In cooperation with the Slovak company CSM Industry, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has unveiled a new high-mobility multipurpose excavator vehicle based on the HX 8×8. The new variant derives from RMMV’s tried-and-tested family of logistic vehicles, which are in service worldwide. It carries an UDS 214 excavator build-on, a proven system made by the crane and excavator maker CSM based in Tisovec, Slovakia. The HX 8×8 Excavator is specially designed for combat engineer operations and disaster relief missions. Able to pivot 360 degrees, the build-on features an extendable telescopic arm that attains a length of up 14.60 metres. It can use various tools: besides the excavator shovel, a hook or hydraulic drum cutter are possible. This universally deployable device can lift loads of up to 7.5 tons and can thus serve as an auxiliary crane. If desired, the excavator operator’s cab can be protected in accordance with common STANAG levels and fitted with a ventilation system.
Like RMMV’s entire HX family, the HX 8×8 is a military off-the-shelf vehicle designed to withstand the most gruelling military conditions, assuring excellent mobility even in the toughest terrain. When ready to operate, the basic version of the vehicle weighs 28 tons. Its MAN D2676 diesel engine generates an output of 387 kW or 540 hp, giving the HX 8×8 a top speed of 90 km/h. The vehicle can handle inclines of 60 percent and wade through water up to 1.5 metres deep. If desired, the HX 8×8 can be equipped with Rheinmetall’s protected Integrated Armoured Cabin (IAC) or prepared for its optional use. The vehicle can also be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station for self-defence.
Belonging to the HX family – of which more than 16,000 vehicles are now in service worldwide – offers advantages with respect to maintenance, repairs and training. Numerous NATO nations already own HX family trucks, resulting in synergy effects particularly during multinational operations. The HX 8×8 Excavator is another example of Rheinmetall cooperation with European and other international partners. Nor is this limited to technical teamwork. By cooperating with Rheinmetall, CSM stands to benefit from access to new export markets.
Moreover, the Düsseldorf-based technology enterprise offers Slovakia additional options for cooperating with local industry. One possibility would be the production of infantry fighting vehicles in the NATO country. This relates to an offer to Slovakia by Hungary to produce the state-of-the-art Lynx KF41 family of tracked armoured vehicles developed by Rheinmetall. The Lynx family is a compelling choice not only on account of its performance parameters. It also sets a new standard when it comes to defence cooperation between NATO member states and other partner nations. Hungary opted to procure the Lynx in 2021, with a large share of the vehicles to be manufactured in Hungary in cooperation with Rheinmetall. If neighbouring Slovakia, also a NATO member, choses the Lynx, a large share of its new fleet of vehicles would also be produced locally, meaning that it would benefit from far-reaching cooperation in the defence technology domain, resulting in greater value added as well as safeguarding and expanding the country’s defence technology capabilities.