November 10th, 2007
Pandur APC fails in test, supply to Czechs delayed info
Austrian APCs fail in tests, supply to Czechs delayed |
By ČTK / Published 8 November 2007
Prague, Nov 7 (CTK) - The supply of the Pandur APCs from the producer, Austrian firm Steyr, to the Czech military will be delayed as the APCs have failed to meet a quarter of the required criteria in the military tests, the Defence Ministry said Wednesday, adding that it is considering imposing sanctions on Steyr.
Pandurs' failure in the tests will prevent the first 17 vehicles from being supplied to the Czechs by end-November in accordance with the contract's deadline.
Steyr reacted to the information asserting it will hand the vehicles over by the deadline.
The Czech Defence Ministry is nonetheless considering imposing financial sanctions on Steyr or even withdrawing from the contract or its parts, deputy minister Jaroslav Kopriva told journalists during the meeting of the lower house defence committee today.
He said that the Pandurs had not met 24 of the 93 criteria set. The ministry has asked Steyr to remove the shortcomings.
Steyr has not at all reacted to its own failure to meet the contract conditions in time. Nor has Steyr announced by when it will be able to supply the Pandurs in an acceptable state, Kopriva said.
He said the ministry estimates the APCs final tests to start only in mid-January.
Steyr's PR official Jan Piskacek said the company would fulfil its commitments.
"In accordance with the deadline, the vehicles will be prepared for transfer by the end of November," Piskacek told CTK.
He said the shortcomings the vehicles suffer from when compared to the contract documents are only of a formal character. "Most of them have been redressed," he added.
Kopriva admitted that the supply's delay might endanger the Czech military's capability of action. Although the military does not plan to use the Pandurs in military missions abroad in the first months of 2008, it wanted to use them in training.
"Of course this [delay] is unpleasant, as the military is planning certain exercises and wanted soldiers to get acquainted with the new equipment," Kopriva said.
Kopriva would not specify the possible financial sanction Prague might impose on Steyr for the pending delay.
Steyr is expected to supply a total of 199 Pandurs worth more than 23 billion crowns to the Czech military. This is one of the biggest orders in the Czech military's history. The contract was signed by then Defence Minister Karel Kuehnl (Freedom Union-DEU) after the mid-2006 elections in spite of his party's failure to re-enter the Chamber of Deputies.
The Czech military is unlikely to receive the new lorries from the Czech producer Tatra in time either, Kopriva told the deputies today.
The tests of the T 180 lorries have been delayed and the first 27 vehicles thus cannot be supplied to the military by the deadline, which is also November 30, like in the case of the Pandurs.
Tatra could supply the first vehicles early next year, Kopriva said.
The Tatra company was not chosen in a tender but directly by the government in 2006. The order worth 2.6 billion crowns was signed by then Defence Minister Jiri Sedivy in December 2006.
Tatra is to supply 304 lorries in 2008 and 225 in 2009.
Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova today dismissed Jiri Martinek as the defence ministry's armament section that is in charge of large orders, including the purchase of APCs and lorries.
This story is from the Czech News Agency (ČTK).
They should've gone for our "Rosomak" or Patria AMVs.
Last edited by Venom PL; November 10th, 2007 at 08:17..