Nearly two years ago, the Czech Republic agreed to buy 199 Pandur II
vehicles from General Dynamics (via its Austrian subsidiary,
Steyr-Daimler-Puch), for about $1.1 billion. Now they have cancelled the
contract. The 15 ton vehicle is similar to the U.S. Army Stryker, and cost
about $4 million each. The first 17
vehicles were to be delivered in six months, and the Czechs said progress on
this was insufficient, and used that as a reason to back out of the deal. There
were also political factors, the main one being a new party in charge of the
government now. The new crew believes a different vehicle design was needed.
The Pandurs are eight wheel vehicles, and the current thinking is that four and
six wheel models would be more suitable.
The Pandur vehicles were to replace Cold War era OT-64s (13 ton wheeled
armored vehicles), which are also similar to the Pandur, but pretty much worn
out by now. The Czech Pandurs would be,
like the Stryker, equipped with better electronics, and things like remote