Another three Piranha V infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) will get to Romania by the end of the year and the batch of 36 vehicles will be competed in February, according to representatives of the producer, General Dynamics (GD).
Right now, in Romania, there are 20 IFVs of this type. After the first batch of 36 armored vehicles will be completed, the GD representatives showed that the manufacturing process will continue at the Uzina Mecanica Bucharest (UMB).
Director of the International Business & Services South-East Europe of General Dynamics European Land Systems Stefan Stuck told the Romanian journalists that the UMB has been the producer's partner for a long time. He said that the investment isn't only for this programme and mentioned that it remains to be seen what are the options for the future.
According to him, in the next stages of the project, sanding, painting and final assembly would be made at the factory in Bucharest.
Stuck said that, in respect to the 36 vehicles which are produced now, 10 have been assembled in Romania, while the rest in Switzerland, but gradually, the assembly process will be broader.
Moreover, the Romanian workers with the UMB were sent to carry out training at the Mowag Motor Car Factory in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, where the armored vehicles are produced.
The GD representative said that the military expenses aren't small, however what the country and local industry receives is the most important thing, because many of the elements will be produced internally. The technology transfer is very important for Romanians, he added.
Stefan Stuck argues that the UMB could have a role in terms of the vehicles maintenance, for 30-40 years. He also admitted that event though in the beginning of the project there were some issues, everything was repaired and the cooperation between the client and General Dynamics is very good.
Romanian company Romtehnica, whose sole shareholder is the Ministry of National Defense (MApN), issued, this fall, a penalty bill worth 8.5 million euro for the manufacturer of Piranha 5 vehicle for the delay recorded in the delivery of the armored vehicles contracted in January 2018.
The carriers were contracted for approximately 895 million euro from the General Dynamics and the contract involves the purchase of 227 carriers, a part of which would be assembled in Romania.