The first Bionix 25 production vehicles were completed in September 1997 and, under the phase 1 production contract awarded to STA, production will continue until 2001. While no details of the quantity have been released, it is understood that the order is for at least 300 vehicles and is valued at around US$596.5 million.
Two main variants of the Bionix infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) are in production and service with the armed forces - the Bionix 25 and Bionix 40/50.The former fitted with a two person turret, armed with the combat proven Boeing 25mm M242 Chain Gun; the 40/50 has a latest version of the CIS 40/50 Cupola station, which has been built in large numbers for the M113 upgrade.
The layout of the Bionix is conventional with the driver at the front left, the power pack situated at the front right and the turret in the center with the troop compartment at the rear. The driver enters via a roof hatch that opens to the left rear. When driving closed-down, observation is via three day periscopes, while the center periscope can be rapidly replaced by an image-intensification periscope for driving at night. The driver guides the vehicle using a small steering wheel rather than tillers and, as an automatic transmission is fitted, there are just two pedals - accelerator and brake. The instrument panel is mounted on the left, with the transmission selection box on the right.SOURCE