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With the cutting of the first tank plate in front of a high-ranking audience, series production of the 8×8 DRAGÓN wheeled vehicle for the Spanish Army has begun at GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas’ Trubia plant (Asturias), the company has announced. General Dynamics European Landsystems (GDELS) is part of the TESS Defense consortium, which also includes Indra Sistemas, Escribano Mechanical & Engineering and Sapa Placencia. TESS was contracted in 2020 to produce 348 DRAGÓN vehicles for €1.7Bn.

The 8×8 DRAGÓN is derived from the highly protected GDELS PIRANHA V and offers a spacious crew compartment and significant payload capacity, as the company underlines. Technical features include all-wheel steering and hydropneumatic suspension. Indra supplies electronics and software, Saga the propulsion and Escribano the turret.

Depending on the equipment, the vehicle weighs over 33 tonnes. At 8.00 m length, 2.99 m width and 2.34 m height, up to eight soldiers can be accommodated in the protected cabin, in addition to the regular crew of three.

In the first batch, 348 PIRNHA Vs in 13 different configurations will be procured, including the respective mission system components (armament, protection elements, sensors, communication and command systems) as well as logistic support elements. The first vehicles are to be delivered in 2022.

The DRAGÓN programme covers the production and delivery of 1,000 vehicles. After the first batch of 348, a second batch of 365 and a third batch of 287 vehicles are to follow. While the second batch is to be ordered in the foreseeable future, the third batch has not yet been scheduled.