In a strategic move to address the shortfall in its Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) fleet following the donation of 50 DINGO MRAP vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the German Army is set to enter into a framework agreement for the acquisition of 50 new Dingos, with a potential total order of up to 233 units. The ATF (Allschutz-Transport-Fahrzeug, all-protected transport vehicle) Dingo, a heavily armored MRAP infantry mobility vehicle developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), has been a vital asset for the German Army. Defense Archive reported that the framework agreement is on the verge of being signed in the coming weeks, and the funding for this replenishment initiative will be allocated by the budget committee of the Bundestag by the end of the next week. While the specific contract value remains undisclosed at the time of this article’s release, it is noteworthy that these funds will be drawn from a separate budget designated for Ukraine support and will not impact the regular defense budget.
The Dingo’s first prototype, known as Dingo 1, was introduced in 1995, and the initial production models entered service in 2000. Renowned for its formidable V-hull design, this vehicle is purpose-built to withstand a range of threats, including landmines, rifle fire, artillery fragments, and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) threats. ATF, which stands for Allschutz-Transport-Fahrzeug, translates to “all-protected transport vehicle” in German, aptly describing the Dingo’s capabilities. The vehicle takes its name from the Australian native dog, the dingo. The subsequent iteration, the Dingo 2, was introduced in late 2004 after successful trials conducted from November 2003 to May 2004. The Dingo 2 maintains the V-shaped hull and armored crew capsule design, offering enhanced protection against landmines, small arms fire, and artillery shell fragments. The vehicle features angled windows that deflect bullets and blasts, and its armor protection can be further augmented with add-on panels. The Dingo 2 is equipped with an NBC protection system, ensuring the safety of its occupants even in hazardous environments.
One of the notable features of the Dingo 2 is its remotely controlled weapon station, capable of mounting a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. This weapon station, used on the Fennek armored reconnaissance vehicle as well, is operated by a personnel viewing a monitor inside the vehicle. The Bundeswehr ordered a significant number of fully remote-controlled weapons stations from KMW in 2008, designed for deployment on the Dingo and other armored vehicles. These include the light FLW 100, compatible with the MG3 or the Heckler & Koch MG4, and the heavy FLW 200, suitable for the M3M .50 BMG or the HK GMG automatic grenade launcher. The Dingo 2 MRAP is based on an upgraded Unimog U5000 chassis, providing improved protection and greater payload compared to its predecessor. It is available in two versions with varying wheelbases, offering payload capacities of 3.5 tonnes and 4 tonnes.
The Dingo 2 boasts a modular design consisting of five key elements: chassis, protection cell, storage space, engine compartment, and a bottom mine blast deflector. This design approach enhances its protection capabilities while maintaining a lighter overall weight. The vehicle’s layered MEXAS armor and angled windows serve to deflect blasts and bullets, ensuring the safety of the crew. Furthermore, a tarpaulin is used over the back storage area to save weight. The Dingo 2 accommodates up to eight personnel, with the seating capacity depending on the chosen wheelbase. It is powered by a diesel engine generating 215 horsepower and is equipped with a central tire inflation system. While it does not have amphibious capabilities, the Dingo 2 can be airlifted by the C-130 Hercules or TRANSALL C-160 military transport aircraft, ensuring its versatility in various deployment scenarios.