£16 Million for 11-Vehicle Fleet
Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), has won a £16 million (€17.5 million)-plus UK MoD contract to upgrade and sustain the British Army’s fleet of FUCHS/FOX chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicles and the associated training simulator, the joint venture company announced on 7 October.
FUCHS is a 6×6 armoured vehicle with built-in detection equipment for dealing with CBRN threats. International users are able to access the very latest in sensor technology as a result of a continual programme of technical advances and performance upgrades: in the case of the UK, Rheinmetall’s long-established experience in the field will assure the future operational readiness and effectiveness of the CBRN reconnaissance fleet through the modernisation contract. The German government gave the British Army 11 ex-German Army FUCHS vehicles in 1990, to support ground operations during the First Gulf War.
RBSL will address equipment-related obsolescence issues and upgrade the system with the latest generation of sensing capabilities. Rheinmetall Landsysteme will be drawing on comprehensive technological support from of its centre of excellence for NBC systems technology in Kassel. The team will also review safety risks and implement a new support contract that includes technical support, provision of spares and repairs, maintenance, training, and design services. The work will be led out of RBSL’s UK and be supported by a UK supply chain. The programme is in line with the government’s agenda to provide opportunity to SMEs and to level up regional economies, as well as to protect skilled jobs in engineering and manufacturing.
The upgrades delivered under the contract will provide an increase in interoperability and commonality with a number of NATO partners. Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, commented “With the military landscape rapidly changing, it has never been more important to develop our capabilities and continue to strive for innovation and adaptability […] This impressive contract award is a strong and positive step to evolve our traditional equipment into nimble and ground-breaking technologies.”
Peter Hardisty, RBSL Managing Director, added “The contract protects key engineering skills in the UK, it presents an opportunity to exploit new technology, and it provides the British Army with an enhanced capability […] This is also a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with Rheinmetall – our majority shareholder and FUCHS Design Authority – and a range of UK SMEs.”