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Gerhard Heiming

The Spanish Minister of Defence has signed a letter enabling the foundation of a joint venture company to produce the Vehicle de Combat sober Ruedas (VCR) 8×8 armoured vehicle. Spanish companies Indra Sistemas S.A., Santa Bárbara Sistemas S.A., Sapa Placencia S.L. and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering S.L. are involved in the joint venture, which will produce 348 VCRs based on the PIRANHA V 8×8 from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS). Through this industrial consortium, Spain intends to maintain design competence in the country and ensure that at least 70 per cent of the work is carried out in the country, with the aim to sign a procurement contract in the third quarter of 2020. In December 2019, the Spanish government rejected an offer by GDELS subsidiary Santa Bárbara Sistemas for technical and cost reasons so instead announced a competitive tender. It is questionable whether other suppliers will be able to win the contract due to the Spanish Government’s short deadline, though there are enough competent applicants including ARTEC with the BOXER, Nexter with the VBCI, Iveco with FRECCIA and Patria with AMV.