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EcoMin Tudose met representatives of Rheinmetall to discuss development and production of an 8x8 armored personnel carrier

Minister of Economy Mihai Tudose and representatives of the Dusseldorf-based military vehicle manufacturer Rheinmetall discussed on Thursday the stage of the implementation of the cooperation agreement for the development and production of an 8x8 armored personnel carrier, one of the solutions considered being the establishment of a dedicated joint venture, the Ministry of Economy announced. 

According to the cited source, the agreement provides for the development of technology and transfer of know-how for the construction of a new type of superior mobility carrier with amphibious capability; the final product will be the result of joint German and Romanian technology harnessed at the Moreni Automechanical Plant (Dambovita County). 

As regards the establishment of a joint venture, the statement reads that "an important part of the discussion focused on the need to have Romanian companies participating under conditions of competitiveness in the final integration of the product. The German side assured that if the project is implemented, it will respect this requirement of the Romanian side. Minister of Economy Mihai Tudose told Rheinmetall Manager for Romania Martin Rill that he further supports the project, just as he stated during his visit to the Moreni plant earlier this month. The Ministry of Economy will keep monitoring the approaches whereby an amphibious armored personnel carrier of the latest generation, manufactured in Romania, will be set at the disposal of the Romanian Army and other interested customers." 

The first 8x8 armored personnel carriers (APCs) for the Romanian Land Forces are expected in Romania in 2018, with their integration with the national industry to be identified later on, Defence Minister Gabriel Les said in late March during a working visit to Targoviste. 

"It is quite possible that the first APCs will start coming in next year. We will seek a manner in which to integrate them with the national industry. At least in the first stage, they will be assembled in Romania on a special assembly line. As I was telling you previously, acquiring the technology as soon as possible is very important to us," DefMin Les said back then, adding that the type of APC to be built is in line with the current NATO operation requirements, designed by the land forces. 

"We are talking about protection made up of at least three plus cannons of at least 30 mm in diameter and other matters that in the end have to do with Army endowment," said Les. 

Economy Minister Mihai Tudose said on the same occasion there are at least two large defence companies interested in entering a partnership with Romania for the implementation of a project for the building of the 8x8 armored fighting vehicle, naming in this sense Rheinmetall and General Dynamics.