New Armored Vehicles for Spain


Spain considers a new armored vehicle procurement, eying a wheeled 8×8 armored vehicle to enhance safety and mobility of Spanish troops. At present the Spanish forces are operating the Italian LMV from Iveco and South African BAE Systems RG-31. Spain has further requirements for 4×4 armored vehicles, to support squad and platoons, while a new 8×8 armored vehicle is considered to replace 6×6 vehicles currently in service with armored infantry units.

As with all recent armored vehicle procurements, Spain is considering only off-the-shelf platforms, already proven with other NATO forces. Spain will be buying about 300 8×8 vehicle, configured in several variants, to replace the BMR-600 currently in service with the Spanish Army.

Natural contenders could be the Piranha and Pandur II that could be readily assembled by the General Dynamics Spanish subsidiary Santa Barbara, which is affiliated with the Austrian and Swiss vehicle designers through the parent company General Dynamics Europe. Other teams already gearing up for the competition are the Spanish engineering company GTD that announced a teaming with the French company Nexter to modify the French VBCI for the Spanish program. VBCI is currently operational only with the French Army.

The Italian company Iveco is also present in Spain, through its local truck manufacturing subsidiary Enasa, the original manufacturer of the BMR-600 and is also likely to compete in Spain, offering the heavier Frecia VBM or the lighter SuperAV. While Frecia is currently in service with the Italian Army, the SuperAV has not yet been ordered by a NATO member. The Dutch-German ARTEC could be offering the Boxer, already operated by these two NATO members. Finally, the Finnish company Patria could be offering the AMV, currently operational mostly by the Polish army.

If Spain will consider operational experience as a plus, only the Piranha (LAV/Stryker) and AMV could claim a combat record operating in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S, Australian and Polish forces.