Austria: Federal Army receives 225 new wheeled tanks

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The Federal Ministry of Defense is taking a further step in the area of ​​investments: Today, Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner signed a corresponding contract for 225 new wheeled armored vehicles “Pandur Evolution” in the presence of Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer. With the conclusion of the contract, the Pandur fleet will be expanded to a total of 12 different variants. The investment volume is around 1,8 billion euros. More than 200 Austrian companies are involved in the production of the vehicles.

“Today is a good day for Austria’s security. Austria is purchasing 225 new Pandur. We invest in national defense and therefore in the security of our country. A well-armed democracy requires a reliable federal army in harmony with our neutrality,” said Chancellor Karl Nehammer at the press conference.

Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner added: “The procurement of an additional 225 'Pandur Evolution' in different variants is the largest procurement in 20 years by the land forces of the Austrian Federal Army. With the investment volume of 1,8 billion euros, we are not only investing in Austria's security, but also in Austria as a business location. In this way, we secure and create jobs at more than 220 companies. With national Pandur production, the added value in Austria is 70 percent.”

In addition to the delivery of state-of-the-art personnel carriers and flexible conversion kits for medical, command and anti-tank missions, the order provides for eight additional vehicle variants that will be newly introduced into the Federal Army. The “Pandur Evolution” vehicle family is supplemented by the 120 mm mortar combat system, mobile anti-aircraft defense and electronic warfare variants. The procurement is carried out as part of the “Reconstruction Plan 2032+”, which is intended to comprehensively modernize the Austrian armed forces. With the replacement, the medium-sized infantry forces of the Federal Army will experience a significant increase in mobility, protection and assertiveness.

In the future, the 3rd Hunter Brigade, which has its units in Lower Austria, Styria and Burgenland, will be equipped with the purchased equipment. These include the Jägerbataillon 17, Jägerbataillon 19, Jägerbataillon 33, the Jägerbataillon Burgenland, a militia unit, and the Pioneer Battalion 3.

So far, 100 “Pandur Evo” are under contract, the third delivery lot of which is currently in production and delivery. The production of the fourth batch that has now been commissioned will follow seamlessly and will enable further investments and the creation of highly qualified jobs at the production site in Vienna.

“Since signing the first delivery lot in 2016, we have laid the foundation for high added value in Austria by involving more than 200 Austrian subcontractors. Building on this, the fourth delivery lot of 225 'Pandur Evo' makes a further contribution to the protected mobility of the Austrian Armed Forces and allows us and our supplier companies to hire additional specialists and invest in the Austrian production location," says the managing director of GDELS-Steyr, Martin Reischer.

The equally compact and powerful “PANDUR EVO 6×6” are built at GDELS-Steyr in Vienna-Simmering, the national competence center for protected military mobility on wheels and tracks. The personnel transport tank “Pandur Evolution” is the further development of the proven “Pandur”. The armored wheeled vehicle offers the soldiers inside protection against splinters, fire from infantry weapons and mines. In addition, the vehicle is characterized by good mobility and high speed. The “Pandur Evolution” is used by infantry units. The wheeled armored vehicles have been used in the Federal Army since 1996. Around 850 Pandurs in 6×6 and 8×8 configurations are in use worldwide today. The users include Belgium, Portugal and the USA.

Press conference with Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (Photo: Carina Karlovits).
Press conference with Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (Photo: Carina Karlovits).