Czechs Choose, Cancel, Then Come Back to Pandur II APCs

February 7/17: Tatra Defense Vehicles will provide additional Steyr Pandur II trucks to the Czech Republic external link, adding to the 107 Pandurs already operated by Prague. The $82 million contract will see the provision of 20 vehicles, six of which will be fitted as command-and-control trucks and another 14 vehicles configured as communications platforms.The Pandur II 8×8 armored vehicle is an updated all-wheel drive version of the Pandur 6×6 armored personnel carrier.

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Pandur II w. RCWS-30(click to view full) In January 2006, the Czech Republic selected General Dynamics’ European Land Combat Systems subsidiary Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug GmbH of Austria to supply its army with 199 new eight-wheeled Pandur II armored personnel carriers (APCs) between 2007-2012. The KBVP vehicles would replace Soviet-era OT-64 SKOT APCs, and would be produced in Austria and the Czech Republic. In 2005 the contract included an option for 35 additional vehicles for a total of 234, and had a potential value of Koruna 23.6 billion ($1-1.4 billion). Steyr’s Pandur II was a finalist, and eventually won the competition. But questions arose, the deal became a political football, and delivery issues jeopardized the deal into oblivion. Or so it seemed. Despite the economic crisis gripping Eastern Europe, the Czechs reinstated a scaled-down version of the deal in late February 2009. Selection and a Winner Old OT-64C, Kosovo(click to view full) After the original April 2005 tender had been winnowed down to 3 semi-finalists (Patria’s AMV, Steyr’s Pandur-II, and Rheinmetall’s Boxer) the Czech testing program included crossing open water, test drives on paved and off-road surfaces, boarding of soldiers, and loading on to and unloading from a C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. […]

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