GTD and Nexter Systems have signed a shareholder agreement under which a Spanish joint venture will be formed within the next few weeks. One of the main tasks of the new company will be to fulfil the contract for the Spanish "Vehiculo Blindado Ruedas 8x8" (VBR 8x8) programme to replace the existing BMR vehicle.
Ibersystems de Defensa will be a Spanish limited liability company owned jointly by Nexter Systems and GTD. Based in Barcelona, it will develop the Spanish variants, undertake final assembly of the local version of the VBCI and manage a network of suppliers throughout Spain and Portugal.
The first phase of the Spanish VBR 8x8 programme involves the acquisition of 300 vehicles at a cost in excess of €1 billion. This should be followed by a second acquisition phase. The first 300 vehicles will include 173 troop transports, 8 Command Posts and 119 cavalry fighting vehicles. The contract is due to be signed by the start of 2011 at the latest.