Swiss Army orders new Armoured Engineer Vehicle from Rheinmetall
Category: Defence Industry
Rheinmetall AG of Dusseldorf has won an order from the Swiss Army for a new generation of armoured engineer vehicles. Under the order, Rheinmetall will supply the Swiss Army with twelve Kodiak armoured engineer vehicles, known in Swiss military parlance as the "Geniepanzer".
Based on well proven components from the Leopard 2 main battle tank, the Kodiak has clear market potential in all Leopard 2 user countries. A number of nations have already expressed an interest in this state-of-the-art system; some have launched procurement projects already.
Apart from its role as a heavy-duty combat engineer tool - whether in military scenarios or disaster relief operations - the Kodiak can be used to breach lanes through minefields, crucial for assuring the mobility and safety of friendly forces.
Joining forces, Rheinmetall subsidiary Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH of Kiel and RUAG Land Systems of Thun, Switzerland have set up a consortium to develop, market and manufacture the Kodiak. The Swiss Army is scheduled to start taking delivery of the new systems in 2009.
Over the years, some 8,000 tracked and wheeled vehicles have left the Rheinmetall Landsysteme assembly line, making the company one of the world's most experienced makers of tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles as well as combat support systems and NBC detection technology.
To perform its primary mission, the Kodiak is equipped with a high-performance hinged arm excavator mounted in centre position, as well as a dozer system with innovative cutting and tilt angle settings and a double-winch system consisting of two 9t capstan winches. When combined and deployed in multiple traction mode, these provide a pulling force of up to 62 tons. Thanks to a quick-release coupling, the excavator bucket can be exchanged for a number of other devices, including a hydraulic hammer and a universal-gripper. All of these tools are electro-hydraulically controlled and can be operated by the driver with two joysticks.
Rounding out the system's operational capabilities, the dozer blade can be swapped for a full-width mine plough, turning the Kodiak - when additionally equipped with a signature-duplicator and a lane-marking unit - into a high performance minefield-breaching system. The Kodiak's anti-landmine protection technology features correspond to those of the latest generation of Leopard 2 MBT.
To defend itself, the Kodiak will be armed with a 12.7mm machine gun and smoke grenade launcher.