First 8×8 Dragon WCV with anti-RPG hybrid armor went into production

MADRID, ($1=0.90 Euros) — The first barge of the 8×8 Dragon wheeled combat vehicle [WCV or VCR in Spanish] is now at the Santa Barbara Sistemas factory in Alcala de Guadaira [Seville] to continue its manufacturing process, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing InfoDefensa.com.

First 8x8 Dragon WCV with anti-RPG hybrid armor went into production
Photo credit: InfoDefensa

In these facilities, it will take place, specifically, the assembly of the systems. The barge comes from the factory in Trubia [Asturias] where welding, machining, painting, and final inspection work has been carried out. The 8×8 Dragon VCR program of the Ministry of Defense contemplates the delivery throughout the second half of this year of the first seven vehicles of a total of 349 to modernize the Army’s armored fleet.

In mid-December, the SBS Trubia facility began production of the vehicles. Tess Defence made up of Santa Barbara Sistemas, Indra, Sapa Placencia, and Escribano is responsible for supplying a batch of 349 8×8 VCRs for a total amount of 2.1B euros. The forecast is that the first deliveries will take place in the second half of this year.

Hybrid Slat Fence armor

The Israeli company Plasan will provide an advanced armor package for the new wheeled combat vehicle Dragon 8×8 [WCV or VCR in Spanish] to the Spanish army, as we reported in February.

The company has announced a contract with Tess Defense, the company that runs the program, to supply a modular and light anti-missile and an anti-grenade system called Hybrid Slat Fence [HSF], and will also provide armor with a mine protection solution and an improvised explosive device [IED] for the lower and side parts of the vehicle, with the corresponding energy-absorbing seats for soldiers. Hybrid SlatFence [HSF] is a lightweight flexible composite bar armour that uses unique technology to protect against even the newest RPGs, which feature an insulation layer between the cones.

Plasan solutions not only protect the vehicle and the teams that equip it, but also ensure optimized survival of the crew members by forming several layers of protection. The Israeli company protects the lower body by absorbing the energy of the explosion and stopping fragments of high-speed ammunition, including protection from floating floors and belly deflectors.

The floating floor is a solution attached to the walls of the vehicle that minimizes damage and injury by isolating the crew’s feet from the floor of the vehicle, forming a buffer against the explosive impact.

Cooperation between the Spanish army and Tess

Tess Defense, created in mid-2020 for this program, aspires to become a benchmark in the land segment of the Spanish defense industry, to lead other Army programs in the long term, and to be present in international projects.

Nissan might service Spanish Dragon 8x8 combat vehicles
Photo credit: Defense Express

The Army and Tess have already set up the support office for the life cycle of the 8×8 VCR in parallel, as reported by Infodefensa.com. This entity will play a key role in the maintenance of the armor. It should not be forgotten that the cost of the program rises to 3,8B euros if one takes into account, in addition to the purchase, maintenance, according to estimates.

At the end of January, the Army presented in London the mobility, protection, liaison, and combat power capabilities of its new VCR 8×8 in a few days. This vehicle will be the backbone of Force 35, an ambitious project that works on the design of the future brigade.

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