Historical BMP was just removed to make space for a new production hall in Šternberk
After four decades, on Friday 6th October 2023, the BMP-1 memorial vacated its position on the EA premises in Sternberk, making room for the development of a new production hall, planned to be finished by the end of 2024.
Let's turn back the clock to the 1980s, when VOP-026 underwent a significant change in business focus. Alongside fixing infantry fighting vehicles, the company also invested in building new facilities and technology. This development spurred the former management to install a modern vehicle, as a representation of their new era.
In 1983, to mark the 30th anniversary of the repair plant, the BVP-1 was installed by crane in its place in front of the main building. The ceremony was attended by Colonel Jaromír Machač, Deputy Chief of the 026 Repair Plant, and representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Soviet Army Command in Olomouc and the town of Šternberk. It was a vehicle that had been taken out of service due to excessive use and, with the approval of the Ministry of Defence at the time, was used for this symbolic purpose.
Before installation, the vehicle underwent partial repairs. The cannon was deactivated through welding of the breech wedge and the drive unit, comprising the engine and gearbox, was also removed. Following this specific renovation, the vehicle was mounted on a pedestal and served as a symbol and monument for the company.
Over the following decades, the BMP witnessed the further development of the company. Notable achievements include the renaming of the company to VOP-026 Šternberk, s.p., building a new paint shop, modernising the existing halls, renovating the reception with a new entrance, constructing assembly hall B80, and establishing the EA R&D centre.
This monument represents the core expertise of the company since the 1950s - repairing and renovating military vehicles - which the employees at the Sternberk facility have continued to maintain to this day. As the company grows and the needs of the market are monitored, it is important to think about the future. EXCALIBUR ARMY is a modern and prosperous company that will create dozens of new jobs thanks to the construction of the new hall. The construction work, which the landmark BMP had to make way for, starts these days.