Piranha V

Manufacturer: General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag GmbH  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  

Based on a pedigree of more than 9,000 vehicles, PIRANHA V will be the fifth-generation of a very well-proven and admired family of wheeled utility vehicles. It is being developed specifically to meet the UK’s FRES requirements. Its design will benefit from the long heritage of reliable and highly capable platforms that have grown to accommodate increased payloads and increased protection levels of up to 40 per cent over the last 20 years, without compromising reliability or performance. Our experience of managing weight growth gives us great confidence that we will accommodate the 30-year growth potential of 10-15 per cent required for FRES.

  • PIRANHA V has been designed specifically for the UK and will meet FRES requirements at IOC in 2012

  • PIRANHA V has greatly enhanced survivability, uniquely benefitting from direct experience of PIRANHA on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan

  • PIRANHA V will incorporate the most up-to-date survivability features, from base levels of protection and integrated mine-protected seats to the physical layout that will minimise the effects of secondary projectiles. PIRANHA V is designed to save soldiers’ lives

  • Our mobility solution will underpin the improved payload capability of PIRANHA V, offering the growth potential to accept additional survivability enhancements without significant compromise to performance

  • PIRANHA V can generate increased power to meet modern electrical demands, and has a power management system that will enable the effective use of additional survivability technologies as they become available for use. We can provide a Euro V emissions compliant vehicle.

  • PIRANHA V will have significant additional internal capacity over the existing fleet of vehicles. This will ease the burden on stowage and the carriage of supporting weaponry and materiel

  • The weight of PIRANHA V section vehicle at IOC, 26 tonnes, is well within the MoD’s weight envelope for the demands of rapid deployment in the A400M. This gives an additional 4 tonnes (up to 30 tonnes) payload without the need for increased power or structural modifications

  • PIRANHA V offers the greatest growth potential for capability upgrade of its class

The development of the Piranha V is being carried out by General Dynamics UK and Mowag of Switzerland (part of the General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems group). The manufacture of the first Piranha V prototype was to be completed by the end of 2008.

The main differences between the Piranha V vehicle and the current variants are: higher levels of protection, up-rated drive-train to cater for weight growth, greater internal volume, improved mobility, enhanced power and power management and a modern, open, electronic architecture.

Piranha V has significant additional internal capacity over the existing fleet of vehicles. The additional capacity will ease the burden on stowage and the carriage of supporting weaponry and materiel.

Assisted steering is provided on the two front pairs of wheels and the rear wheels. The wheels are fitted with run flat tyres, a central tyre inflation system and anti-lock braking. The pressure of each tyre is automatically controlled at 30-second intervals. The crew can set the tyre pressure to pre-selected pressures for metalled road, cross country, sandy terrain and for emergency operation, optimising the vehicle for ride and tactical mobility.

The vehicle has the capacity to generate increased electrical power on demand and has an integrated power management system. The power system will accommodate new systems and technologies which are currently under development.

The 28t gross weight meets the MoD's 30t weight envelope for rapid deployment in the A400M transport aircraft.

PIRANHA V was developed specifically for participation in the FRES tender. However this tender was cancelled, and veehicle not puted into service of the British army.

In April 2015, the vehicle was selected by the Danish Procurement and Logistics Organization (DALO) for acquisition in order to meet the requirements for an armored personnel carrier of the Royal Danish Army. The first seven pre-production vehicles that are made in the configuration of an infantry fighting vehicle (ICV) will pass through a comprehensive test program that will begin in the second half of 2017 and should be completed by the end of the year. After the successful completion of the test program, in early 2018, serial production will begin. According to the Danish Ministry of Defense, all Piranha V should be put into service by 2023.

In September 2015, the Spanish Ministry of Defense chose Piranha V as the base platform for its new VCR 8x8 (Vehículo de Combate sobre Ruedas), which should replace the outdated BMR armored vehicles. The program has an estimated value of 3,836.29 million euros, of which 1,587.6 million is actually the purchase of vehicles, and 2,248.68 is worth maintenance and modernization for 30 years. It is planned that the first five samples will go to the Spanish army in 2018, and the first stage of the program involves the purchase of 348 units out of a total of 1,000 vehicles. The program is led by a joint venture formed by the Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Indra and Sapa.

In September 2017, Piranha V was demonstrated at the DSEI as one of the pre-tenderers in the program for the British Army Mechanized Infantry Vehicle (MIV).


Piranha has already demonstrated a broad range of weapon systems mounted on the platform to suit mission requirements: e.g. 12.7mm, 25mm, 30mm or low-recoil 105mm guns, including Rheinmetall Landsysteme weapon station with 12.7mm gun and Delco Systems 25mm and 30mm turrets.


The Piranha V provides a greatly increased level of protection compared to the earlier Piranha variants. The improvements have benefited from direct experience of Piranha on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The internal and external physical layout of the vehicle, the integrated mine-protected seats and a range of other survivability features are incorporated into the design.

The Piranha designs incorporate shaped hull plates to optimise against blast, spacing in the add-on armour and surface coatings to minimise the thermal and radar signatures.

The modular armour system provides protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), 14.5mm armour-piercing rounds through 360° and 30mm armour piercing rounds across the 30° frontal arc. The hull provides protection against 8kg anti-tank mines.

Development work has been carried out for the integration of a hard-kill defensive aids suite (HK DAS) and protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on Piranha V.

The Piranha V has the capacity to generate increased power to enable the effective application of selected or developing survivability technologies as they become available, such as hard or soft-kill defensive aid systems or electric armour.

Command and control

The Piranha V and its predecessor the Piranha Evolution are fitted with the Bowman secure tactical digital communications system. The voice and data communications system does not require encoding and decoding. A global positioning system processor is integrated into each Bowman radio that updates all the other radios on the network. The system provides fast secure tactical digital communications and enhanced situational awareness with automatic location and navigation reporting.

The Piranha V has a fully integrated FRES utility vehicle electronic architecture. The architecture is integrated with the battle command integration programme (BCIP), local and on-board situational awareness suite, the health and usage monitoring system (HUMS), the collective protection systems (COLPRO) and the remote weapon station.


The vehicle is powered by an MTU 6V199 TE20 diesel engine, rated at 550hp, with a ZF 7HP 902 seven-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The vehicle meets European emissions standards.

The power-to-weight ratio is dependent on the mission configuration and combat weight of the vehicle and is approximately 20hp/t at 28t combat weight and with the TE20 550hp engine.

During the MoD's trials at Bovington in 2007, the power pack was removed, reinstalled and running in less than an hour in an ease-of-maintenance assessment. The Piranha engine can be test run off the platform before refit.


The cross-country mobility of the Piranha V is similar to that of a tracked vehicle. The vehicle's height adjustable hydropneumatic suspension system installed at each wheel station provides a more comfortable, faster and more fuel efficient ride for the crew. The front and rear suspensions have a vertical travel up to 320mm and 340mm.

The Piranha V has improved mobility compared to earlier variant Piranha vehicles. A smaller turning radius greatly contributes to mobility where there is restricted room to operate, such as in narrow streets in urban environments, in wooded areas or in narrow wadis. The turning radius of the Piranha V, which additionally has assisted steering on the rear wheels as well as the first two pairs of wheels, is 15m, which was demonstrated in the FRES trials in 2007.

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Piranha V quantities:
Country Qnt

Last Contracts:
Qnt Customer Value Add Date
(Close Date)
Unit cost
Jan 2018
(Dec 2027)
Apr 2017
(Dec 2028)
Dec 2015
(Dec 2018)
Dec 2015
(Dec 2023)
Average Unit Cost:

All contracts...

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