Rheinmetall announced on 18 December it has signed a contract with the Federal Office for Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support (BAAINBw) to retrofit the German fleet of BERGEPANZER 3 (BPz3) armoured recovery vehicles (ARV) with battlefield recovery equipment.
The €30 million initiative, which is in response to changing operational requirements, involves all 69 ARVs being fitted with new battlefield recovery equipment (GFB) and universal transport platforms (UTP) in Kassel, where the vehicles will be integrated from 2019-2024. The contract also includes accessories and documentation.
The battlefield recovery equipment will be relocated from the front of the vehicle to the back, making it possible to safely tow disabled combat vehicles like the LEOPARD 2 tank in forward drive, removing them from the battlefield at high speed. Furthermore, the rear section of the modified version of the BPz3 will be fitted with a versatile universal transport platform, which can be used for carrying additional equipment for recovering other vehicles. Four BPz3s have already been fitted with GFB and UTP kits for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Two other vehicles, previously deployed by the Canadian Army in Afghanistan, have already undergone the same modification. The equipment has proven highly effective.