The Pandur Evolution (Evo) is a modernized version of the Pandur 1 armored personnel carrier (APC), but is a new development rather than an upgrade of the older vehicle version. The Austrian company GDELS Steyr, part of the General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) division and formerly known as Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug GmbH (SSF), is responsible for developing a new vehicle of the Pandur family of wheeled vehicles (FoV). The start of thePandur Evolution (Evo) project was officially announced on the 21st of April 2017, after initial news reports appeared in December 2016 and January of 2017. It has been confirmed that 34 vehicles were ordered by the Bundesheer (Austrian Army) from GDELS Steyr and ESL Advanced Information Technology GmbH for a speculated price of €105 million. Supplies of the remaining 33 Pandur EVO must be in 2019-2020. The program cost turns around EUR 105 million (USD 123 million).
In the past the GDELS Steyr plant located in Vienna-Simmering had been manufacutring Pandur 1s for Kuwait and Austria, the others were assembled by AV Technology in the United States of America. The plant has finished its task, but no other follow-up order for Pandur 1s existed. The Pandur II 8×8 is not being manufactured in Austria, it’s only licence made in the Czech Republic and in Portugal. In 2015, General Dynamics stopped marketing Pandur II and sold the full rights to this vehicle to the Czech company Excalibur Army (part of the Excalibur Group, which later became the Czechoslovak Group). At present, this company assembles Pandur Evo at GDELS-Steyr in Vienna (Simmering). The Pandur EVO is essentially for keeping 147 jobs working on the Pandur production – in fact the decision to order the Pandur EVO created jobs, because GDELS Steyr announced to increase it’s workforce by about 10%. The Pandur EVO will complement Austria’s older fleet of 68 Pandur Is that were delivered to the Bundesheer 22 years ago and received a EUR23-29 million upgrade in 2017. The upgrade included installation of the same Elbit laser warning system that is installed in Austrian Iveco Light Multipurpose Vehicles (LMVs).
Pandur Evolution (Evo) compared to the Pandur I armored personnel carriers (supplied in the second half of the 1990s) with the Austrian army has increased weight, protection and an engine with a power of 455 hp. The Pandur EVO must be equipped with a WS4 Panther remotely controlled weapon station armed with a 12.7-mm M2NV machine gun and a 7.62-mm MG74 machine gun from ESL Advanced Information Technology (ESLAIT) GmbH, the Austrian division of the Israeli company Elbit Systems. For communication on the Pandur Evolution (Evo), the radio stations CNR-9000 and PNR-500AT of the Israeli company Tadiran will be used. The Pandur EVO’s higher protection level is a result of bolt-on applique armor and a new mine protection kit; the relatively high level of required mine protection made it necessary to modify the hull. RUAG has been ordered by Austria and Belgium to develop an applique armor package based on it’s existing protection technology in 2015.