The US Army recently awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $55.8 million contract for the delivery of Armored Ground Mobility System heavy platform vehicles.
According to the contract announcement from late June, GDLS will deliver the vehicles from its Vienna, Austria, plant, and is expected to complete work under the contract by 2025.
While the US Army Contracting Command did not specify neither what units, or branch, would be the end user of the vehicles, nor the exact model of the vehicle, several hints point to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as the final customer.
The Pandur 6×6 Evolution (Evo) wheeled armored vehicles GDELS is already manufacturing for the Austrian armed forces fits the requirements of a request for information (RFI) released by USSOCOM to the industry in March 2020. Back then, the service said it was looking for a replacement for the Pandur I-based Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS), which has been in service with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) since 2000.
The RFI referred to the earmarked vehicle as the Joint Armored Ground Mobility System (JAGMS), indicating that the vehicle could also be purchased and operated by SEAL Team 6, who were reported to have occasionally used the original Pandur vehicles in Iraq.
The RFI stated that the preferred successor should be capable of transporting 9 to 10 soldiers, feature mine and ballistic protection, and be air-transportable in a C-130. The next-generation AGMS solution was also expected to offer a payload of over 2 tons and introduce increased situational awareness.
The timeline of the contract award also coincides with the timeframe initially provided by USSOCOM.
The modernized version of the Pandur MTPzUN, the Pandur Evo, has a crew of 11 soldiers, compared to 8 in the predecessor. It also has a significantly increased level of protection against mines and IED threats and a stronger engine. In Austrian service, the Evo is armed with a 12,7 mm machine gun.