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Piranha - Customers

With more than 11,000 vehicles fielded worldwide, the development of the PIRANHA family continues. The experience gained from over 40 years of operations in more than 20 countries is reflected in its latest designs. The vehicles offer a full range of standout features, such as custom built driveline, modular protection, unrivalled payload to gross vehicle weight ratio, almost unlimited range of weapon stations, amphibious capability and the renowned PIRANHA mobility.

Piranha - Belgium

On February 2, 2006 Elbit Systems Ltd. reported that it was selected to supply various systems for the Belgian Armored Infantry Vehicle Program. The anticipated contract value for Elbit Systems' portion of the Program was expected to be in an amount material to Elbit Systems, with deliveries to take place between 2007 - 2012. This Program is related to a co-operation between Elbit Systems and the Swiss company Mowag, a part of the General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems Group. Mowag was selected by the Belgian Government to be the prime contractor for the supply of the Piranha III vehicles for the Program. The Program initially covered 138 vehicles out of a potential total of 242 vehicles.

Elbit Systems' portion of the Program includes the delivery of 30 mm unmanned turrets and various opto-electronic and electronic sub-systems. Finalization of the contract to Elbit Systems is expected within the coming weeks. Joseph Ackerman, President and CEO of Elbit Systems said: "We are proud to be selected to take part in this important project for the Belgian Army. The co-operation between Mowag and Elbit Systems reflects the level of recognition we have achieved with our customers, end users and business partners worldwide. The selection of our unmanned turrets constitutes a breakthrough in an emerging international market emanating from a shift in the modern battlefield. These systems implement the Elbit Systems Group's integrative and comprehensive abilities as well as our understanding of the modern combat arena." Mr. Ackerman added, "We hope that Mowag's selection of our solution for a major NATO member such as Belgium will serve as a case in point for other potential customers in Europe and across the globe."

Piranha - Bulgaria

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) will present a new variant of its advanced 8x8 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle PIRANHA IFV, at the XIII International Defence Exhibition HEMUS 2018 between May 30 and June 2 in Plodiv, Bulgaria. The PIRANHA IFV will be fitted with the latest Elbit UT30MK2 unmanned turret armed with an Orbital ATK Armament Systems 30 mm MK44 dual feed cannon, 7.62 mm co-axial MG, a pod of two anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW) and an advanced digital Communication and Information System (CIS) from General Dynamics Mission Systems. The vehicle is a candidate for the Bulgarian Armys Battalion Battle Group (BBG) acquisition project.

It is key for us to present to our customer various options of armament systems so they can choose the optimum for their specific needs, said Thomas Kauffmann, General Dynamics European Land Systems Vice President International Business & Services.

In 2017 General Dynamics European Land Systems presented the PIRANHA IFV with a medium calibre armament system from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to the Bulgarian Army at the Military polygon Tylbeto near the city of Kazanlak, Bulgaria.

Piranha - Canada

In 1977 the Canadian Forces selected the MOWAG Piranha 6x6 Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP). The Canadian government selected DDGM as the Canadian based contractor for this order. The armoured vehicle general purpose (AVGP) comes in three variants: the Cougar, the Grizzly and the Husky. The AVGP entered service in 1976. The Cougar's main function is to provide direct or semi-direct fire support in a combined operation. The Grizzly's primary use is to provide mobility and protection for an 11-person infantry section in combined arms operations.

By 1999, the Cougar was being gradually removed from service with the Regular Force and would remain operational at the Reserve unit level only. Plans were made to extend the life of some of the AVGP vehicles and to use them in a variety of new ways. The Canadian Forces order later led to a major contract with the US Marine Corps (USMC) for the 8x8 version of the Piranha and later to an even larger vehicle procurement by the U.S. Army TACOM for the National Guard of Saudi Arabia.

Piranha - Denmark

The first PIRANHA 5 and EAGLE 5 armored wheeled vehicles have been delivered to the Royal Danish Army, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) announced 03 April 2019. The Danish Army received the first in a new generation of wheeled armored vehicles at a March 27 ceremony attended by Denmarks minister of defence, chief of defence, chief of the Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO), and chief of the Army. After vehicles have already been delivered to DALO in 2018, the event marks the transition of the vehicles into operational use.

PIRANHA 5 and EAGLE 5 are part of a family of vehicles used in different configurations by more than 20 nations, including the U.S., Canada and Spain. The PIRANHA 5 and EAGLE 5 vehicles are the latest in a lineage of vehicles from GDELS-Mowag that have served in international operations for decades.

