VCR Dragon 8×8 promises to be the basis of the future fleet of armored vehicles of the Spanish armed forces.
According to the plan, this wheeled armored vehicle will gradually replace the obsolete М113 tracked armored personnel carrier and the Pegaso VEC-M1 wheeled armored vehicle, which has served more than 40 years in the Spanish army and can no longer meet the modern requirements of technology and protection.
It is known that in December Tess Defense will deliver the first batch of seven VRC Dragon 8×8 wheeled combat vehicles to the Spanish army as part of the Fuerza 35 rearmament project. In August 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Defense signed a contract with a budget of more than 2 billion euros for the supply of 348 wheeled combat vehicles over the period of five years.
The VRC Dragon 8×8 wheeled combat vehicle is the Spanish localization of the Mowag Piranha V armored vehicle developed by the Swiss division of General Dynamics. The vehicle will be manufactured by a joint venture of Spanish defense contractors. The vehicle will be manufactured in 13 variants and the Spanish government could procure a total of 1,000 vehicles. The Piranha V has been modified with all national technologies as required by the Spanish Ministry of Defense.
Inheriting the technologies of Piranha V, VCR Dragon is designed in a modular form, with an 8×8 wheel configuration. Powered by Scania’s 620 hp DC 13 diesel engine, the 33-ton vehicle can reach a top speed of up to 100 km/h on the highway. This system provides unparalleled all-around protection, particularly in the wheel well area that has traditionally been vulnerable to IEDs on wheeled armored combat vehicles.
The Spanish version of the combat vehicle is provided with a combat module with a 30 mm automatic cannon, machine gun and anti-tank missiles. The vehicle is equipped with an additional 101 horsepower auxiliary power supply, which can power combat systems and modules when the engine is off.
The armor of the vehicle incorporates shaped hull plates to increase protection against explosion blast, spacing in the add-on armor, and surface coatings to minimize the thermal and radar signatures. According to the manufacturer, the armor of the VCR Dragon provides protection against RPGs, 14.5mm armor-piercing rounds through 360°, and 30mm armor-piercing rounds across the 30° frontal arc. The hull provides protection against 8kg anti-tank mines.