Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), the German systems supplier for battle tanks and combat systems, and Defenture, the Dutch manufacturer of special-purpose vehicles, intend to enter into close strategic cooperation. A letter of intent (LoI) has already been signed by both companies. The background is the German Ministry of Defence’s plan to procure new airborne platforms to replace the vehicles of the airborne troops, some of which are more than 20 years old. The basis of the envisaged vehicle family is Defenture’s VECTOR, which has already been introduced in the Netherlands and has proven itself in operations. For the airborne platform project, this vehicle basis will be adapted to the new requirements.
In June 2021 the Bundestag approved the budget for the development of a new special operations vehicle family based on Defenture’s GRF platform, intended to replace the Aufklärungs- und Gefechtsfahrzeug (AGF) Serval of the Kommando Spezialkräfte. Budgets for an initial 49 vehicles have been approved, the total program requirements amount to 80 vehicles. Defenture will supply the Bundeswehr with four prototypes for trials and configuration optimalisations. The initial order consists of 26 vehicles in the reconnaissance/combat variant (AGF 2), 8 fire support vehicles with the M621 20 mm automatic cannon by Nexter and 15 general support vehicles (UFK).
The VECTOR (Versatile Expeditionary Commando Tactial Off Road) is a Dutch light all-terrain tactical vehicle, designed and developed by defence contractor Defenture for use with special operations forces. The providing a combination of high mobility and firepower with light armour. The vehicle can be transported as underslung as well as internal load with the CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter. To enable the vehicle to be transported inside the CH-47, the central ring mount can be collapsed through the use of several hinges while the weapon does not have to be dismounted. The ballistic packages are compliant with STANAG 4569 Level 1 and provides protection from 5.56×45mm NATO and 7.62 mm caliber munitions fired from a distance of 30 metres.
The VECTOR is powered by a 3,200 cc Steyr six-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 220 hp (160 kW) and 500 Nm of torque. The maximum speed is limited at 130 km/h, the 115 L fuel tank gives the VECTOR an operational range of 800 km The Steyr engine is linked to a ZF six-speed automatic transmission. The permanent four-wheel drive with three differentials, the optional four-wheel steering allows for a turning radius of 9 metres. The maximum payload capacity of the VECTOR is 1,440 kg, the curb weight is 3070 kg with a maximum vehicle weight of 4,700 kg. The VECTOR can wade through 75 cm of water.
Defenture BV is a Dutch military mobility solutions company, developing and producing light tactical vehicles for Special Operations Forces and Light Infantry. The innovation driven company is made up of a wide range of professionals, with a background in, and knowledge of the automotive and defence industries. Defenture as solution provider focuses on high mobile and safe design, assembly processes with local partners and full lifecycle support. It creates product solutions, in close cooperation with the best strategic partners, working interactively with military clients. Providing safety and mobility for military, law enforcement and specialist units carrying out demanding missions in challenging environments, a Defenture vehicle is built to be a mission winning asset.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG (KMW) is a defence company based in Munich, Germany. The company produces various types 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. 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.