GDELS signed a contract with DALO at the end of 2015 to deliver 309 PIRANHA 8x8 Armored Personnel Carriers in six variants: infantry, command, ambulance, engineer, mortar and repair. Two years later, DALO awarded GDELS a framework supply contract for the delivery of multiple variants of the new EAGLE 4x4 vehicle. The first batch of 36 vehicles was in the Armored Patrol Vehicle configuration. Both contracts are complemented by multi-year framework agreement for general post-production support and services.

Denmark and GDELS have collaborated for many years. Over the last two decades, GDELS has delivered PIRANHA, DURO and EAGLE vehicles to the DALO. GDELS partners with Danish industry through an industrial cooperation strategy. In less than a decade, GDELS has generated more than DKK 3 billion (US $450 million) in new business for Danish companies Hydrema, Tencate, Nissens, Mikkelsen and others.

Piranha - Romania

In January 2018, and as part of the Romanian Armys plan to modernize its legacy wheeled armored vehicle fleet, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) signed a contract with the Romanian Armed Forces to deliver up to 227 PIRANHA 5 wheeled armored vehicles in six different configurations. The modern PIRANHA 5 vehicles will be produced in Romania under a strategic cooperation and transfer of technology project between GDELS - Mowag and the Romanian company Uzina Mecanica Bucuresti (UMB).

Over the next year, and as part of the GDELS and UMB cooperation, GDELS and UMB completed the first construction phase of the renovation of the UMB facilities. In addition, UMB Romanian employees were trained in Switzerland and have been qualified by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag for series production of PIRANHA 5. As a result, the UMB facility and employees are ready to for serial production to begin in Romania.

GDELS achieved an important milestone in the PIRANHA 5 Program for the Romanian Army with the completion of a successful live firing test in the presence of the Romanian procurement authority. The test occurred March 28, 2019, at a firing range in Camp Rena (Norway). A fully equipped PIRANHA 5 performed a series of static and dynamic shooting tests with a 30 mm system in order to demonstrate its capability. The tests exceeded the customers requirements and qualified the ELBIT UT30MK2 system for the 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle for the Romanian program.

The Romanian Army is one of the most important PIRANHA users in Europe and has been a GDELS customer since 2006 with fielded variants of PIRANHA vehicles deployed in various missions in-country and abroad. Our collaboration with UMB will create a sustainable benefit to the Romanian economy and we are proud to support UMB in production and in proving our efficiency and reliability to Romanian Army. said Oliver Drr, Vice President Wheeled Vehicles and Managing Director of General Dynamics European Land Systems Mowag.

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has started on 06 November 2019 the production of PIRANHA 5 vehicles at the factory of its strategic Romanian partner Uzina Mecanica Bucuresti (UMB) which marks an important milestone in the PIRANHA 5 Program for the Romanian Army. The production start ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Romania, Ludovic Orban, the Minister of Defence, General (ret.) Nicolae Ciuca, and the Ministry of Economy, Energy, Business Environment and Tourism, Virgil Popescu, as well as the US Ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm, and Swiss Ambassador to Romania, Arthur Mattli.

Piranha - Spain - Dragon

Two NATO countries Denmark and Spain - have selected the PIRANHA 5 as their future 8x8 vehicle platform. The Danish Ministry of Defence has signed a contract for 309 PIRANHA 5. The Spanish Ministry of Defense selected PIRANHA 5 as platform for the integration of Spanish technologies and subsystems under an R&D contract for the future Wheeled Combat Vehicle (VCR in Spanish) project. The objective of this military industrial program, key to the Force 2035 project of the Army, was to replace with a final number of about 1,000 vehicles the entire fleet of armored vehicles of the Army composed mainly of the Lynx, the RG-31, the BMR and the most unusable TOA. The December 2019 decision by the Ministry of Defense to declare the contract of the 348 wheeled combat vehicles (VCR) 8 8 Dragon , which was supposed to build General Dynamics European Land Systems - Santa Barbara Systems (GDELS-SBS) by 2,083 million euros, is interpreted "as a step towards obtaining a new and better offer by the administration or the redefinition of the capabilities of the vehicle rather than the end of the project".

