The Spanish Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, presided this morning over the signing of the supply contract for the manufacture of 348 8X8 “Dragon” wheeled combat vehicles (VCRs), with a duration of ten years.
On behalf of the Ministry of Defence, the contract was signed by the Deputy Purchasing Manager of the General Directorate of Armament and Material, and by Tess-Defence SA, its General Director, Mr. Luis Mayo.
The event was attended by the Secretary of State for Defence, Esperanza Casteleiro, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Francisco Javier Varela, and representatives of the four companies that form Tess-Defence SA: Sapa Operaciones SL, Indra Sistemas SA, Escribano Mechanical & Engineering SL, and Santa Bárbara Sistemas SA.
With this signature, it is intended to reach the objective of 70% participation of the national industry in the development and production phase of the VCR 8X8 and the Design Authority of the vehicle will be managed and maintained, ensuring in the future the execution of the support to its life cycle. This project is born with a clear export vocation that will allow to position internationally the Spanish Defence Industry in a highly competitive market.
The acquisition program of the armoured vehicle on wheels will serve to renew the current fleet of BMR and VEC of the Spanish Army. It will provide Spanish soldiers with greater security and protection in their missions, improving their capabilities to operate in high, medium or low complexity scenarios.
This development, which is entirely Spanish, grants Spanish industry technological sovereignty over a system of a strategic nature that represents a priority factor in the Defence sector with a view to its projection, both internally and externally, promoting the development of its own technological industries.
The beneficial effects will fall mainly on the regions of Asturias, Madrid, the Basque Country and Andalusia, since this is where the factories of the industries involved are located. However, its potential as an economic driver will generate an expansion of economic activity with a direct impact on the creation of qualified employment in Spain (approximately 8,750 jobs between direct, indirect and induced during the expected duration of the contract).