FALLS CHURCH, Va., 2 Feb. 2006. The Belgian government has selected the PIRAHNA IIIC 8x8 light armored vehicle, produced by MOWAG GmbH, a part of General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems, for its Armored Infantry Vehicle (AIV) program.
AIV will serve as the cornerstone of the transformation of the Belgian Army into a lighter, more deployable, lethal, survivable and sustainable force. The program, which includes a maximum of 242 vehicles and related logistics support, has an approximate value of $604 million (euro 500 million) if all options are exercised.
The PIRAHNA vehicles will be equipped in seven variants: infantry carrier, armored personnel carrier with medium caliber gun, direct fire, command post, engineering, ambulance, and recovery. Delivery of the first 138 vehicles will occur from 2007 to 2012; additional vehicles could be delivered from 2012 to 2015 if all options are exercised.
Key requirements for the AIV program included on- and off-road mobility, crew comfort and safety, vehicle versatility, a high level of protection for the vehicle crews against mines and ballistic weapons, and integration of various weapon stations, electronic warning and communication systems.
The PIRAHNA offers high commonality and compatibility within the AIV fleet and with other vehicles of the Belgian Army and NATO countries. More than 3000 PIRANHA III-based vehicles are in service with or in production for NATO and European countries Denmark, Spain, USA, Canada, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.
"We believe our selection reflects the careful attention we paid to the requirements of the Belgian Army and to the Belgian national and regional objectives for industry and commerce, together with the capability and value of PIRANHA and its system support," said Simon T. Honess, chief executive officer of MOWAG. MOWAG's agreement with the Belgian government represents its largest single order from a European NATO member.
MOWAG GmbH of Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, develops, designs and manufactures technologically advanced special vehicles for military use. More than 12,000 armored wheeled vehicles of the MOWAG PIRANHA, MOWAG EAGLE, and MOWAG DURO series are fielded all over the world. MOWAG employs more than 500 people at its Kreuzlingen location. For more information, see www.mowag.ch.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 72,200 people worldwide and had 2005 revenue of $21.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. For more information, see www.generaldynamics.com.