Czechs Issue APC Bidders Shortlist, Exclude Czech Firm
The Czech military is going to replace its outdated OH-64 (BTR-60 variant) wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and possibly its BVP/BMP tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles with a new set of 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles in several variants. The Army of the Czech Republic plans to buy 199 of the vehicles, with an option on a further 35, in a deal estimated at Korunas 20-25 billion (USD $831-$1 billion). Analysts expect the contract to be awarded in mid-2006, and the tender notes delivery dates between 2007-2012.
The pre-qualification questioners were evaluated by an inter-departmental commission, and the following four parties were informed that they have qualified to go forward to the second stage of the tender:
- British/US firm BAE Systems Land & Armaments (see below);
- Finland’s Patria Vehicles Oy (Armoured Modular Vehicle, or AMV);
- Austrian firm GD Steyr Spezialfahrzeug (with the Pandur II);
- Germany’s Rheinmetall Landsysteme (MPI reports that they qualified as prime contractor for the one-man 30mm turret to be mounted on the Patria AMV, but subsequent releases would note that they submitted a full armored vehicle).
BAE Systems told Military Procurement International (MPI) that it will not reveal any details of its bid until the presentation of Best and Final Offers on November 14, 2005, but MPI believes that it is offering the new Turkish FNSS Pars II (Leopard) 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle, developed with General Purpose Vehicles LLC (GPV) of the USA. BAE Systems owns 49% of FNSS, with the majority 51% belonging to Turkish trading house Nurol Holding.
BAE could also offer the ultra-modern SEP wheeled APC currently being tested by the Swedish armed forces, and offered as a candidate for the British FRES future land vehicles program, via its BAE Systems Land Systems Hagglunds subsidiary.
Patria already has an order backlog for almost 800 Armoured Modular Vehicles in several versions. The Polish Army has ordered 690 vehicles, and serial deliveries will continue until 2013. Patria has also received an order for 62 Patria AMV armoured wheeled personnel carriers from the Finnish Defence Forces, with delivery taking place between 2006 and 2007. Additionally the Finnish Defence Forces have ordered 24 AMV vehicles as chassis for the AMOS mortar system, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2006.
Patria vehicles are proving popular in Europe and have earned respect, leading to shortlisting in a number of pending APC competitions. In addition, the Patria Hagglunds joint venture’s AMOS mortar system is currently a contender for the USA’s next-generation Future Combat Systems program.
DID has covered the Steyr Pandur II system before, thanks to a $482 million contract with Portugal. The Austrian army also operates the Pandur II, and has expressed a need for specialized variants to round this platform out into a vehicle family.
MPI believes that Rheinmetall Landsysteme qualified as prime contractor for the one-man 30mm turret to be mounted on the Patria AMV. They could also offer the Boxer MRAV APC that is just entering service with Germany and the Netherlands. This program is a joint effort with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Stork of the Netherlands, however, and would probably have been offered through the ARTEC Consortium.
These companies were requested to present their offers to the Ministry of Defence not later than November 14, 2005, under the condition that the vehicles shall take part in the October live demonstration and prove that all technical and tactical requirements are met.
The bidders excluded from the shortlist included:
- Czech firm Globtrade Air s.r.o.
- Poland’s BUMAR Sp. Z o.o.
- Italy’s Iveco Fiat – OTO Melara, S.c.r.l., which manufactures the complementary Puma and Centauro families of wheeled APCs.
While no data was received by DID from the Czech government, it is most likely that Globtrade Air and BUMAR Sp. Would both have been offering variants of the Russian BTR-80 wheeled APC. If so, this can be seen as one more step toward the ‘Westernization’ of former Warsaw Pact militaries.
- Czech Ministry of Defence: Modernization Projects – Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers. Doesn’t have all of the announcements, etc. like the procurement pages we lined above, but does have a good timeline.
So, what happened next?
- DID (Nov 14/05) – Czech APC Competition Narrows to 2…. Its down to the AMV from Patria Oyj, or Steyr’s Pandur II. Contains the link to the final winner.