The Bundeswehr is accelerating the renewal of its truck fleet with funds from the Corona economic stimulus package. Rheinmetall will deliver 150 HX2 trucks in the 5-tonne payload class with 6×6 chassis and 850 HX2 trucks in the 15-tonne payload class with 8×8 chassis. The contract-volume is €398m, with the trucks scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. This comes after the Defence and Budget Committees approved the bill necessary for investments from the stimulus package of over €100m on 7 October 2020.
A further 1,000 trucks can be called up from the current framework agreement with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) of 2017, which was designed for 2,271 vehicles, of which 1,870 trucks have already been ordered and over 1,000 are delivered. This will replace trucks whose procurement dates back in part to the 1970s.
In addition to the trucks, 1,850 swap bodies are also to be procured from the funds of the economic stimulus package for €48m. This will give the unprotected transport vehicles a body that can be replaced relatively easily, meaning troops can quickly use the trucks for different transport tasks. Under two contracts, 950 15-foot swap bodies and 900 20-foot swap bodies will be procured for use from 2022.
It was also announced that a further 401 trucks are to be procured from the existing framework contract at a later date and it is also foreseeable that more unprotected transport vehicles will be needed to fully cover mobility needs. The Bundeswehr estimates its further requirements in the coming years at around 300 trucks with a payload of five tonnes and around 3,000 trucks with a payload of 15 tonnes. These projects are also to be dealt with in parliament this year.
In addition, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support concluded a framework agreement with RMMV in June 2020 for the procurement of swap body systems for 4,000 protected and unprotected trucks in the 15-tonne payload class (ZLK) with a term of seven years. Interchangeable loader systems are trucks with removable load carriers (interchangeable loader platform), as known from the Mechanised Handling, Storage and Transport Integration (MULTI) truck. The load carriers can be loaded on the ground.
Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles’ (RMMV) robust, all-terrain HX2 8×8 vehicles are distinguished by their high degree of mobility, even off-road, and can optionally be equipped with a protected cab. The core equipment is the hook loader developed by Hiab, with which the associated interchangeable loader platforms (flatracks) can be quickly picked up and set down. In addition, the vehicles can also pick up a swap-body or container via the standardised 20-foot ISO interfaces.
The first tranche of 230 protected and 310 unprotected vehicles was called up when the framework agreement was signed. The contract volume is around €360m and by the end of 2022, the force is already expected to receive up to 75 protected and 90 unprotected swap body ZLK 15-ton trucks. The vehicles will thus be ready in time for deployment with NATO’s rapid reaction force, VJTF 2023 (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force).