Romania becomes one of the first countries where the production of modern military equipment and hardware is located, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on March 15 at the signing ceremony of a joint venture agreement between Uzina Mecanica Bucharest (UMB) and General Dynamics European Land Systems Romania (GDELS Romania) on the production of Piranha armoured personnel carriers.
”We can witness the first consolidated joint venture between Uzina Mecanica Bucharest and GD Land System and MOWAG. It is very obvious that by this we can see a high degree of trust that our strategic partners are placing in our country in a special security context and that materialises in the transfer of know-how to the Romanian industry, to the Romanian economy. I was talking to those who were directly involved in this project and they told me that it must be a moment of pride, not only for the two companies but also for us, for the fact that Romania becomes one of the first countries where the production of modern military equipment and hardware is being localised.” said the Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
The prime minister pointed out that the value of the agreement is about 297 million euros, an amount of which about 55% -56% has so far been realised.
„It is the value that is specific to the first subsequent contract and (…) the development of the second subsequent contract ensues and, of course, the start of the process for the making of the other 133 carriers,” said Ciuca.
He added that UMB made important progress with its production of armoured personnel carriers that helped modernise the combat equipment of the Romanian Armed Forces.
„Before the start of this ceremony, I had the opportunity to go together with the management of the Bucharest Mechanical Plant and GDELS representatives to see what has been achieved and how the production of Piranha carriers has been integrated in Romania. The last time I was here was in 2019. On the production line there were two or three vehicles, today the line is at full capacity, and at the same time, 68 carriers have been successfully delivered since then. Two infantry battalions from Romania’s Land Forces now have modern combat equipment,” said Ciuca.
He also pointed out the importance of the contribution of other privately-owned companies operating in Romania to the completion of this project.
„I think it is very important to emphasise that along with UMB there are other privately-owned companies that actually contribute to the making of this product. We consider it important to say that Elmet has developed a facility at Magurele, where it has managed to design and produce the turret; that should be a source of joy and pride for us. At the same time, Pro Optica is a supplier of equipment for the entire carrier. And then there are CSR and Interactive that contribute to everything that means the communications parts and the integration of the information system management capacities. These are the parts that we wanted and that we see as possibly a catalyst for the revival of the Romanian defence industry,” added Ciuca.
The prime minister also sent a message to defence investors: „Romania has human resources, Romania has potential.”
„We ask each of those we spoke to understand that Romania has human resources, that Romania has potential and that Romania has a will that we must capitalise on and make fruitful so that we can align ourselves with everything that means the need for standards, as we pledged when we became members of the North Atlantic Alliance and members of the European Union and, of course, as we committed ourselves to the strategic partnerships we signed with our most important partners. Finally, I would like to thank all those who have supported and been involved in this project and assure them that the Romanian government supports and will continue to support such initiatives, which we all need,” added Ciuca.
Also attending the signing ceremony were Economy Minister Florin Spataru, and charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in Bucharest David Muniz.