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BSDA 2024: Romanian Piranha 5 programme progresses

Three Piranha 5 IFVs were displayed at BSDA, including this one perched atop a section of the GDELS M3 amphibious bridge. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Janes has learnt that 47 Romanian-produced Piranha 5 8×8 armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) have been completed by armaments factory and state-owned ROMARM subsidiary Uzina Mecanică București (UMB), with a further 68 in various stages of production.

Speaking to Janes on 23 May at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May, Andreas Himmelsbach, senior manager German & International News and Media at General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS), and Mihai Rafiu, general manager at UMB, confirmed that a follow-on order for an additional 150 vehicles was also being prepared.

Although no delivery timeframe for this follow-on batch was disclosed, it will follow the delivery of the initial consignment of 227 vehicles, which the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) contracted from GDELS on 12 January 2018.

Split into three phases, this first order saw production of the Piranha 5 gradually transferred to Romania. Under the first phase, 30 vehicles were produced by GDELS-Mowag in Switzerland. This was followed by the second phase in which 64 vehicles were assembled in Romania under the direction of GDELS using the facility of its Romanian partner, UMB. The programme is in the third phase that will see 133 vehicles produced entirely in Romania by UMB, which GDELS stated had achieved full production readiness in April 2019.

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