VCR 8x8 'Dragon' for the Spanish Army starts production at GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas

Posted on 2021-12-17

  • DIGAM and MALE attend the cutting of the first armor steel plate at the Trubia Factory for the VCR 8x8 'Dragon' series vehicles.
  • In the period 2020-23, GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas will invest 14 million euros in the modernization of the Trubia Factory with the acquisition of state-of-the-art machinery that will reinforce it as a European industrial reference.

The manufacturing of the 8x8 'Dragon' Wheeled Combat Vehicle (RCV) for the Spanish Armed Forces has started in the Trubia Factory (Asturias) of GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas with the cutting of the first steel armor plate. The first series vehicles of the VCR 8x8 'Dragon', intended to modernize the capabilities of the Spanish Army, are scheduled to be made available in the second semester of 2022.

"The start of the production of a new vehicle is always an exciting project and even more so when, as in this case, it is carried out by the Ministry of Defense and the Spanish Army and in collaboration with the Spanish Defense Industry. The VCR 8x8 'Dragon' is called to mark a milestone for our Armed Forces and for our industry, and all of us who participated in it feel very proud," said Juan Escriña, Managing Director of GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas, during the ceremony.

"The VCR 8x8 represents not only new capabilities and a better protection for our soldiers but also a very significant technological leap. It must serve us as a lever for transformation. The changes that are taking place at European level, which influence us as part of the European Union, demand a process of reflection on what our strengths are, in what we can be globally competitive and how we must position ourselves to remain a reference in the future. We must not be afraid of change in order to benefit from the new cycle of innovation and transformation that is opening up before us," he added.

Workshop and facilities prepared for the VCR 8x8 'Dragon'.

The steel cutting ceremony was attended by the Director General of Armament and Material of the Ministry of Defense, Admiral Santiago Ramón González; the Chief of the Army Logistic Support Command, Lieutenant General Fernando Miguel García y García de las Hijas; the Minister of Industry, Employment and Industrial Promotion of the Government of Asturias, Enrique Fernández; the Mayor of Oviedo, Alfredo Canteli, and the Government Delegate in Asturias, Delia Losa.

Also present were the deputies Ms. Zaida Cantera, spokeswoman of the PSOE in the Defense Committee of the Congress, and Mr. Fernando Gutiérrez Díaz de Otazu; the president of TEDAE, Mr. Ricardo Martí Fluxá, and the highest representatives of the board of directors of Tess Defense: Mr. Ignacio Mataix and Mr. Fernando Gutiérrez Díaz de Otazu, among others. Ignacio Mataix and Manuel Escalante on behalf of Indra Sistemas; Ibón Aperribay and Joaquín Esteban on behalf of SAPA Operaciones, and Ángel and Javier Escribano for Escribano Mechanical & Engineering, together with Luis Mayo, General Manager of Tess Defence.

The attendees visited the facilities, already prepared to house the manufacturing process of the VCR 8x8 'Dragon' platforms and other systems of the new armored vehicles. Specifically, the machining, cutting, painting and assembly workshops, as well as the facilities for welding robotization and precision machining.

Investment of 14 million for Trubia factory’s modernization

The Trubia factory of GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas has carried out in recent months, a series of deep adaptations and modernizations with the acquisition of the latest technology machinery that will strengthen the facilities as a European industrial reference in the manufacture of armored vehicles of last generation. For the period 2020-23, the company will invest in this center more than 14 million euros, of which a large part will go directly to the manufacture of the VCR 8x8 'Dragon'.

The Trubia Factory of GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas generates approximately 750 jobs and is a benchmark industrial facility at European level, specialized in the manufacture of state-of-the-art armored tracked and wheeled vehicles, such as the Pizarro (ASCOD in its international denomination) and, from now on, the VCR 8x8.

The production of the first phase of the VCR 8x8 program will require 900 direct jobs in Trubia until 2023, in addition to another 4,500 indirect jobs.

The Ministry of Defense awarded Tess Defence a first phase of the VCR 8x8 'Dragon' program that envisages the manufacture of 348 units of the vehicle. Tess-Defence is the consortium integrated by GDELS- Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Indra Sistemas, Sapa Operaciones and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering to develop the VCR 8x8 program. One of the strategic bets of this project is to maintain the design authority in Spain and promote the participation of the national industry of at least 70%, in order to position it internationally in a highly competitive market.



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