Santa Barbara Sistemas to begin production of VCR 8x8 Dragon and VAC vehicles for 2035 transition


Santa Bárbara Sistemas, through its arms factory in Trubia, is engaged in the production of two important military vehicles for the Asturias region: the VCR 8x8 Dragon and the Chain Support Vehicle (VAC). The contract for the VCR 8x8 Dragon has already been signed and provides for the manufacture of 348 vehicles. The contract for the VAC, authorized last August by the Council of Ministers, is still awaiting finalization and aims to produce 394 vehicles in its initial phase.
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VCR 8x8 Dragon, developed by the Spanish consortium TESS-Defence, is an advanced wheeled armored combat vehicle. (Picture source: Army Recognition)


The VCR 8x8 Dragon, developed by the Spanish consortium TESS-Defence, is an advanced wheeled armored combat vehicle. It is designed to replace the aging fleet of armored vehicles currently in service. Coming from the Mowag Piranha V, the VCR 8x8 Dragon offers several technological advances and improved capabilities compared to its predecessors. One of its key features is its versatile 8x8 wheel configuration, which provides superior mobility and agility on various terrains. The vehicle can be armed with a 30mm cannon (or larger) and Spike anti-tank missiles, making it one of the most heavily armed infantry fighting vehicles in the Spanish Army. Additionally, the 8x8 Dragon VCR features advanced modular armor, allowing adaptability to different threat levels. It also provides the opportunity for future upgrades to the system, ensuring its long-term relevance on the modern battlefield.

The VAC, for its part, will be based on the Ascod platform from Santa Bárbara Sistemas. The vehicle will be available in different versions, including command post, personnel carrier, mortar carrier, anti-tank, ambulance, recovery and cargo. It will offer high protection against mines, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and specific caliber projectiles. According to the Spanish army's plans, the transition from the TOA M113 to the future VAC will be gradual and should be completed by 2035.

Although the main objective of these contracts is the production of military vehicles, it should be noted that they will also have an economic impact on the Asturias region. These programs are expected to increase revenues for local suppliers and create jobs in the region. However, these economic benefits are secondary to the main contracts, which are focused on the production of military vehicles.

These new vehicle programs represent a significant step forward for the Spanish Army, as they are intended to replace obsolete platforms such as the BMR-M1, VEC-M1, and M113. It is noteworthy that Spain also contributed to international defense efforts by supplying M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. These vehicles, previously used by the Spanish military, were delivered to Ukraine to support their ongoing defense initiatives. According to the plans of the Spanish Army, the transition from the TOA M113 to the future VAC will be gradual and should be completed by 2035. This gradual replacement highlights the importance of these new vehicles in modernizing and improving the combat capabilities of the Spanish army.


Santa Barbara Sistemas to begin production of VCR 8x8 Dragon and VAC vehicles for 2035 transition 925 002

TOA M113 APC to be replaced by the future tracked Vehículo de Apoyo de Cadenas (VAC) (Picture source: Spanish MoD)