Indonesian army to receive Pandur II Cobra IFVs

On April 12, 2019, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense issued PT Pindad a contract worth $ 80 million for the production of the first 22 Pandur II series 8x8 infantry fighting vehicles that received the Indonesian designation Cobra. The vehicles must be delivered to the Indonesian army within three years and will reportedly be equipped with the Israeli remote-controlled uninhabited combat module Elbit Systems U30MK.II, which Ares (Elbit Systems Brazilian) will supply with a Northrop Grumman Bushmaster Mk.44 30mm automatic gun and two 7.62mm machine guns.

Indonesian army to receive Pandur II Cobra APCs
Pandur II fitted with a remotely controlled uninhabited module Ares / Elbit Systems UT30MK.II armed with a 30mm Northrop Grumman Bushmaster Mk.44 automatic cannon and a paired 7.62mm machine gun, displayed under Pindad's brand name at IndoDefense 2018 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Four Pandur II vehicles were received by PT Pindad in 2017 from the Czechoslovak company Excalibur Army, which is part of the Excalibur Group (now called Czechoslovak Group - GSG). Excalibur, in 2015, acquired the license to manufacture the Pandur II armored vehicles from GDELS.

Initially, the Pandur II family in the 6x6 and 8x8 configurations was developed by the Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug, now part of the European division of General Dynamics Corporation as General Dynamics European Land Systems - Steyr (GDELS-Steyr). It was a further development of the previously produced – and very popular - Steyr-Daimler-Puch 6x6 armored personnel carrier.

In 2005-2006, the Pandur II family was ordered as a new generation of armored vehicles by the armed forces of Portugal and the Czech Republic, but the implementation of both contracts faced considerable difficulties and delays, and was accompanied by significant technical complaints from both armies. As a result, both contracts were reduced and even partially canceled. In 2015, General Dynamics actually turned off the marketing of Pandur II and sold the full rights on its vehicle to the Czech company Excalibur Army, which organized the assembly of the Pandur II IFVs at a specially created enterprise controlled by the CSG company: Tatra Defense Vehicle, in Kopřivnice. In fact, as can be seen, the machines to be assembled in the Czech Republic are obtained in the form of kits from the Steyr-Daimler-Puch enterprise in Vienna, and are only completed in Kopřívnice.

PT Pindad, in partnership with the Czechoslovak Group, is promoting the Pandur II 8x8 of the Indonesian army in several versions. In 2017, PT Pindad received four units of the Pandur II from the Czech Republic, and fitted them with an armament: two Pandur IIs were equipped with remote-controlled Ares REMAX (Elbit Systems) combat modules armed with 12.7-mm machine guns, one vehicle was equipped with an Elbit Systems uninhabited combat module / Ares UT30MK.II with a Bushmaster Mk 44 30mm cannon (this vehicle was demonstrated at IndoDefense 2018, in November 2018) and one non-floating vehicle was armed with a Belgian CMI Defense CMI-3105HP turret (Cockerill Series 3000) with a 105mm cannon ( a similar turret is mounted on a Turkish-designed FNSS Kaplan/Harimau medium tank).

Apparently, the Brazilian branch as a mediator of Elbit Systems was needed by the Indonesian side in order to avoid delicate questions about the direct cooperation of the "Muslim" country with the Israelis.

Previously, PT Pindad stated that the Indonesian army plans to purchase 250 units of the Pandur II (Cobra).