The Moldovan Army received first three Piranha IIIH armored personnel carriers offered by Germany, in a ceremony organized in Military Camp 142. A total of 19 armored personnel carriers will be provided from industry stocks. The Federal Government funds the Piranha to modernise the defence capabilities of Moldova. The first three vehicles were handed over to the Moldovan Armed Forces in Chi?inau. The remaining 16 armored personnel carriers will be delivered in the course of this year. The defence cooperation between Germany and Moldova dates back to 2003 when both countries signed an agreement on military cooperation.
The German Federal Minister of Defence (Bundesminister der Verteidigung) Christine Lambrecht said: “Together, we are strengthening the armed forces of Moldova. The quick delivery of the first vehicles is a great example of the effective cooperation between our two countries. Thanks to the PIRANHA, Moldova will be able to cooperate more closely with armed forces of other nations, especially in the context of UN peacekeeping operations. As a close and reliable partner, Germany continues to stand firmly by Moldova as the country modernises and enhances its military capabilities.”
The Mowag Piranha is a family of armoured fighting vehicles designed by the Swiss company Mowag (since 2010 General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag GmbH). Five generations of vehicles have been produced, manufactured by Mowag or under licence by other companies notably the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV), and variants are in service with military forces throughout the world. Piranha III were better protected and had improved mobility. The Swiss MOWAG Piranha vehicles of third generation first appeared in 1996. The Piranha IIIH is in service with Denmark (22) and Ireland (80). Denmark was the first customer of the Piranha IIIH vehicles.
The Piranha IIIH has a composite armor suite. A baseline armored personnel carrier is typically fitted with remotely-controlled 12.7 mm machine gun and coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Some of these APCs are armed with a manually operated weapons. A number of versions were proposed, fitted with turrets and 25 mm or 30 mm cannons. Vehicle is operated by a crew of 2 or 3. It can carry 8-9 fully-equipped soldiers. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via rear doors. There are roof hatches for observation, firing and emergency exit. The armored personnel carriers had a trim vane and were propelled on water by two waterjets.