Spanish Ministry of Defense advances in VCR 8x8 Dragón program

On October 9, 2023, the Spanish Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, accompanied by Secretary of State for Defense Amparo Valcarce and Chief of the Army Staff General Amador Enseñat, visited the Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) factory in Alcalá de Guadaíra, Seville, to oversee the VCR 8x8 Dragón program's advancements, which is a critical initiative aimed at modernizing the Spanish Army.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
The VCR 8x8 Dragón is derived from the Swiss Mowag Piranha V APC (Picture source: Spanish MoD)

The program has been allocated a substantial budget, with €148 million already disbursed out of a total of €2.5 billion. The production of the initial batch of 348 vehicles commenced in 2022, and negotiations are underway between the Ministry of Defense and Tess Defence to potentially reconfigure the delivery schedule for the first 34 units.

The VCR 8x8 Dragón, developed by the Spanish consortium TESS-Defence, is a wheeled armored combat vehicle designed to replace the aging fleet of armored vehicles in service. Derived from the Mowag Piranha V, the VCR 8x8 Dragón offers several technological advancements and enhanced capabilities over its predecessors.

One of the key features of the VCR 8x8 Dragón is its 8x8 configuration, providing mobility and agility on various terrains, enabling effective operations in diverse combat scenarios. The vehicle's armament variants include a 30mm (or larger) cannon and anti-tank Spike missiles, providing increased protection for infantry forces during operations.

Furthermore, the VCR 8x8 Dragón features modular armor, allowing for adaptability to different threat levels. It can be equipped with reactive armor, as well as additional cage armor to counter rocket-propelled grenades. While the presence of a V-shaped hull for mine protection has not been specified, the vehicle's enhanced armor provides improved crew survivability and ensures a higher level of protection.

In terms of technological advancements, the VCR 8x8 Dragón offers the capability for future system upgrades and integration of new equipment throughout its operational life. This flexibility enables the vehicle to adapt to evolving battlefield requirements and ensures its long-term relevance on the modern battlefield.

The VCR 8x8 Dragón program represents an advancement for the Spanish Army, as it replaces older platforms such as the BMR-M1, VEC-M1, and M113. Spain has also supplied M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, previously used by the Spanish Army, to support their ongoing defense initiatives. Additionally, one of the three Spanish BMR-600 VRAC built was spotted in Ukraine as a medevac vehicle.

As production progresses and negotiations continue to fine-tune the delivery schedule, the Spanish Ministry of Defense remains committed to the successful implementation of the VCR 8x8 Dragón program. With its features, mobility, and firepower, the VCR 8x8 Dragón is poised to become an asset for the Spanish Army, ensuring its readiness and effectiveness in future operations.