The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has placed an order with Rheinmetall for 367 protected and unprotected logistic vehicles. This order is a further call-off from the framework contract for swap-body systems signed in June 2020. In addition to the vehicles, the order includes 1,830 swap-body platforms to serve as interchangeable load carriers. The call-off is worth around €285 million, including value added tax. Delivery of the vehicles is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2023.
In June 2020 the German military procurement agency, BAAINBw, concluded a 7-year framework agreement with Rheinmetall for the purchase of up to 4,000 swap-body vehicles, over 600 of which have been delivered to date. The new swap-body trucks join the successful Unprotected Transport Vehicles, or UTFs, expanding the Bundeswehr’s fleet of vehicles from the military HX family. The swap-body system’s principal item of equipment is the hook-loader. Developed by Hiab, it can lift and set down swap-body platforms in the Bundeswehr inventory in virtually any type of terrain, with no need for additional cargo-handling equipment. As an alternative, the vehicles can carry a swap-body platform or a container via a standardized 20-foot ISO interface.
“With the call-off of a further 367 swap-body systems, we’re very pleased to be making an important contribution to the Bundeswehr and the operational readiness of the agreed NATO Division 2025”, declares Michael Wittlinger, chairman of the board of management of Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH, the subsidiary in charge of producing the trucks. “The new call-off, coming one year after the key handover ceremony in May 2022, is a clear sign that the process of reequipping the German armed forces is making steady headway.”
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. Moreover, the widespread presence of the HX family offers major advantages in terms of interoperability and logistics, particularly during multinational deployments. At present, the circle of user nations includes, among other nations, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Hungary and Denmark. Together with the Bundeswehr and the armed forces of Germany’s partners, Rheinmetall is eager to continue writing the ongoing HX success story.