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20 Oct 03. General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) has created a new business unit called General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems, based in Vienna, Austria. The unit is composed of the three European land combat systems companies owned by General Dynamics: MOWAG AG, of Kreuzlingen, Switzerland; General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas, of Madrid, Spain; and Steyr Spezialfahrzeug, based in Vienna, Austria.

The new unit will be headed by Hans Michael Malzacher, 61, who was the managing director of Steyr Spezialfahrzeug from 1986 until General Dynamics acquired it on October 2. Malzacher will report to Arthur J. Veitch, executive vice president and group executive for the General Dynamics Combat Systems business group.

There are no plans to move production or change employment levels as a result of this reorganization.

“Bringing together these three exceptional companies will enable us to multiply the strength and momentum of each as leaders of their respective markets, to better serve their customers and more competitively pursue land combat systems opportunities around the world,” said Veitch. “Michael Malzacher has demonstrated his leadership abilities at Steyr, and will do an excellent job in coordinating these units to meet the challenges and opportunities provided by our customers.”

MOWAG AG, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, develops, designs and manufactures specialty vehicles for military applications. General Dynamics bought MOWAG as part of its acquisition of General Motors’ defense business in March, 2003. The designs for two of General Dynamics’ most popular armored combat vehicles – the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) and Stryker infantry carrier vehicle – are based on designs originally created by MOWAG.

General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas is a diverse manufacturer of armored vehicles, weapon systems and ammunition for the armed forces of Spain and other European nations. Among its products, Santa Barbara Sistemas produces tracked combat vehicles developed in cooperation with Steyr Spezialfahrzeug. General Dynamics acquired Santa Barbara Sistemas in July 2001.

Steyr Spezialfahrzeug developed the Pandur family of wheeled combat vehicles and began production in 1996. About 285 Pandur 6×6 wheeled armored vehicles are in service or on order worldwide. Steyr Spezialfahrzeug also makes the Ulan tracked infantry fighting vehicles and family of variants. Production of 112 Ulan vehicles for the Austrian Army is in progress, and 50 units have been fielded.

European Land Combat Systems will be part of the General Dynamics Combat Systems group, which also includes General Dynamics Land Systems, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.

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