This is interpreted by sources in the sector that report that, until mid-December, from the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM) a scenario was handled by which the vehicle delivery plan would meet the objectives set by the administration within the deadlines planned so far, which means receiving the first VCRs of the pre series towards the end of 2021 . Romania would have the unit of the Piranha 5 vehicle for approximately 3.9 million euros, while Spain, with that initial specifications already declared void by the DGAM, would be worth 5.9 million.

The Spanish Ministry of Defense 25 August 2020 awarded a 1.74 billion (USD $2.06 billion) contract to a joint venture of General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Brbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) and three other companies to deliver 348 8x8 Wheeled Combat Vehicles (VCR), their maintenance and life cycle support, as well as support their international commercialization. The GDELS-SBS contract is for 733 million (USD $870 million). The vehicle, named Dragn by the Spanish Army, is based on the GDELS 8x8 PIRANHA 5s combat wheeled vehicle and includes all Spanish national technologies as required by the Spanish MoD. It is expected to be delivered over a seven-year period. The program is expected to grow to a total of approximately 1,000 vehicles.

The GDELS-SBS joint venture (JV) will manufacture the 8x8 VCR at GDELS sites in Trubia and Seville, Spain, with the collaboration of the other Spanish JV members. The JV members include GDELS-Santa Brbara Sistemas, Indra Sistemas, Sapa Placencia, and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering. The Spanish Ministry of Defense mandated a National Industrial plan in which Spanish industry participation must be no less than 70% of the total program. The JV was established to ensure that all operational objectives and needs of the Spanish Army and the Spanish Ministry of Defense are fully met and to fulfill the requirements of the governments industrial plan.

Piranha - Switzerland

General Dynamics European Land Systems displayed the new PIRANHA 3+, recently selected by the Swiss Army for its Mortar Carrier program, during the EUROSATORY exhibitionin Paris, from 13-17 June 2016. With a GVW of 27 tons and a payload of up to 10 tons, the new PIRANHA 3+ will be presented in an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) configuration with dedicated seating for a crew of three (driver, gunner and vehicle commander) plus 9 infantry soldiers. It is equipped with the new Oerlikon Fieldranger20 remote-control gun from Rheinmetall Air Defence. This modern, medium-caliber remote-controlled weapon station provides accurate and high fire power at a range of up to 2,000 meters with a wide range of ammunition types. The Swiss Army has selected the PIRANHA 3+ platform for their Mortar Carrier program with the RUAG COBRA 120mm Mortar system.

The new PIRANHA 3+ was developed in response to customer requirements for compact vehicles with large and flexible internal volume, high levels of modular protection, excellent off-road mobility and inherent growth capability. The new PIRANHA 3+ incorporates lessons learned from over 11,500 fielded PIRANHA and LAV vehicles around the globe. The new PIRANHA 3+ offers a completely modular protection system that has been designed with the flexibility to allow armed forces to meet their current and future protection needs. The modular protection system has been developed to fully protect occupants operating within a complex threat environment.

Recognizing that mobility is an important element of the protection system, General Dynamics European Land Systems developed a state-of-the-art driveline and suspension system for the new PIRANHA 3+, combined with a powerful SCANIA diesel engine and ZF automatic transmission.As with all PIRANHA platforms, the new PIRANHA 3+ can be equipped with an amphibious drive to operate as a marine infantry vehicle.

Piranha - UK

GKN teamed up with MOWAG of Switzerland in 1990 to produce the Piranha family of wheeled armoured vehicles to meet a number of requirements in the UK's FFLAV (Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles). MOWAG and GKN Defence signed an agreement which licensed GKN to be system prime contractor for the design, integration, production and marketing of the GKN Piranha 8x8 for agreed customers. Vehicles have already been sold to Saudi Arabia and Oman. The GKN Piranha 8x8 can hold up to 15 persons. It has a combat weight of 12.3 tonnes, a maximum road speed of 100 km/h and a fording speed of 10.5 km/h. Its maximum range is 780 km and it can be armed for whatever role is assigned to it. Existing customers for the Piranha include Denmark, Canada (designated the LAV III Kodiak), and Sweden.

Piranha - USA

The LAV-25 was manufactured in North America by Detroit Diesel General Motors [DDGM] under a licensing agreement from the Swiss firm MOWAG. The original or base vehicle is a Swiss design by MOWAG called Piranha. The LAV-25 was, in effect, re-created from the original Swiss design so as to be acceptable for American or Canadian armed forces. This process of "North Americanization" created a new vehicle. This new vehicle, the LAV-25, was not actually in production or in use by other armed forces.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:05:43 ZULU