The Emirate of Kuwait has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply it with twelve state-of-the-art armoured NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) reconnaissance vehicles, the 2 NBC-RS «Spürfuchs». Now binding, the order also includes comprehensive support in the form of training, service and spare parts. Delivery of the vehicle commences in 2017. An accompanying technical support agreement contract covers a period of five years, beginning as soon as the first Fuchs/Fox 2 NBC-RS vehicle enters service. The parties to the contract have agreed not to disclose the cost of the order.
The contractor is Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV). Rheinmetall holds a 51% share in the company, which was founded in 2010 and is located in Munich. The remaining 49% is held by MAN Truck & Bus. RMMV is a globally renowned supplier of military wheeled vehicles, with special expertise in the field of NBC reconnaissance technology.
As Pietro Borgo, Managing Director of RMMV and Member of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall Defence, explains, «This important order is a major vote of confidence by an Arab country in Rheinmetall, Europe’s leading supplier of army technology. We greatly appreciate this. By placing this order, Kuwait will soon possess NBC reconnaissance capabilities that are second to none. We are very pleased to be making a decisive contribution here».
The Fuchs/Fox 2 NBC-RS features a comprehensive, fully integrated suite of devices for identifying NBC warfare agents and other hazardous materials, built into a well-protected, high-mobility 6×6 armoured transport vehicle capable of operating in extreme terrain.
The outcome of a systematic development effort, the vehicles earmarked for Kuwait are the first to feature an additional biological detection capability. This constitutes another major technological advance, made possible thanks to Rheinmetall’s comprehensive, longstanding expertise in this field, in turn underpinning RMMV’s leading position in this segment of the market. When it comes to detecting biological threats, RMMV can supply users not only with the advanced Fuchs/Fox 2 NBC-RS, but – depending on their operational requirements – with a separate biological detection laboratory as well, mounted on the carrier platform of their choice.
Robust and resilient, the Fuchs/Fox wheeled armoured transport vehicle has proven highly effective in crisis regions around the world, with over 1,200 built. Of these, nearly 300 have been configured for NBC reconnaissance operations, performing a vital role in the German Bundeswehr, the US Army and the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Saudi Arabia.
In addition, the NBC defence forces of Germany, Switzerland and Sweden all have Rheinmetall-made mobile NBC field laboratories in their inventories, which can be transported to the area of operations by road, rail, sea or air. Around the world, these field laboratories have done an excellent job of identifying radiological, biological and chemical hazards.
In the civil defence realm, Rheinmetall has supplied German fire brigades with 397 NBC detection vehicles. These systems help to make sure that German cities are as well prepared as possible to contend with such threats.
Widening its array of mobile NBC reconnaissance systems, in summer 2014 RMMV unveiled the new «CBRN Survivor R», a 4×4 vehicle jointly developed with Austrian vehicle-maker Achleitner, which features a built-in NBC recce kit.
Fox armoured wheeled vehicle
Foxes are cunning and fast. These attributes of Reynard the Fox are equally true for the versatile and proven armoured transport vehicle called Fox. Thanks to its shrewd design concept, the vehicle can be put to multiple uses. The Fox not only reaches maximum speeds of up to 100 km/h (6×6 drive configuration) but is also highly mobile in difficult terrain.
Already introduced in the 1970s, the Fox wheeled vehicle is today one of the most reliable «workhorses» of the Bundeswehr. The German forces will continue to use around 900 such vehicles in more than 30 different variants (with 16 variants of the 1A8) – many of them having the latest design configuration Fox 1A8 that incorporates modifications based on the experience acquired during many foreign missions. This is, for instance, reflected by the reinforced chassis and power train, high level of protection, new stowage box concept and integration of a remotely controllable weapons station. Although these systems increase the weight of the vehicle to around 20 tons, it has not lost any of its agility.
One particular variant of the Fox is especially well known internationally: the NBC reconnaissance Fox for the detection of nuclear, biological and chemical agents. 102 NBC reconnaissance vehicles are operated by the German NBC corps, 8 of them featuring the 1A8 design status. Great Britain presently has eleven NBC reconnaissance vehicles, Norway and the Netherlands each have six, Saudi Arabia 10 and the UAE 32 such vehicles.
Not only is the vehicle from Rheinmetall: the defence contractor is also responsible for the extensive integration and networking of the many different sensors on board. The vehicle is manned by four persons: the driver, commander, reconnaissance personnel 1 and 2. Numerous civilian forces likewise benefit from Rheinmetall’s expertise in the field of CBRNE defence (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives). For example, the fire department in North Rhine-Westphalia operates NBC reconnaissance vehicles with Rheinmetall technology.
The production «Fox-house» is in Kassel. In the former Henschel factory, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles today can today offer the systems needed for maintenance, service, modernization – and production of integrated systems including the related carrier vehicle. Thanks to the 2005 order from the United Arab Emirates to deliver 32 modern, fully integrated NBC reconnaissance systems, it was possible to develop the Fox 2 vehicle. The ongoing success of this vehicle demonstrates impressively just how successful the strategy has been. Currently, the first vehicles for Algeria are leaving the factory hall; the North African country will perform final assembly of the vehicles in its own production sites built especially for the purpose.
- Double-wheel sampling system – two silicone-coated wheels for the automatic detection (whilst moving) of persistent warfare agents and hazardous adhering to the ground.
- Standoff infrared detector capable of detecting volatile chemical substances in the air from a great distance.
- «NBC tail» including the tube magazine for transporting samples, the marker trap, glove opening and tongs for manual sampling.
- Mass spectrometer (behind the operator’s position) for chemical analysis of samples collected.
- Operator’s position with the Rheinmetall software «NBC Inspector» – the heart of the NBC kit in the Fox reconnaissance vehicle.
- Central computer system.
- FLW 200 remotely controllable weapon station – operated from the armoured interior as a means of self-defence.