Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles
Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles

Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles

The Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner handed over the 50th Pandur EVO (Evolution) 6×6 armored vehicle to the Austrian Armed Forces at the assembly plant of General Dynamics European Land Systems-Steyr GmbH in Vienna Simmering. 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.

The Pandur I is no longer in production and has been replaced by the improved Pandur II, which is available in 6×6 and 8×8 versions.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.

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Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles
Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles. (Photo by Austrian Armed Forces/Carina Karlovits)

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 Brbara Sistemas and GDELS Germany.

The US Army recently awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $55.8 million contract for the delivery of Armored Ground Mobility System heavy platform vehicles. The Pandur 6×6 Evolution (Evo) wheeled armored vehicles GDELS is already manufacturing for the Austrian armed forces fits the requirements of a request for information (RFI) released by USSOCOM to the industry in March 2020. Back then, the service said it was looking for a replacement for the Pandur I-based Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS), which has been in service with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) since 2000.

Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles
Austrian Army Takes Delivery of 50th PANDUR Evo 6×6 Wheeled Armored Vehicles. (Photo by Austrian Armed Forces/Carina Karlovits)

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