November 1, 2012:
Portugal is trying to cancel part of its 2005 order for 260 Pandur II eight wheeled armored vehicles. These cost $1.76 million each and because the financial crises in Europe hit Portugal particularly hard, sharp cuts are being made in government spending. Armored vehicles that had been ordered but not delivered seemed to be an ideal candidate for cutting. The Portuguese Army would keep the 166 Pandurs already delivered but would cancel 74 not yet delivered. The navy was to receive 20 amphibious Pandurs and these would also be cancelled.
Pandur II can carry 14 passengers, weighs about 15 tons, and can carry up to three tons. It is smilar to the U.S. Stryker. Pandur II is 6.95 meters (21.5 feet) long and 2.85 meters (8.8 feet) wide. Top speed on roads is 100 kilometers an hour. The basic armor protects against 7.62mm bullets and shell fragments. Additional armor can be added to protect against larger machine-guns and RPGs. The vehicle has a turret that can mount anything from a 30mm auto-cannon to a 105mm gun. Portugal was replacing older armored personnel carriers (M113s) with the Pandurs but now some of the elderly M113s will remain in service or be replaced with trucks.