General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) has started the production of PIRANHA 5 vehicles at the factory of its strategic Romanian partner Uzina Mecanică București (UMB) on Nov.6.
The production start ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Romania, Ludovic Orban, the Minister of Defence, General (ret.) Nicolae Ciuca, and the Ministry of Economy, Energy, Business Environment and Tourism, Virgil Popescu, as well as the US Ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm, and Swiss Ambassador to Romania, Arthur Mattli.
This marks an important milestone in the PIRANHA 5 Program for the Romanian Army.
In January 2018, and as part of the Romanian Army’s plan to modernize its legacy wheeled armored vehicle fleet, GDELS signed a contract with the Romanian Army to deliver up to 227 PIRANHA 5 wheeled armored vehicles in six different configurations. The modern PIRANHA 5 vehicles will be produced in Romania under a strategic cooperation and transfer of technology project between GDELS – Mowag and the Romanian company Uzina Mecanică București (UMB).
“The strategic cooperation between GDELS and the UMB is an excellent example on how we plan to modernize our Armed Forces with modern technology. It also represents a great opportunity for our Romanian economy to strengthen and sustain our national industry base in this important segment including export opportunities. I am proud to say, that 80% of the investment we take in this project will return to the benefit of our local economy.” stated Prime Minister of Romania, Mr. Ludovic Orban.
”We are deeply honoured and grateful that Prime Minister Orban, Minister of Economy Popescu and Minister of National Defense General ret. Ciuca have attended our opening ceremony today and I would like to emphasize the strong and clear commitment of GDELS to become the strategic land systems supplier for the Romanian Army.
The opening of the local production line at UMB marks a first major step in establishing our sustainable collaboration with trusted Romanian partners” said Dr. Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS Vice President. “The vast transfer of technology and the local production of the PIRANHA 5 also represents an enormous opportunity to the Romanian industry for the future.”
“Romania has proven once again that it has the capacity to produce in country high end military products. The UMB facility has been modernized and brought to international standards thanks to this contract and is now a modern production facility for a key project of our military procurement programs. The collaboration with GDELS will bring UMB in a leading position among our Romanian military industry”, said Mihai Rafiu, General Director UMB.