Spain Authorizes €2 Billion Contract for First Batch of VCR 8x8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle
Spain Authorizes €2 Billion Contract for First Batch of VCR 8x8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle

Spain Authorizes €2 Billion Contract for First Batch of VCR 8×8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle

The Spain Council of Ministers has authorized the award of the contract General Dynamics European Land Systems Santa Barbara for the first production batch of the VCR (Vehículo de Combate sobre Ruedas 8×8 Wheeled Combat Vehicle for an estimated value of 2,083,275,262.81 euros. The contract includes the manufacture of 348 VCRs, which will be delivered progressively over ten years, until the year 2030. The VCR 8X8 is a local variant of the Mowag Piranha V. The Piranha V Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) is one variant of the fifth generation of the Mowag Piranha family of vehicles. It was designed by General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag GmbH. The vehicles will be manufactured in different configurations, which will allow them to adapt to different operating environments.

Spanish Army VCR 8x8 Wheeled Combat Vehicles Demonstrator Program
Spanish Army VCR 8×8 Wheeled Combat Vehicles Demonstrator Program

The Spanish Ministry of Defense said the contract will be awarded, as planned, in August. Delivery of the first VCR 8×8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle, called Dragon (Dragoon) by the Spanish Army, will be delivered during the first half of 2022. Pre-production vehicles will be evaluated by Spain’s Foreign Legion beginning in late 2020 or early 2021. In total, Spain could buy as many as 1,000 VCRs. This program will allow the replacement of vehicles that have largely exceeded their service life and that offer less protection for their crews, such as the Blindados Medios sobre Ruedas (Medium Wheeled Armored Vehicles, or BMR) and the Vehículos de Exploración de Caballería (Cavalry Scout Vehicles, or VEC), improving the capability for autonomous defense.

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Spanish Army VCR 8x8 Wheeled Combat Vehicles Demonstrator Program
Spanish Army VCR 8×8 Wheeled Combat Vehicles Demonstrator Program

The aim is to maintain an advanced technological and industrial base in the field of Defense equipment, for which purpose this program will continue the investments made in the “Leopard” main battle tank (MBT) and “Pizarro” infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) programs, and thereby develop its own product. A very relevant aspect of the VCR 8×8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle program will be its impact on the industry, since its implementation is intended to reach, or exceed, 70% of the locally-produced content, thereby increasing the principle of sovereignty in acquisition. Likewise, the program will allow equipment and systems already operating in the Spain Armed Forces to evolve, establishing an industrial base that will continue to support future operational needs.

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