There’s news in the Army’s main program, the 8×8 Dragon Wheeled Combat Vehicle. As confirmed by the Defense Ministry, none of the five protesters have yet been officially handed over to La Legin, which will be responsible for their assessment. The protesters are located at General Dynamics European Land Systems’ Santa Barbara Sistemas facilities in Seville, where they will be finalized to start the final acceptance tests that will allow them to be delivered before the end of the first four month period. It is worth remembering that while protesters D1 and D2 took part in the commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the Legion, they did so at the request of the army with the consent of the Ministry of Defense and with the consent of the UTE, which is exactly what the transport made possible.
As soon as the acceptance tests are passed and received by the administration, the degree of their overcoming is assessed and, on this basis, the following measures are determined. This could include handing the demonstrators over to TESS Defense, which is comprised of the Santa Barbara Sistemas, Indra Sistemas, Sapa Placencia and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering. The company placed the order to manufacture the first batch of VCRs for retrofitting and converting vehicles. Prototype in series units. Although it was previously planned to use at least one of the demonstrators for the ballistic protection tests planned in the program.
In this sense, the ministry even states that the final integration of the demonstrators is currently complete. If delays in this final phase cause the availability of the five demonstrators to coincide with the time the production contract requires the demonstrators to prepare the series prototypes with them, the transfer of the operational assessment to series vehicles will be considered to be mild surprisingly said, since operational assessment is a means of preventing potential problems from spilling over into serial production.
The Spanish army will take part in the tests that the protesters go through. These are expected to take around two to three months, as we expected for 2019. This period certainly seems short compared to the importance of the program. An initial batch of 348 vehicles, but a range of up to 1,000 units and an estimated operating life of forty years, would warrant a more in-depth assessment to ensure that potential problems in the manufacturing phase are eliminated by leveraging user feedback. Suffice it to recall that some time ago it was estimated that the operational evaluation would take at least six months (a year was planned), but later it was shortened and it was decided to include its conclusions in the form of clauses for the Production contract that was already assigned to last summer.
Guardian Assessment 30
In weapon systems, the novelty comes from the new turret developed by Escribano Mechanical & Engineering, the Guardian 30. The Department of Defense is considering its integration for assessment from the end of the final acceptance tests on the horizon the second quarter of the year. Guardian 30 was featured exclusively in the January issue of Defense magazine and focused on the Army’s VCR 8×8 Dragon program. (Jos M Navarro Garca)
Photo: Demonstrator D2 of the VCR program (Army)
The Guardian 30 during a recent evaluation (EM&E)
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