Germany’s Bundeswehr has contracted with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles to supply it with HX 81 tractors. Thus, for the first time ever, German troops will have a fleet of protected heavy equipment transporter vehicles at their disposal.
Worth around €12 million, the order encompasses twelve vehicles as well as a training package, tools and spare parts. By the end of 2013, the Bundeswehr will have taken delivery of all twelve of the new HX81 tractors from RMMV.
The vehicle is based on an 8×8 MAN HX-series chassis, long since put to the test by the British armed forces. Careful account of Bundeswehr requirements was taken right from the development phase: a Euro 5 V8 engine with an output of 500 kW/ 680hp gives the vehicle the forward propulsion needed to the move its permissible gross train weight of up to 130 tonnes. In response to the hazards of modern military operations, the driver’s cab provides up to four soldiers with a high degree of protection against ballistic, landmine and IED threats.
Germany’s new tractor-trailer systems will be used for transporting tracked and wheeled vehicles, containers and heavy equipment. Two cable winches with a pulling force up to 20 tonnes each enable loading and unloading defective equipment. A self-recovery winch with a traction force of eight tonnes is mounted to the front of the vehicle. Designed for maximum mobility, the tractor-trailer system will also be able to operate for long distances in areas with poor infrastructure.
The tractor-trailer system consists of a tractor from RMMV and two different low bed semi-trailers for carrying various payloads, which the Bundeswehr is procuring separately. This results in a carrying capacity of up to 70 tonnes, meaning that the tractor-trailer system can carry the latest Leopard 2A7 main battle tank.