The official shooting tests by the joint venture Dragon Wheeled Combat Vehicle concluded successfully on the 23rd of July, at the “Álvarez de Sotomayor” manoeuvring and shooting range in Viator (Almeria). The prototypes under evaluation were the D1, equipped with the UT30MK2 tower, and the D2 which has the Samson 30 weapons station. In both cases, the tests included shooting with the 30 mm ATK gun, 7.62 mm machine guns and the launch of the Spike missile. The official shooting period, which ran from the 20th until the 23rd of July, took place after the internal preparatory work was carried out by the companies the previous week. Although the tests were initially to be held at the “San Gregorio” National Training Centre (in Zaragoza), it was eventually decided that they would be realized in Almeria where the headquarters of the Experimental Brigade is located.
The activity was presided over by the Deputy to the Director of Armament and Material (DGAM), General Abajo; and attended, among others, by the Head of Terrestrial Systems, General Camarero; The Deputy Director of Instruction, Training and Evaluation, General Freire; and the chief of the 2nd Legion Brigade “King Alfonso XIII”, General Llago. For his part, General Abajo highlighting the urgent need for the signing of the series to be completed as planned and for the UTE to demonstrate in a reliable manner, the degree of maturity of the demonstrators, especially the Mission System. In this sense, the results can be considered satisfactory and, although additional tests must be carried out, it has already been put forward that both towers constitute a good option for the programme.
After aborting the Vehiculo de Combate sobre Ruedas (VCR) 8×8 wheeled combat vehicle program late last year, the Spanish defense ministry is relaunching the procedure under new conditions. The Vehiculo de Combate sobre Ruedas (VCR) or “Dragón” program was brought to a halt in December 2019, when the defense ministry rejected an offer from General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Bárbara Sistemas, in what was interpreted by many as a bid by the defense ministry to secure a better offer. The Spain defense ministry announced that it has authorized the establishment of a limited company, made up of Spanish companies Indra Sistemas SA, Santa Bárbara Sistemas SA, Sapa Placencia SL and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering SL, for the sole purpose of implementing the VCR 8×8 program.
The vehicle General Dynamics European Land Systems offered for the Spanish Army in cooperation with Santa Bárbara Sistemas is based on the company’s Piranha 5 vehicle. It was expected to be delivered to the Spanish armed forces in 13 different configurations. However, the actual number of configurations, as well as the number of vehicles to be delivered, is likely to be determined once the contract is awarded later this year. 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. Five generations of vehicles have been produced, manufactured by Mowag or under licence by other companies, and variants are in service with military forces throughout the world.