The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 30 January awarded a CZK2.07 billion (USD82.0 million) contract to Tatra Defence Vehicle for the procurement of 20 specialised versions of the Steyr Pandur II 8×8 armoured vehicle for the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR).
Tatra Defence Vehicle obtained exclusive assembly and marketing rights for the Pandur from Steyr parent company General Dynamics European Land Systems in 2015.
Tatra Defence Vehicle will deliver six Pandur vehicles configured as command-and-control platforms and another 14 vehicles configured as communications platforms to the ACR, which already operates a fleet of 107 Pandur vehicles in various configurations.
The Czech government approved the procurement of the 20 specialised vehicle platforms in 2015; however, MoD procurement schedules for other defence systems did not provide room for the Pandurs in the budget until 2017.
The 20 platforms are expected to cost an additional CZK800 million from the original price of CZK1.27 billion since the ACR updated its requirements with additional ballistic protection and other more modern onboard technical and IT systems.
“The [increased procurement] price was reviewed by two independent court-appointed experts who ruled that the current price reflects the technological upgrades incorporated into the new vehicles,” deputy defence minister Daniel Kostoval told the media on 30 January.