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Speeches and articles

Ambassador Polt's Remarks at General Dynamics Reception

March 6, 2012
Photo: U.S. Embassy

Photo: U.S. Embassy

General Dynamic’s Piranha III Fighting Vehicle (Photo: U.S. Embassy)

General Dynamic’s Piranha III Fighting Vehicle (Photo: U.S. Embassy)

•  Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to our literal roll-out of General Dynamic’s Piranha III Fighting Vehicle in Tallinn.  I trust you have all had an opportunity to check out that mobile center piece that is just outside my gates today.

• As NATO allies, the U.S. and Estonia share a keen common interest in efficient interoperability in Alliance military equipment. 

• General Dynamics is one of America’s most trusted manufacturers of top quality defense machinery, and a major player in the global defense market.  Their equipment is in use by virtually all NATO members, including the U.S., today.     

• General Dynamics was founded in 1952 as a naval construction firm and has grown into one of our nation’s largest companies. 

• There are reasons that a company can, in the span of 60 short years, obtain a global reach, employ more than 95,000 people, and boast of yearly revenues in excess of 25 billion euros— through quality and innovation.

• General Dynamics is recognized the world over as an industry leader. 

• Their products including land systems, artillery, communications and naval and aerospace technologies, helping to  ensure that our nations’ forces are the most well-equipped and battle ready in today’s dangerous and oft-lethal world. 

• Whether actively engaged in combat or helping to keep the peace in any corner of the globe, the least we can do for those from whom we ask so much, is ensure that they are equipped with the best materials and equipment available.

• Thus, it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome the demonstration of General Dynamics PIRANHA 3 here in Estonia. 

• This is the first time that General Dynamics has been actively engaged in Estonia and we have one question for you—why did it take so long?  I trust this is the beginning of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. 

• I understand that General Dynamics plans on establishing a lasting presence on the ground here in Estonia—they of course hope to sell GD products, but this is not a company that views the sale of any product as a onetime event.

• I know that GD prides itself on long term relationship building and I know that they and their reputation are only as strong as their products and their support system. 

• I have had an opportunity to look at the Piranha III, and it is impressive indeed. It was conceived, developed and constructed by General Dynamics European Land Systems at its facilities in SwitzerIand.

• In fact, I actually drove an earlier version of the Piranha during my assignment as U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Switzerland in the mid 1990’s – through mud lakes and over steep inclines and other barriers.  Most fun I have had on wheels –ever!

• The Piranha will be on the ground here in Estonia for three weeks. During this time it will tested by the Estonian Defense Forces as well as by military professionals at the Baltic Defense College. I also understand that representatives of several neighboring states will have an opportunity to examine its capabilities.

• Now, for a much more expert introduction to GD and its products, allow me to introduce Mr. Lars Bruehlmann, Director of Sales and Marketing for Europe at General Dynamics European Land Systems.  Lars.