Uzina Mecanica Bucuresti - General Dynamics strategic partnership, the first step to revive the defense industry by manufacturing Piranha 5 armored vehicles

Joint venture agreement between Uzina Mecanică București - General Dynamics, the first step to relaunch the defence industry

Uzina Mecanică București has signed a joint-venture agreement with the European division of the American company General Dynamics to build 133 Piranha 5 armoured transporters in Romania..

The agreement was signed on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at the Uzina Mecanica Bucuresti (UMB) headquarters. The event was attended by high officials of the Romanian state, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, Minister of Economy Florin Spătaru, Secretary of State Daniela Nicolescu, Alfonso Ramonet, CEO of  General Dynamics European Land Systems Mowag (GDELS Mowag), Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Bucharest, David Muniz, as well as the executives of the two companies, Mihai Rafiu (UMB) and Marinică Mîrzu (GDELS Romania).

UMB - General Dynamics European Land Systems Romania partnership, a boost for the revitalization of the defense industry

ROMARM subsidiary will completely manufacture the next batch of armored vehicles Piranha 5 for the Romanian Army. With the new joint venture between UMB and GDELS România, the next batch of Piranha 5 is expected to be produced in stages in more extensive scale, with the carcass and armor part also being manufactured locally. In the long term, this type of armored vehicle will be produced for foreign markets, more specifically for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria, countries which are or will be carrying out selection and procurement procedures for armored personnel carriers. In addition to the factory itself, UMB will also operate a maintenance section for military vehicles, which will be able to respond to partners' repair or maintenance requirements.

Since the launch of the first contract in 2019, two infantry battalions of the Romanian Land Forces have been equipped with Piranha 5 armored personnel carriers. Prime Minister Ciucă said that this contract is accompanied by offset obligations in Romania of 297 million euros, of which, so far, about 55% or 56% has been implemented.

According to Prime Minister Ciucă, other Romanian companies are also involved in the production of this product. Elmet produced and designed the turret, Pro-Optica provides equipment for the entire transporter assembly, and CSR and Interactiv contribute to the communications part and to the integration of the IT system management capabilities.

NATO technology is now available on armored transporters of the Romanian Army

At the moment, the Romanian Army already has 68 Piranha 5 transporters in the equipment of two battalions of the Land Forces.

"The Romanian Army will be equipped with an additional 133 Pirahna 5 carriers, following the signing of the joint-venture agreement, which primarily outlines a sustainable, Romanian-American strategic partnership for the benefit of the national defence industry and the National Defence Ministry's armament objectives. When I took over this mandate, I set very clear objectives, one of which is to add value to Romania's economy under the umbrella of a strategy that includes the defence industry. My wish is that at the end of this joint venture with General Dynamics, in Romania, at the Mechanical Plant, Piranha 5 armoured transporters will be produced not only for the Romanian Army but also for other countries"

Piranha 5 - NATO tech

The Piranha 5 is the best armored combat transporter at the moment

The local production of armored transporters is an important moment for the Romanian defense industry as the Piranha 5 meets military requirements through leading-edge technology.

The Piranha 5 is a 30-tonne armored vehicle that can carry 3 crew members and 8 soldiers. It can be configured on 8×8 and 4×4 chassis. It has a MTU 6V199 diesel engine with 586 HP and 2,200 Nm. The Piranha 5 can run at a top speed of 100 km/h at an engine output of 600 HP, with a range of over 500 km. The armored transporter can climb ramps with a gradient of 60% and can pass through ditches with a maximum depth of 1.5 meters. The Piranha 5 transporters, which would serve as a combat vehicle, are equipped with a 30 mm gun turret and 7.62 mm caliber machine gun. Those that will act as a mobile command point will have a turret with a cal. 12.7 mm.

According to MApN, the Piranha V armored personnel carrier for 8×8 troops is a transporter for infantry units as well as auxiliary support structures, necessary for the fulfilment of Land Force missions. This vehicle ensures increased mobility and adequate protection of embarked personnel during the execution of specific missions, can be used in any terrain area, regardless of time, season or weather conditions.

The Piranha 5 armored vehicle is used worldwide, and in Europe it is in use by military forces in Spain and Denmark.

Piranha 5 - armored vechicles

A boost for relaunching the Romanian defense industry

Therefore, the association of Uzinei Mecanice București with General Dynamics European Land Systems Romania is an important step towards the revival of the defense industry, a fact underlined by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, and ROMARM will fully support this partnership which is imperative in the current conditions.

In conclusion,

"Romania has the human resource, it has the potential and Romania has the will that we must harness and exploit in such a way as to align ourselves with everything that means the need for standards as we assumed when we became members of NATO and the EU."

stated Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă