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Armies Still ‘March on Their Stomachs’

Kärcher Futuretech Wins Bundeswehr Order

Kärcher Futuretech, the specialist in mobile supply systems, has won an order, valued at several hundred million Euros, to supply the Bundeswehr with up to 400 field kitchens over a performance period of 16 years, the company announced last month.

“This is the largest single order in the history of our company so far,” stated Hartmut Jenner, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG. “Mobile catering systems are still one of the core products Futuretech supplies, among others, to the German armed forces and other civil defence and disaster control organisations.”

One of the lessons reinforced by experience in expeditionary warfare over the last two decades has undoubtedly been the critical importance of logistics and the reliable transport and supply of quality food, water, ammunition and medical supplies. Drawing inspiration, perhaps, from the aphorism “an army marches on its stomach,” (history has still not decided definitively whether to ascribe the quote to Napoleon Bonaparte or Frederick the Great), the Bundeswehr intends to replace its TFK  250 field kitchens, which have been in service since the 1980s. Kärcher’s ‘field kitchen of the future’ will be characterised by high mobility and the flexibility to operate effectively in various climatic conditions and food regulatory environments.

Key requirements include an integrated drinking water supply, equipment for personal hygiene, waste-water treatment and waste collection, comprehensive equipment for food preparation, storage and refrigeration, as well as protection of the entire system against environmental influences. Like the previous TFK 250, the new field kitchen will be suitable for preparing meals for up to 250 individuals. The framework agreement initially requires the delivery of an initial system for technical, tactical and logistical testing by the Bundeswehr, in addition to an investigation of the system’s resilience in both high and low temperatures. 

Kärcher developed the TFK 250 for the Bundeswehr in the 1980s and achieved a record order in the following decade, which was a significant economic milestone in the company’s history. It allowed Kärcher to further develop its competence in the field of mobile supply systems and it has since sold over 4,000 field kitchens worldwide.

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