The Spanish Secretary of State for Defence, Ángel Olivares, chaired today, Wednesday, a follow-up meeting, held at the GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas factory in Alcalá de Guadaíra (Seville), for the Wheeled Combat Vehicle (VCR) 8x8 technological programs. Such meeting included a dynamic demonstration where the progress on the agenda and the capacities achieved were shown.
The event brought together senior representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Defence, the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM), the Spanish Army and the companies that constitute the partnership, which manages these technological programs, Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Indra Sistemas and Sapa Placencia.
The attendees have made a positive appraisal of the progress on the agenda and the advances made in its development.
The delegation got to know first-hand the degree of progress of the demonstrators and toured the assembly chain of the five VCR 8x8 prototypes, which is installed in one of the factory’s workshops and at full production capacity in compliance with the prevention measures, related to the Covid-19.
Then, then witnessed a dynamic demonstration of the 8x8 VCRs on the test track and personally checked the maturity of the designs and their mobility allowance and power performance in a display. The first two demonstrators are supposed to conduct test firing in early July.
The Secretary of State for Defense recently reiterated that the contract for the acquisition of VCR 8x8 348 serial units is expected to be signed in August.
The General Chief of Staff of the Spanish Army, General Francisco Javier Varela Salas; the Director-General, Admiral Santiago Ramón González Gómez and the Deputy Director, General Francisco Javier Abajo Merino, of the DGAM, attended the event. The Managing Director of GDELS-SBS; Juan Escriña, Indra´s Executive Director-General of Transport and Defence, Ignacio Mataix; and Sapa´s CEO, Ibon Aperribay, also participated.
Indra Sistemas, Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Sapa Placencia and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering will set up a company that will be in charge of executing the VCR 8x8 Program, after the Ministry of Defense has signed the commitment that allows the creation of said company. This newly established company will deal with the supply of 348 8x8 VCR series units, as well as maintenance and support through the life cycle and its international commercialization. These vehicles will be delivered within an estimated period of seven years from the signing of the Program Agreement.
The objective of the four companies through this Partnership is to satisfy all operational objectives and meet all the Spanish Army and the Ministry of Defense needs, while the VCR 8x8 Program becomes a driving force in the national industry. Along these lines, the development of this program entails an ambitious national Industrial Plan, which facilitates the maintenance of the design authority in Spain and encourages a high participation of national industry at a percentage of no less than 70%.
The program will have a special impact in Asturias, Seville, Guipúzcoa and Madrid, where the creation of 650 direct jobs and another 1,000 indirect ones is expected.
The program will additionally generate industrial property for the national industry and will contribute to preserve national sovereignty over a product that represents an essential capacity for national defense.