While a definitive purchase is still to be agreed, industry sources have told IHS Jane'sthat preparing the vehicle for a test package makes the Piranha "now almost certain" to be the final choice.I wish someone at General Dynamics could explain the Piranha line. From my count they have at least 5 different 8x8's in production right now. They all are different weight classes, but appear to fill the same roles.
It is understood that five vehicles will be used for tests as part of a programme that will run through 2017. The following year the MoD is expected to give its final decision on a planned acquisition of between 300 and 400 vehicles. Besides GD, the project also involves SAPA, for the motors, and Indra for the command and control and missions systems.
Neither the company nor the ministry has commented yet on the technological trial contract, but the source says it was signed on 4 December.
Earlier this year the Spanish government allotted EUR89 million (USD97 million) for the 8x8 development programme for what it calls the Vehículo de Combate sobre Ruedas (VCR): a project that is being financed by the Ministry of Industry.
Once a purchase is agreed, initial orders are expected to focus on troop carriers and scouting and command versions before following up with more specialist versions in later orders.
As far as Spain's decision to "lock in" on the Piranha V? To each his own. They know their requirements, but of note is the fact that the trend toward procuring and then developing a family of vehicles from it, is picking up speed.