Telefónica, Indra and Oesía are competing for one of the most relevant contracts for the 8×8 Dragon , the new Spanish battle tank: the one relating to who will develop the technology for their communications.
As elEconomista has learned , these three companies have been chosen as finalists in this award, which is expected to be resolved in the coming days. The importance of this contract resides in the fact that defense decisions are increasingly being delegated to action units (teams on the ground), so the security of these communications is vital.
In this sense, unlike years ago when communication systems were analog and operated through waves, now a software-based radio technology has been developed, which works like a computer and also allows images or action orders to be sent .
However, to participate in the process, two of the three finalist companies go in consortium with a foreign partner: Telefónica participates together with the Israeli Elbit Systems, while Indra goes with the French Thales, which will be the ones to develop this technology. draft.
Something that, according to experts, could harm Spanish industry by creating a technological dependence on a third party instead of using the country’s resources, at a time when they want to give more weight to the Spanish industrial sector so that it arrives to the recommendations of 20% of the weight on the GDP set.
Specifically, experts point out that more than 400 new highly qualified jobs could be created in Spain with this project. But not only that, leaving this technology in foreign hands could condition the different actions of the Army based on the decisions of another country, as indicated.
The new battle tank
It should be remembered that the project to develop the future 8×8 Dragon Wheeled Combat Vehicles (VCR) has been on the table for years, as they came to replace the old BMR (Medium Armored Wheels), a vehicle to transport Spanish troops with a useful life of between 15 and 20 years, but some units have been used for almost 40 years. The new project will not only allow the Army to transport troops, but will also allow them to fight in situations that require it.
However, despite being raised for years, the different crises that have plagued the country have been delaying this project and it was not until last summer when the Ministry of Defense gave the green light to the manufacture of the 8×8 Dragon blades , which only the first phase will involve a disbursement of more than 2,100 million for the acquisition of 348 armored vehicles in 13 different configurations.
At that time, the head of the Defense portfolio, Margarita Robles, indicated that this was “a historic milestone”, since “it is essential for the Army”, in addition to representing a commitment to “well-equipped and well-equipped Armed Forces. prepared “. “This project is essential and fundamental, and we cannot conceive of a Europe with security and defense if it is not with industrial power,” Robles added during this speech.