The joint venture company Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) has won a UK MoD contract to upgrade and sustain the British Army’s fleet of Fuchs/Fox CBRN reconnaissance vehicles and training simulator. The order is worth over £16m/€17.5m.
The Fuchs is a 6×6 armoured vehicle with built-in detection equipment for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Rheinmetall possesses longstanding experience and wide-ranging expertise in this high-tech field. Thanks to continuous technical advances and performance upgrades, international users of the CBRN Reconnaissance Fuchs/Fox are able to access the very latest in sensor technology. Just awarded, the modernisation contract see the British MOD utilising Rheinmetall’s experience and abilities to assure the future operational readiness and effectiveness of the UK CBRN Reconnaissance fleet.
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 British Army will thus be benefitting from Rheinmetall’s extensive experience in the field of NBC detection vehicles.
The work will be led out of RBSL’s facility in Telford, West Midlands, with the support of a UK supply chain. The programme is in line with the UK government’s agenda to provide opportunity to SMEs and level up regional economies, as well as to protect skilled jobs in engineering and manufacturing.
RBSL has a highly skilled workforce of more than 450 employees based at sites across the UK, including 250 engineers who specialise in key capabilities such as weapon systems, survivability, and lethality. The RBSL team will use their expertise in vehicle integration technology to upgrade and sustain the fleet.
Experts from Rheinmetall Landsysteme will supply the necessary expertise in NBC reconnaissance and detection technology.
The upgrades delivered under the contract will provide an increase in interoperability and commonality with a number of the UK’s NATO partners. The vehicles will also provide the British Army with an advanced ability to detect CBRN threats.
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said: “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, said: “RBSL looks forward to applying our extensive knowledge and experience with armoured vehicles to the Fuchs programme. 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.”
The Fuchs/Fox vehicle
The German government gave the British Army 11 ex-German Army Fuchs vehicles in 1990 to support ground operations during the First Gulf War.
In the meantime, the Fuchs/Fox is in service with customers worldwide and has proven to be highly effective in numerous operations.
RBSL will now be implementing a number of capability enhancements in the British Army’s Fuchs vehicles, as well as address obsolescence issues and provide in-service support.