Fred’s remark on Slovak 8×8 Armoured Fighting Vehicle tender
In response to a request for submissions for a new armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) from the Slovak government five designs have been submitted. Spain has submitted their Dragon AFV, Romanian has submitted a version of the Piranha V, the USA is offering their Stryker platform, Czechia is offering their configuration of the Pandur II, and Finland is offering the Patria AMV.
Interestingly the Dragon, Piranha, and Stryker are all derivatives of the same design, the MOWAG Piranha.
Arguably there are therefore only three truly unique designs in this competition so far. Indeed, given that the same company (General Dynamics Land Systems) is behind both the Pandur, and Piranha designs it is questionable if there is a significant difference in the design between the two vehicles. The Slovak AFV competition therefore appears to be the offerings of GDLS against the single entry of Patria. There is no inherent issue with three designs from the same company being submitted to this type of competition although it is questionable whether this strategy is worth the effort.
The Stryker AFV has seen very little export success, receiving only a minor Thai contract outside of the USA. The design itself is no longer cutting edge and it would be very surprising if this was the competition winner.
The Piranha V is undoubtedly the strongest GDLS contender being the most armoured and adaptable of their offerings. It is likely that the Pandur is being offered due to its current use by Czechia and Austria proving the regional suitability of the design (a feature shared by the Patria AMV which is operated in Poland).
The Pandur is a less competitive offering the Piranha V or Patria AMV in terms of features but might be offered at a lower price and with the selling point of regional cooperation between the Czech and Slovak militaries and industries.
It is therefore likely that this competition will be between the Piranha V (either the Romanian or Spanish versions) and the Patria AMV.
These are both strong and proven designs which should suit the needs of the Slovak military. It remains to be seen how Slovak military industry will be incorporated into any deal made and this may prove to be a significant factor in the final decision.
A final interesting feature of this competition is the conspicuous absences of the German Boxer, French VCBI, and Turkish FNSS Pars and/or Otokar Arma from the current offers. Perhaps the lack of amphibious capability for most of these vehicles held them back in this competition.
Frederick Hardman Lea – ICE Analyst