The Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise Rheinmetall AG has won a major follow-on order from the German Bundeswehr.
Under the contract, Rheinmetall will modernize ninety of the Bundeswehr’s longserving Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicles, significantly enhancing their overall performance level. The order is worth around €135 million (including value added tax). Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Koblenz awarded Rheinmetall the contract following a decision by the budget committee of the German Parliament to make the necessary funds available. Delivery of the vehicles is slated to start in 2017 and end in 2020.
In recent years Rheinmetall has already upgraded 177 Bundeswehr Fuchs/Fox vehicles to the latest 1A8 standard. Compared with previous versions, the 1A8 offers substantially greater resistance to landmines and improvised explosive devices, coupled with improved protection against ballistic threats.
The Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicle first entered service in the 1970s. With some 1,200 in service worldwide, it has won a well-earned reputation for dependability and off-road mobility, making it one of the most valued and versatile vehicles in the German inventory. It is currently being used in a number of international operations: MINUSMA in Mali, Resolute Support in Afghanistan and KFOR in Kosovo. The current upgrade will significantly expand the operational scope of these vehicles, whose many variants continue to make them indispensable for current and future Bundeswehr operations. The crew will benefit from improved survivability and various new technical features.
The current order underscores once again Rheinmetall’s role as a premium supplier of army equipment and one of the world’s foremost producers of military vehicles, making it a trusted partner of the Bundeswehr and the armed forces of numerous nations around the globe.
The Bundeswehr has already fielded multiple variants of the 1A8, including mobile command post and armoured personnel carrier versions, a field ambulance, an EOD vehicle as well as an NBC detection variant and the Route Clearing Package (RCP) operator vehicle used for neutralizing mines and improvised explosive devices.
Additional Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicles will now be reconfigured for command, APC and EOD roles, with an option for Joint Fire Support Coordination Team vehicles. This will bring the total number of 1A8 Fuchs/Fox vehicles deployed by the Bundeswehr to 267. Among the principal modifications characterizing the Fuchs/Fox 1A8 armoured transport vehicle are: structural alteration of the hull; new seats and suspended seating in the fighting compartment to keep soldiers’ feet safely off the floor of the hull; reinforcement of the wheel housings, doors and window mountings; and additional storage bins and reinforcement of the vehicle exterior.