The Spanish Ministry of Defense has chosen the Guardian turret of Spanish company Escrabino as the remote-controlled weapon station for the Spanish Army's 8x8 Dragon wheeled combat vehicles.
The Spanish website Infodefensa reported that 219 Dragon vehicles of various variants will be equipped with the Guardian turret, which includes a 30mm cannon, under a deal valued at about 200 million euros. The budget for the turrets (together with the budget for the communications systems of the vehicles) is separate from the general budget of 2.1 billion euros allocated last year by the Defense Ministry for the supply of the first 348 Dragon vehicles to the Army. According to the website, Escribano's weapon station was selected over that of Pap Tecnos, a Spanish subsidiary of Rafael, and that of a joint venture of Elbit with Spanish companies Navantia and Expal.
The main weapon of the Guardian turret is the 30 mm MK44S cannon that can be adapted to 40 mm caliber rounds. It also has a 7.62 mm machine gun and two OTEOS electro-optical systems developed by Escribano, the report said.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense has yet to specify the reasons for choosing the turret of the Spanish company, and therefore it is not known why neither of the Israeli companies with well-known, high-quality and combat-proven products were selected for the project.