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The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence has selected the Patria AMV XP and the PIRANHA V from GDELS-Mowag to take part in the second phase of the country’s 8×8 wheeled vehicle programme. This will involve field tests to measure the capabilities of the vehicles offered against Bulgarian military requirements and contract negotiations in order to verify the economic viability of the offers. An inter-ministerial working group will evaluate the bids in conjunction with the test results and conduct negotiations with the companies.

The second phase will end with the selection of one bidder, and the decision on how to continue the programme. Both vehicles were exhibited at the HEMUS defence fair in Plovdiv/Bulgaria at the beginning of October 2020. It is understood that the offers received so far are well above the planned budget, which was indicated as being €750m. If the project for 150 vehicles is judged not to be financially viable, a new tender could be launched, leading to a possible delay of several years.

Gerhard Heiming