John Cockerill has been considering the Spanish market as a priority in its activities since 2018 and has therefore founded the subsidiary John Cockerill Defense Spain. This company is interested in the Army’s 8×8 VCR (Land Combat Vehicle) program, for which it offers its modular turret, although it is also interested in the program designed to use an 8×8 vehicle with a 105 or 120 -mm tower supply. for the marine infantry.
The international group has set up a production plant in Aragn with which it can meet possible inquiries from the Spanish armed forces and from third markets. John Cockerill has also entered into various industrial and technological collaboration agreements with national companies involved in the supply of components and subsystems for the VCR program and others abroad, in the case of Latin America, where it has been well established for years.
John Cockerill has presented a tower in Spain that is adapted to the requirements of the kite and is called Van Halen Edition. Although others have already been selected for evaluation as part of the technology programs phase, John Cockerill Defense Spain has made himself available to the Ministry of Defense and the Spanish Armed Forces to provide timely and timely delivery of the requested questions. The company believes that their proposal will be free of technological risks, have optimal life cycle value, and be available in a short period of time.
It is worth highlighting the fact that in the last four years more than 700 towers have been manufactured with certified and operational models and an industrial proposal already submitted to the Ministry of Defense, which includes manufacture in Spain at the plant in Aragon and collaboration with local partners., like SDLE and others. John Cockerill Spain also believes that the manufacturing phase should require a reassessment of the towers, regardless of the one carried out for the technology programs, and also offers to work with the Spanish companies that make up Tess Defense.
In addition, it defends the essential European component of its proposal and, at the request of the client, opens up the possibility of working with companies already in the production phase or integrating national teams in order to increase the Spanish contribution to its industrial plan. This includes manufacturing in our country, national supply chain, changes and specific requirements for compliance with specifications carried out in Spain and life cycle support, the supply of industrial materials and the creation of jobs.
A production facility in Zaragoza
After an in-depth study to find the most suitable location, John Cockerill Defense Spain selected Aragn to build its production line. The chosen location combines the advantages of easy access by different means of transport, the proximity of numerous suppliers and the Aragn Technological Institute with which it works, as well as the armed forces firing range in San Gregorio.
The available surface is perfectly adapted to the concept of a tailor-made production line, which can be adapted to the needs of the national customer or for export in terms of the number of units and variants to be produced, as well as the production rate. The construction line takes four months to deploy, and a few more to adapt it to army requirements. This line and its manufacturing processes have already been tested, installed and certified in the European factories of John Cockerill Defense, where it is possible to produce up to one tower per day whenever the customer requests.
Photo: John Cokerill Defense Assembly Line
The management of around 3,000 parts of the tower is fully automated and computer-aided, which thanks to proximity logistics enables the entire assembly line to be prepared on a daily basis. Quality control is integrated into this assembly line and ensures that all steps are checked and authorized. This future facility is further evidence of John Cockerill Defense Spain’s commitment to not only supporting the army of tomorrow, but also contributing to the enrichment of the industrial base of defense technology in the country and working more broadly for a Spanish and European industry in defense reliably and long-term sustainable.
In response to the Spanish government’s desire to benefit from national technologies through the Dragn project, the technology transfer from John Cockerill Defense to John Cockerill Defense Spain was formalized at the same time as the installation of the subsidiary in Spain’s capital. Regardless of materials, components, products or systems, improvements or new developments, regardless of the profile of the partners, the company believes that developing the most suitable solution, both for Spain and for the rest of its customers, implies a process of co- Creation between the customer (in this case the army), the institutions (universities or specialized centers) and the industry, each offering a different but complementary added value.
In addition to the commissioning of the production facility in Aragn, a number of agreements were concluded with Spanish companies. In fact, during the FEINDEF show, John Cockerill presented the agreements he had made with Abengoa, SDLE and the Aragn Institute of Technology. The supply chain that supports this new facility already includes more than twenty suppliers and continues to grow as audits and certifications are carried out by specialists from John Cockerill Defense Spain. In the case of Star Defense Logistics & Engineering (SDLE), it is presented as a tower integration center and service provider within the integrated logistics support, spare parts, upgrades, training courses and the recipient of the company’s know-how. Maintenance up to the fourth level of Optronic systems and even the integration of your thermal imaging cameras is included.
Key points of John Cockerill’s projects with the Army
Customized production line, tested, installed and certified, can be used in Spain in four months and produces one tower per day.
National supply chain: Active in Spain for many years, with a network of certified suppliers.
Modular turret in use, the single hull of which can accommodate manned or remote 30 to 105 mm cannons.
Training and simulation capacity in own facilities or at the customer.
Own innovation capacity that Spanish associations already have in various projects.
Support throughout the entire life cycle, thanks in part to Maintenance 4.0.
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