General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) began production of the PIRANHA 5 armoured vehicle on 6 November. The ceremony marking this important milestone for GDELS’ Romanian partner, Uzina Mecanica Bucuresti (UMB), was attended by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Minister of National Defence Nicolae Ciuca and other governmental and diplomatic dignitaries.

Under a contract signed in January 2018, GDELS is to provide 227 PIANHA 5 vehicles, in six different configurations, as part of the Romanian Army’s modernisation plans. The vehicles will be produced in Romania under a strategic cooperation and technology transfer programme between GDELS-MOWAG and UMB.

“The strategic cooperation between GDELS and UMB is an excellent example of how we plan to modernise our armed forces with modern technology. It also represents a great opportunity for our Romanian economy to strengthen and sustain our national industrial base in this important segment, including export opportunities. I am proud to say that 80% of the investment we make in this project will benefit our local economy,” stated Prime Minister Orban.

”[…] I would like to emphasize the strong and clear commitment of GDELS to become the strategic land systems supplier for the Romanian Army[…] The opening of the local production line at UMB marks a first major step in establishing our sustainable collaboration with trusted Romanian partners” observed Dr Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS Vice President. “The vast transfer of technology and the local production of the PIRANHA 5 also represents an enormous opportunity to the Romanian industry for the future.”

Romania has proven once again that it has the capacity to produce in country high-end military products. The UMB facility has been modernised and brought to international standards thanks to this contract and is now a modern production facility for a key project of our military procurement programmes. The collaboration with GDELS will bring UMB in a leading position among our Romanian military industry,” concluded General Director of UMB Mihai Rafiu.

UMB will partner with GDELS-MOWAG to produce 227 PIRANHA 5 in Romania. (Photo: GDELS)

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