GDELS Awarded $1 Billion for Romanian Army PIRANHA 5s
General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) recently signed a contract to deliver up to 227 PIRANHA 5 wheeled armoured vehicles in six different configurations to the Romanian Armed Forces. The contract has a total value exceeding €895 million ($1 billion). It is part of the Romanian Army’s plan to modernise its legacy wheeled armored vehicle fleet. Prime Minister Mihai Tudose and Deputy Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu attended the signing ceremony held at the National Defense Ministry headquarters last week.
The majority of the vehicles are to be built by Uzina Mecanică București (Bucharest Mechanical Plant – UMB) under license from GDELS. Under the plan, 197 of the vehicles will be made at UMB. “This year, the first 36 out of the 227 vehicles will be delivered to Romania, of which six will be produced in Romania at UMB,” Romanian Defence Minister Mihai Fifor said about signing.
The modern PIRANHA 5 vehicles will be produced in Romania under a strategic cooperation and transfer of technology project between GDELS – Mowag and UMB. Since 2006, the Romanian Armored Forces has fielded variants of PIRANHA vehicles, which have been deployed in various missions in-country and abroad, demonstrating its reliability and performance.
“The Romanian Army is one of the most important PIRANHA users in Europe,” Oliver Dürr, Vice President Wheeled Vehicles and Managing Director of GDELS – Mowag, said. “We are very honoured by this contract award as it reflects the high confidence and satisfaction the Romanian Army has in our vehicles.”
In October 2017, Romania’s economy ministry signed a cooperation memorandum with GDELS envisaging the joint production of PIRANHA 5s in Romania. By the end of 2017, Romania already ordered five armoured vehicles, out of the total 227. For its part, GDELS will help reconstruct the production facilities of UMB, and install a production line for the armoured vehicles. Also, 25 of UMB employees will get training at GDELS – Mowag. In a televised statement after the cooperation signing, Mr. Fifor said GDELS and UMB hope to set up the first production line for PIRANHA 5s by the end of this year.
“With this step, we have established a sustainable collaboration with a trusted partner which has a significant industrial footprint in Romania,” Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS Vice President International Business & Services, concluded. “The transfer of technology and the local production of these vehicles present an enormous opportunity to the Romanian industry.”