Rheinmetall announced on 13 December that the Bundeswher has placed an order for an initial 32 ELEFANT 2 semi-trailer tractors with the company. The first vehicle will be delivered in 2019 and the balance in 2020: the initial value is stated at approx. €28.5 million, but the options for a further 105 vehicles contained in the seven-year framework contract could boost the overall spend to €122 million. Following the Bundeswehr’s award in July 2017 of a major contract to Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles for unprotected transport vehicles (Ungeschützte Transportfahrzeuge, or UTF), the latest order is another major sales success for the company in Germany.
The ELEFANT 2 semi-trailer tractor is powered by an eight-cylinder, 680 HP diesel engine. This gives the high-mobility truck a maximum speed of 89 km/h and allows it to handle gradients of 60 percent. The technically permissible gross train weight is 139 tons. The ELEFANT 2 features the same driver’s cab as the UTF family of vehicles. If necessary, the cab can be exchanged for a protected version. Its equipment includes a Rotzler double winch, each with pulling strength of 20 tons.
Germany’s inventory of heavyweight military transport vehicles therefore continues to grow. The unprotected ELEFANT 2 complements the protected MAMMUT heavy-duty transporter, also supplied by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. This reinforces Germany’s ability to transport heavy combat vehicles – a key capability in light of the nation’s obligation in 2023 to furnish NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF 2023).