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BSDA 2024: Otokar outlines Cobra II pitch for Romania

Otokar displayed a pickup-style configuration of the Cobra II on a revolving pedestal at BSDA. The vehicle was equipped with an Anubis 3.0 ROWS from Pro Optica, one of Otokar's partners in the programme. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Otokar confirmed that it is offering its Cobra II 4×4 protected patrol vehicle to the Romanian Army during a media briefing delivered at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May.

During the briefing, Sedef Vehbi, military cluster head of Otokar, emphasised that the company aims to “play the game” of national capability development. The proposal therefore includes a transfer of technology arrangement that would allow the vehicle to be produced in Romania in partnership with Automecanica SA in Mediaș, Transylvania.

However, Vehbi stressed that Otokar would do “more than what is required” by supporting research and development work as well as manufacturing at its Romanian facility, which could potentially act as a hub for other European users of Otokar products.

In line with Romanian requirements, Otokar will also offer offset contracts to local suppliers. One of these Romanian partners is Pro Optica, which had its Anubis 3.0 remotely operated weapon systems (ROWS) mounted on a Cobra II displayed by Otokar at the exhibition.

Otokar did not elaborate on further details of the procurement programme, such as the number of vehicles offered, the potential value of the procurement, or the delivery timeframe.

However, it is understood that the offer concerns the Light Armoured Tactical Vehicle (Autovehicule Tactice Blindate de Tip Ușor: ATBTU) programme, for which the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) expressed a total requirement for 1,059 vehicles in a document published in December 2021.

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