Piranha III 8x8
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Piranha IIIC 8x8
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Description: The Swiss MOWAG company designed and developed the Piranha amphibious multipurpose armored vehicle as a private venture. The Piranha vehicles feature high survivability, high mobility due to the use of wheels, low life cycle costs, high reliability, high availability, and easy maintenance. The Piranha III vehicle family introduced in the late 1990s offers a greater payload than preceding Piranha vehicles as well as improved protection through the use of add-on armor, high mobility and increased internal volume. The Piranha III are powered by a single MTU 6V 813 T22 diesel engine providing 400 hp, however other engines are available. They are able to accommodate a turret with a 105mm gun. The Piranha vehicles have been deployed in conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Several thousands of them are in service today with armed forces all over the world.
On October 5, 2004, Denmark placed a third order for Piranha IIIC 8x8 Armored Vehicles comprising 69 units valued at 140 million Swiss Francs ($112 million) including 22 additional vehicles ordered in 2003. In 1997, the Danish Army placed the first order for 22 Piranha IIIs with the second order for 22 additional vehicles placed in 2003. The third order strengthens Piranha III as the standard prime armored vehicle of Danish Armed Forces. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in February 2005.
On 27 January 2006, the Irish Department of Defence signed a 30 million Euro contract with MOWAG GmbH for 15 Piranha III 8x8 armored vehicles. Nine of the combat vehicles were set to be equipped with Kongsberg 12.7mm stabilized and remotely controlled weapon station and the remaining six vehicles with an OTO-Melara 30mm gun. Piranha III deliveries were expected to start in February 2007.
The Belgian government selected the Piranha IIIC 8x8 armored vehicle as a key element of its Army transformation into a lighter, more deployable, lethal, survivable and sustainable fighting force. This decision translated into a contract valued at 500 million Euro ($600 million) for a maximum of 242 vehicles and related logistics support. Under the terms of the Armored Infantry Vehicle (AIV) program the Belgian Army may receive 242 vehicles customized in seven variants: Infantry Carrier, Armored Personnel Carrier with Medium Caliber Gun, Direct Fire, Command Post, Engineering, Ambulance and Recovery. From 2007 to 2012 General Dynamics European Land Systems would deliver 138 vehicles with the additional vehicles delivered between 2012 and 2015.
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