40-Year Old Vehicle Continues to be Viable and Relevant
Rheinmetall has won an order from an international partner for material kits for the FUCHS armoured vehicle valued at €250 million, the company announced on 11 August. Delivery will be achieved between 2021-2023, with production being carried out in the operator’s home nation.
To date, some 1,600 Fuchs vehicles have been built – last year marked the type’s 40th anniversary. The armoured forces of several nations operate various versions of the vehicle, which can be configured as an APC, a mobile command post, a field ambulance or for an NBC detection and reconnaissance role. The Bundeswehr has fielded multiple versions of the FUCHS 1 since 1979, deploying over a hundred of these vehicles in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Its successor, the FUCHS 2, is an advanced version, featuring a larger fighting compartment, a more powerful engine, an updated chassis, improved protection, and a digital electrical system, among other enhancements.
The Bundeswehr is also modernising part of its FUCHS 1 fleet. The latest version – the FUCHS 1A8 – offers substantially better protection against mines and IEDs, featuring enhanced protection against ballistic threats. Among the principal modifications found in the 1A8 are structural changes to the hull; new seats and seat suspension systems in the fighting compartment, decoupled from the hull floor; reinforced wheel housings, doors, and window mountings; and additional external storage bins and reinforcement of the vehicle exterior. In total, the Bundeswehr’s inventory includes around 940 FUCHS vehicles, 272 of which are the current version 1A8.
Rheinmetall’s even newer 1A8 Plus includes a new powerpack, a new transfer case, an improved steering system, and a monitor and camera vision system. This makes the vehicle even more manoeuvrable off-road. Legacy vehicles can be upgraded to 1A8 status, while new-build vehicles are also now available.