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Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has been commissioned by the Bundeswehr to provide a further 1,515 logistic vehicles, 265 of which are protected swap-body systems, the company announced on 12 June 2024.

The contract, another call-off from the framework agreement for swap-body systems (WLS) signed in June 2020, is worth over EUR 920 million and is largely financed by the Bundeswehr’s special fund.

In addition to the vehicles, Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) ordered 500 swap-body platforms to serve as interchangeable load carriers and 500 tarpaulin/roof bow setups. Delivery of the vehicles will take place in the second half of 2024 and will be completed by mid-November 2024.

“The extensive call-off from the framework contract, financed by the special fund, shows the high relevance of Bundeswehr logistics,” Michael Wittlinger, RMMV chairman, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “By delivering all vehicles by the end of 2024, the special fund is helping to directly equip and strengthen the logistical capabilities and sustainability of the armed forces.

“With over 4,000 vehicles delivered since 2018, our HX-series military trucks are now an essential component of the Bundeswehr’s logistical capabilities and underline the importance of Rheinmetall for logistics,” Wittlinger added.

The June 2020 framework contract agreed by the BAAINBw and Rheinmetall runs until 2027 and covers the delivery of up to 4,000 trucks with swap-body systems, of which 1,008 have already been delivered.

The swap-body trucks join RMMV’s successful programme supplying Unprotected Transport Vehicles (UTFs) to the Bundeswehr, expanding its fleet of vehicles from RMMV’s military HX family.

The swap-body system’s core equipment is the hook-loader developed by Hiab, which can lift and set down the swap-body carriers in the Bundeswehr in virtually any type of terrain with no need for additional handling equipment. As an alternative, the vehicles can carry a swap-body platform or a container via a standardised 20-foot ISO interface.

A large share of the swap-body trucks for the Bundeswehr will feature an armoured cab, substantially enhancing crew survivability and sustainment as well as the tactical flexibility of logistic units and formations. Swap-body trucks are used primarily for supplying combat formations with bulk consumables such as ammunition, fuel and water.

Both the swap-body systems and UTFs are based on Rheinmetall’s robust HX family of vehicles. Designed from the outset for military use, they assure excellent mobility even in rough terrain, according to RMMV. The widespread presence of the HX family also offers major advantages in terms of interoperability and logistics, particularly during multinational deployments, the company noted.

At present the HX family user nations beyond Germany include the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Hungary and Denmark.

RMMV is to supply the Bundeswehr with a further 1,515 logistic vehicles, 265 of which are protected swap-body systems, under another call-off from a framework agreement signed in June 2020. (Photo: RMMV)