6×6 vehicles to complement the 71 the Alpine nation first bought in 1994. The first of these new vehicles will be delivered next year.
The Pandurs have been operated within Austria and on several international peace keeping missions abroad.
The modernised version of the Pandur 6×6 wheeled vehicles will be entirely manufactured in Austria providing work to some 179 sub-contractors. “This contract shows a high domestic content and secures hundreds of jobs in Austria,” said Martin Reischer, Managing Director of GDELS-Steyr, the Austrian-based subsidiary of GDELS.
In addition to a new power pack, the Pander will have “significantly higher” ballistic and mine protection GDELS said in a statement. It added that a modern remotely controlled weapon station will be integrated into the vehicle.
This announcement comes on the heels of an earlier announcement in which GDELS said it had signed a contract, also in December, worth an undisclosed amount to provide an undisclosed number of Piranha III 8×8 wheeled vehicles to Romania. FOB’s request for details, even regarding the four earlier lots of Piranha IIIs sold to Romania, were simply answered with a “no comment”.
So here at FOB we brushed up on our Romanian and discovered that according to the România Liberă news website the contract is worth 187,774,485 lei, the equivalent of about €40m. Between 2007 and 2014 the Romanian Ministry of Defence bought a total of 33 Piranha III C (base model) vehicles worth €47m so if one assumes that each vehicle is worth €1.42m then this latest contract must be for about 28 vehicles, probably also the C version to be compatible with the ones Romania already has. The new ones will be delivered to Craiova, home of the 2nd Infantry Brigade “Rovine”. România Liberă quotes Colonel Daniel Petrescu as saying that “the Piranha works really well and has an availability rate of almost 100%.”