Portuguese army deploys Pandur II armored vehicles in exercise Orion 2020
According to a picture of the Portuguese army found by Victor Barreira who simply re-published it on Opex Defence 360 Twitter account with only the technical data concerning the vehicle's armament, military exercise Orion 2020 is going on. In 2005, the Portuguese government signed a deal worth 364 million euros to acquire 260 Pandur II armored vehicles, with an option for further 33 worth 140 million euros, to equip the Portuguese Intervention Brigade of the Portuguese Army and the marines of the Portuguese Navy.
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The Pandur IFV variant is equipped with an SP30 manned turret armed with a 30mm MK30-2 automatic cannon, two 7.62mm MAG58 machine guns and eight 76mm smoke grenade launchers (Picture source : Portuguese army)
Before Portugal's purchase there were only few prototypes of Pandur II. The sale of Pandur II to Portugal included an associated offset agreement for a value of 516 million euro. The methodology of the selection process was officially based on four main characteristics of the bidder's offers: 1) cost; 2) technical requirements; 3) offset proposal; 4) delivery schedule. The first 41 Pandur IIs were manufactured in Austria, the further 219 were being manufactured by Fabrequipa in Portugal.
The Pandur II for the Portuguese Army is fitted with Steyr add-on armour that provides Level 4 protection according to STANAG 4569. The vehicles for the marines are equipped with Level 3 armour. However, Portuguese army did not accept the quality of the Pandur II and keep only 120 Pandurs in Portugal.