The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a EUR2.08 billion (USD2.46 billion) contract with national consortium Tess Defence to build the first tranche of 348 Dragón 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for the army.
The Spanish MoD has signed a contract with the Tess Defence consortium for the first tranche of 348 Dragón IFVs. (Spanish MoD)
The ceremony on 25 August ends years of uncertainty over the IFV, which will be based on the Piranha armoured vehicle built by General Dynamics European Land Systems’ (GDELS’) Spanish subsidiary Santa Bárbara Sistemas, in partnership with Indra Sistemas, Escribano Mechanical and Engineering, and Sapa Operaciones.
While the signing will allow production of the vehicles to begin, the Spanish Army has yet to decide on the numbers of each version to be ordered and which turret will equip the IFV.
This first batch is due to be delivered over the next decade, the MoD said in a press release, while further tranches are planned for another 348 and then 287 vehicles.
Presiding over the signing ceremony, Defence Minister Margarita Robles said the contract marked “a historic milestone” that “will benefit the projection of the armed forces in the international arena”.