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The Romanian Ministry of Defence has acquired the first of 36 PIRANHA V wheeled armoured vehicles manufactured in Switzerland by General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS-Mowag). The vehicles will be handed over following the acceptance test at the Mechanical Plant Bucharest (Uzina Mecanică București, UMB).

In 2018, the Romanian Ministry of Defence ordered 227 PIRANHA V vehicles in six different configurations. The contract, with a volume of €850m, provides for the vehicles to be manufactured within the scope of a strategic cooperation and technology transfer between GDELS-Mowag and UMB. In November 2019, the production of the further 191 vehicles started at UMB, with UMB employees having been at GDELS during the production of the first vehicles.

The 8×8 PIRANHA V is the latest development of GDELS’ widely used PIRANHA series. The 33-ton vehicle is driven by a 480 kW diesel engine and the infantry variant has an Elbit UTR30 Mk 2 turret. The cabin is protected as standard to level 4/4b according to STANAG 4569 and offers space for a crew of three (driver, commander, gunner) plus eight soldiers. A special feature is the hydropneumatic suspension of all eight wheels. Denmark is the first user of the PIRANHA V, having inducted it in 2017, while Spain and Switzerland have respectively ordered 348 and 32 examples.

Jack Richardson