Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and the Dutch procurement agency DMO (Defence Materiel Organisation) have signed a contract for the upgrading of 322 FENNEK vehicles. Delivery of the upgraded FENNEK systems will begin in 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2027. The MLU (Mid Life Update) order has a volume of over EUR 300 million and includes among others the integration of new observation and reconnaissance systems (BAA II NDL) and the integration of the C4I command and control system. The work is to be carried out at KMW in Germany as well as in the Netherlands, at the partner companies Van Halteren Defence and Nedinsco in cooperation with the army’s Material Stock Logistic Command (MatLogCo).
The LGS Fennek, named after the fennec (a species of small desert fox) is a four-wheeled armed reconnaissance vehicle produced by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems. The LGS being short for Leichter Gepanzerter Spähwagen in German (Light Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle). There are other variants in addition to the FENNEK recon vehicles, ranging from an engineering vehicle to an anti-tank version and even one for high-mobility anti-aircraft defence. What they all have in common is a high off-road ability thanks to the special drive concept and robust chassis design.
The Fennek has four wheels with selectable two or four wheel drive. It has a Deutz diesel engine producing 179 kW, giving it a top speed of 115 km/h. Tire pressure can be regulated by the driver from inside the vehicle to suit terrain conditions. The primary mission equipment is an observation package mounted on an extendable mast. Sensors include a thermal imager, daylight camera and a laser rangefinder. Combined with the vehicle’s GPS and inertial navigation system the operator can accurately mark targets or points of interest and pass that data to the digital battlefield network. The sensor head of the observation package can also be removed and mounted on a tripod for concealed operation.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a company belonging to the Franco-German defence technology group KNDS, is the market leader in Europe for heavily armoured wheel and tracked vehicles. This ranges from air-transportable and heavily armoured wheeled vehicles (MUNGO, AMPV, DINGO, GFF4 and BOXER) to reconnaissance air defence and artillery systems (FENNEK, GEPARD, remote controlled howitzer 155, self-propelled howitzer 2000, DONAR and AGM) to main battle tanks (LEOPARD 1 and 2), armoured infantry fighting vehicles (PUMA) and bridge-laying systems. The armed forces of more than 50 countries around the world rely on KMW deployment systems.