The German MoD has entered a framework contract with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) for delivery of up to 4,000 swap body systems, many of which will feature armoured driver’s cabs, the company announced on 18 June.
Running from 2021-2027, the contract represents around €2 billion in total sales volume for Rheinmetall. An initial tranche of 540 vehicles, valued at around €348 million has now been taken under contract. Of these, 230 vehicles will be protected. Delivery will start early next year, ensuring that the Bundeswehr has an adequate number of vehicles in 2023 when Germany takes over leadership of NATO’s spearhead, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).
The protected swap body systems enhance the survivability and sustainment capability of the Logistics Corps, as well as strengthening its tactical flexibility. Unlike the Unprotected Transport Vehicle (UTF), similarly supplied by RMMV, these systems will be predominately deployed in forward operating areas where, for instance, they will be used for supplying ammunition to frontline combat units such as artillery batteries.
Providing excellent off-road mobility, RMMV’s robust, all-terrain-capable HX 8x8 vehicles can be optionally fitted with a protected cab. Standard features include a hook loader developed by Hiab, which can quickly lift and set down the accompanying flat racks. In addition, the vehicles can accommodate an interchangeable platform or a container via standardized 20-foot ISO interfaces. Identical operator interfaces and a high degree of commonality and component uniformity with the UTF vehicle family facilitate training, operations and logistics. Owing to the significant reduction in training time for crewmembers and maintenance personnel, as well as the extensive commonality of spare parts and special tools, full use can be achieved faster – coupled with greater economic efficiency for procurement authorities and user alike.
Since the award of the 7-year UTF framework by the MoD in July 2017, 1,250 out of a total of 2,271 vehicles have already been shipped. Most of the principal components –engines, axles, transmissions and build-ons – are made in Germany; assembly of the vehicles takes place at the RMMV plant in Vienna. The current circle of user nations includes – among others – the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark. Norway and Sweden have also placed substantial truck orders with Rheinmetall.