The Spanish Ministry of Defence (Ministerio de Defensa), under Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, has signed the commitment that will allow the incorporation of a joint venture company formed by the Spanish companies Indra Sistemas S.A., Santa Bárbara Sistemas S.A., Sapa Placencia S.L. and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering S.L., for the sole purpose of executing the Vehículos de Combate sobre Ruedas (VCR) 8×8 program. After this signature, a tender period begins with the intention that said contract can be signed during the third quarter of 2020.
The Spanish government in December 2019 canceled a €2.083 billion contract previously awarded to the Santa Barbara Sistemas unit of General Dynamics European Land Systems for the production of 348 Piranha 5 wheeled armored vehicles, having decided that Santa Barbara’s final offer was “not admissible” for technical, operational and economic reasons. The new contract, which should be awarded this year to the new joint venture company, which will also be tasked with the international marketing of the Vehículos de Combate sobre Ruedas so-called DRAGÓN project.
According to official documents, Spain plans to acquire a first batch of 348 DRAGÓN vehicles in 13 different configurations under the terms of a €2,083M contract, covering the 2019 to 2030 fiscal years. This includes the components of the mission system as well as the logistic support elements derived from logistic support analysis. In the other acquisition phases, the total number of units for the Spanish Army may be around 1,000 within a total budget of €3,800M – €1,600M for the acquisition itself and €2,200M for the maintenance and modernisation services.
The proposal of these companies satisfies the requirements of the Spanish Army, by allowing to retain the design authority in Spain and favor a high participation of the national industry in a percentage not less than 70%. The industrial plan of this program is going to have very positive effects on the national economy, having special incidence in Asturias, Seville, Guipúzcoa and Madrid, where the creation of 650 direct jobs and another 1,000 indirect jobs is expected.