Underlying conditions for the security of Europe and elsewhere have changed dramatically in recent years, and the pace of change continues to accelerate, according to Dr. Jan-Phillipp Weisswange from Rheinmetall Defence. Briefing journalists in Berlin on 7 October, he pointed out that the combination of new forms of criminality, new terrorist threats, shortages of personnel and equipment are all contributing to an increased level of attention being paid to law enforcement and internal security forces. “Just yesterday a new border control force was established in Bulgaria. Personnel levels and budgets are on the rise everywhere – the division between internal and external security will become increasingly blurred and cooperation between police and armed forces will increase,” he said.
In response, Rheinmetall is exploiting the capabilities, technologies and experience from several areas of the company to offer a wide range of systems and equipment appropriate to what it sees as a growing and attractive market. The Vehicle Systems division, for example, offers chemical biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicles to fire services and first responders, leveraging the considerable experience the division has in military CBRN. Also on offer is the SURVIVOR R tactical vehicle for police use, providing very high mobility with high speed and more than adequate levels of protection for personnel.
The Weapons and Ammunition Division offers users a wide range of ballistic protection systems, ranging from personal protection for law enforcement professionals to armour kits for civilian and institutional vehicles. The former, developed in collaboration with Lindnerhof Taktik, is available in a wide range of designs and standards, since, as Weissange pointed out, “every customer has their own unique specification.” Obscurant systems and pyrotechnics for use on land, at sea and in the air also feature prominently in the company’s law enforcement offerings, ranging from non-lethal munitions to ‘flash bang’ grenades.
Surveillance equipment, low-light and night-vision systems and fire control units such as the VINGMATE MR from Rheinmetall’s Electronic Solutions division have attracted considerable interest from the internal security sector, according to Weissange. “It is true that operators are easier to convince than the administrative and procurement authorities,” he told the audience, “but we are making inroads into that.”
Rheinmetall has confidence that it has an integrated and complementary range of products and services that will secure it a continuing prominent role in the burgeoning law enforcement and internal security market.