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The Bundeswehr is accelerating the renewal of its truck fleet with funds from the Corona economic stimulus package. On October 7, 2020, the Defense and Budget Committees of the German Bundestag approved the Federal Government's application to provide funds for the procurement of vehicles from the economic stimulus package to alleviate the consequences of the coronavirus. A further 1,000 trucks can now be called up from the current framework agreement with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) from 2017. For 398 million euros, 150 HX2 trucks in load class 5 to with 6 × 6 chassis and 850 HX2 trucks in load class 15 to with 8 × 8 chassis are being delivered. The trucks are scheduled to arrive in 2021 and 2022.

The 2017 framework agreement is for 2,271 vehicles, 1,870 of which have already been ordered and over 1,000 have been delivered. This will replace trucks, some of which were procured as far back as the 1970s.

In addition to the trucks, 1,850 swap bodies for 48 million euros are also to be procured from the economic stimulus package. The unprotected transport vehicles are given a structure that can be exchanged relatively easily. The troops can quickly use the trucks for various transport tasks. In two contracts, 950 swap bodies of 15 feet and 900 of 20 feet will be procured, which are to be used from 2022.

The defense administration plans to procure a further 401 trucks from the existing framework agreement. It is foreseeable that even more unprotected transport vehicles will be needed to fully cover mobility needs. The Bundeswehr estimates that it will need around 300 trucks with a five-ton load and around 3,000 trucks with a 15-ton load in the coming years. These projects are to be dealt with in parliament this year.

In addition, the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr signed a framework agreement in June 2020 for the procurement of swap body systems for 4,000 protected and unprotected trucks in the 15-ton load class with a term of seven years. Swap body systems are trucks with removable load carriers (swap body), as they are known from the MULTI truck (Mechanized Handling, Storage and Transport Integration). The load carriers can be loaded on the ground.

The robust and all-terrain HX2 8 × 8 vehicles from Rheinmetall are characterized by high mobility, even off-road, and can optionally be equipped with a protected cabin. The core equipment is the hook loading device developed by Hiab, with which the associated swap bodies (flat racks) can be quickly picked up and set down. In addition, the vehicles can also accommodate a swap body or a container via the standardized 20-foot ISO interfaces.

The first tranche of 230 protected and 310 unprotected vehicles was called when the framework agreement was signed. The contract volume is around 360 million euros. By the end of 2022, the force is to receive up to 75 protected and 90 unprotected trucks WLS ZLK 15 tons. The vehicles are ready in time for use by the NATO spearhead, the VJTF 2023 (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force).

Gerhard Heiming