WARSAW, Poland ― The Romanian Ministry of Economy and General Dynamics European Land Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the manufacturer will make Piranha V armored fighting vehicles at Romania’s state-owned Bucharest Mechanical Factory.

Romanian Economy Minister Gheorghe Simon said in a statement that the contract to jointly build eight-wheel drive vehicles will contribute to the modernization of Romania’s defense industry.

Under the plan, the AFVs are to be supplied to the Romanian Land Forces. As part of its ongoing efforts to replace Soviet-designed gear with new vehicles, the country’s military is seeking an initial delivery of some 227 AFVs, the Economy Ministry said in a statement sent to local news agency Agerpres.

Based in Madrid, Spain, General Dynamics European Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics and operates production facilities located in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. The company says it has a workforce of more than 1,800 employees.

Headquartered in Romania’s capital, Bucharest Mechanical Factory is part of the country’s leading defense group Romarm. The holding was established in 2000 with the aim to integrate the Romanian state-owned defense industry.