Rheinmetall Details Performance Upgrades
Rheinmetall unveiled a new, high-roof, variant of the FUCHS/FOX 6×6 armoured transport on 14 October.
Designed for maximum mobility, the new variant is aimed at applications such as a tactical operations centre or armoured field ambulance, in which latter configuration it is being shown at the Congress of the Gesellschaft für Wehrmedizin und Wehrpharmazie, a German NGO dedicated to military medicine, in Koblenz on 14-15 October.
The modernised exterior design and greater height are particularly striking. Interior volume is now 12m3, with headroom increased from the previous 1.26m to 1.6 metres. The armoured field ambulance variant can carry four casualties – two prone and two seated. The vehicle also features an advanced 360° panoramic vision system, identical to that in the PUMA IFV, substantially enhancing crew situational awareness. A Generic Vehicle Architecture-conformant connection to additional sensors or a weapons station is possible, as is the use of VR goggles, which enable the crew to ‘see’ through the armour.
In common with PUMA, FUCHS can communicate with dismounted personnel – such as medics – who are equipped with a special variant of the Future Soldier-Expanded System (IdZ-ES) soldier system. Thanks to uniform C2 technology, future medics will have access to the same situation information as the troops they support. The modernised FUCHS also features a new, more powerful engine, a new transfer case, a new brake system and a digital electrical system, all of which improve off-road performance and ease of operation.
Numerous variants of FUCHS have been in Bundeswehr service since 1979, with over a hundred once deployed in Afghanistan. Its operational versatility and high reliability have made it consistently popular with the service. The vehicle has also been continuously perfected throughout its life. To date, some 1,600 have been built and serve in multiple roles in several nations.