Swiss Army to get GDELS Mowag Piranha IV engineering vehicles
The Swiss Defense Ministry has signed a contract with GDELS for the delivery of 60 engineering variants of the Piranha IV for the Swiss Army, as a replacement for the M113s that have been serving with the engineers in this role since 1963, Defense Brief reports. Switzerland expects to use this vehicle in the engineering vehicle role well into the 2050s.
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Piranha IV in engineering vehicle variant. (Picture source: Swiss Defense Ministry)
According to the Swiss Defense ministry, the contract is worth 360 million Swiss francs (approx. US$364M). The first vehicles will be delivered from 2026, as the M113 in engineering will reach the end of its service life in 2030. The Piranha IV engineering vehicles will be equipped with a weapon station, while various other systems to be procured will include 60 clearance shields, 24 manipulator arms and 12 minesweepers.
With this new procurement, the capabilities of the armored sappers will adapt to the current threats, in particular the changed conflict picture and the increasingly overbuilt terrain, the Defense Ministry said.
The Piranha IV is the fourth member of the Piranha family of armored vehicles and is being developed as a private venture by the Swiss MOWAG corporation (since 2003 part of General Dynamics European Land Systems).
Compared with earlier Piranha vehicles, the Piranha IV boasts a number of significant advantages including greater internal volume (12m3), higher payload, and improved mobility. In addition, it has a higher level of armor protection because of its modular armor package, which can be tailored to meet specific user requirements.
Standard equipment for the Piranha IV includes a digitized vehicle information system, height-adjustable semi-active hydropneumatic suspension, a central tire inflation system with run-flat cores, an anti-lock braking system and power steering on the front four wheels. Unlike earlier Piranha vehicles, the latest Piranha IV is not amphibious.
Just for reference, a Belgian army M113 in engineering variant, withdrawn from service for many years (Picture source: Army Recognition)