Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The Czech Republic signed off on an $82 million contract with Tatra Defense Vehicles for the procurement of 20 more Steyr Pandur II trucks.
Under the agreement, the company will provide six Pandur vehicles fitted as command-and-control trucks and another 14 vehicles configured as communications platforms. IHS Janes reports government officials initially agreed to buy 20 of the 8x8 trucks in 2015, but that procurement schedules delayed the order.
The deal is the latest effort by the Czech Republic to bolster its armored vehicle fleet, which already includes 107 Pandurs. The country's defense ministry expects deliveries to continue until May 2017.
"The [increased procurement] price was reviewed by two independent court-appointed experts who ruled that the current price reflects the technological upgrades incorporated into the new vehicles," the Czech Republic's deputy defense minister Daniel Kostoval told reporters on Jan. 30.
The Pandur II 8x8 armored vehicle is an updated all-wheel drive version of the Pandur 6x6 armored personnel carrier. Additional operators include Austria, Indonesia and Portrugal.
The Czech Republic began receiving Tatra trucks with updated design modifications between 2008 and 2009. The country is procuring the trucks to replace aging vehicles still in service with its armed forces.
According to Czech defense leadership, the Tatra trucks come equipped with time-tested chassis, which allow for additional modifications.