The Austrian Ministry of Defense awarded a contract on October 30, 2020 to General Dynamics European Land Systems-Steyr for the delivery of 30 PANDUR 6×6 Evolution (Evo) wheeled armored vehicles. The new vehicles are designed as armored personnel carriers (APCs) and can be quickly converted into other roles such as CASEVAC (casualty evacuation) due to their modular design. In addition to the 34 vehicles purchased in 2016 and based in the center of excellence at the Jägerbataillon 17 in Straß / Styria, the Austrian Armed Forces will operate a fleet of 64 new PANDUR 6×6 Evo. Deliveries will be made in 2022 and 2023.
“We are very proud that we have been awarded this important contract. The cooperation with the Austrian Armed Forces is excellent and underlines the great satisfaction with our products. In addition, this order secures hundreds of high-tech jobs due to the Austrian added value,” explains Martin Reischer, Managing Director of GDELS-Steyr. “We would like to thank the Austrian Armed Forces very much for their high confidence in us and our vehicle systems. Austria is one of our home-markets and as a reliable partner, we are fully committed to deliver these vehicles on cost, quality, and schedule,” Dr. Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS Vice President for International Business & Services, added.
The Pandur is an APC developed and produced by the Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeuge (SSF). It was developed during the 1980s as a private venture, based on the Pegaso BMR-600 design. Since 1996, the PANDUR has successfully served in domestic and international peacekeeping missions. Its modular design allows it to be fitted with a variety of weapon systems, including a 20 mm autocannon and an armored two-man 90 mm gun turret. In 2003, General Dynamics took over Steyr-Daimler-Puch which is now part of General Dynamics European Land Systems (GD ELS), which is also the parent company of MOWAG, Santa Bárbara Sistemas and GD ELS – Germany.
The Pandur I is no longer in production and has been replaced by the improved Pandur II, which is available in 6×6 and 8×8 versions. The significantly modernized version of the PANDUR MTPzUN, the PANDUR Evo, offers an unmatched compact vehicle design with a crew of 11 soldiers, superior mobility, and a significantly increased level of protection against mines and IED threats. The vehicles will be completely manufactured in Austria benefiting the local economy and securing hundreds of skilled jobs. More than 200 suppliers, mainly SMEs, are involved in this program. On 22 December 2016, the Austrian Ministry of Defence ordered 34 Pandur 6×6 EVO vehicles for 105 million Euro from GDELS Steyr.