BUCHAREST, Romania –-- On November 6th, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) started production of Piranha 5 vehicles at the factory of its strategic Romanian partner, Uzina Mecanică București (UMB), which marks an important milestone in the Piranha 5 Program for the Romanian Army.
The start of production ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Romania, Ludovic Orban, the Minister of National Defence, Nicolae Ciuca, and the Minister of Economy, Energy, Business Environment and Tourism, Virgil Popescu, as well as the United States Ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm, and Swiss Ambassador to Romania, Arthur Mattli.
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 UMB.
"The strategic cooperation between GDELS and UMB is an excellent example of 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 industrial base in this important segment, including export opportunities. I am proud to say that 80% of the investment we make in this project will benefit 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 Defence General ret. Ciuca, attended our opening ceremony today and I would like to emphasize GDELS’ strong and clear commitment to becoming the strategic land systems supplier for the Romanian Army.
The opening of the local production line at UMB marks the first major step in establishing our sustainable collaboration with our Romanian partners,” said Dr. Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS Vice President. “The vast transfer of technology and the local production of the Piranha 5 also represent an enormous opportunity to Romanian industry for the future.”
“Romania has proven once again that it has the capacity to produce high end military products, in country. The UMB facility has been modernized and brought to international standards thanks to this contract. It is now a modern production facility for a key project of our military procurement programs. The collaboration with GDELS will bring UMB into a leading position among our Romanian military industry”, said Mihai Rafiu, General Director UMB.
The Mechanical Plant Bucharest (S.UMB S.A.) is an armament factory in Romania, located in Bucharest, sector 3, which functions as a branch of the National Company "ROMARM". The company has as profile the research, design, production, repair and modernization of armored vehicles. S. UMB S.A. is mainly a tank manufacturer, and between 1979 and 2009 produced 1,193 tanks and derivatives.
General Dynamics European Land Systems, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is a business unit of General Dynamics and conducts its business through six European operating sites located in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland. With around 2,300 highly skilled technical employees, the companies design, manufacture and deliver world-class land combat systems, including wheeled, tracked and amphibious vehicles, bridge systems, armaments, and munitions, to global customers.