|Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH
|Nuclear/biological/chemical reconnaissance vehicle
Late in 2001, Rheinmetall Landsysteme revealed that it had designed and built, as a private venture, a new version of its well-established Fuchs Transportpanzer 1 (6×6) armoured personnel carrier called the Fuchs 2.
The first example of this ran for the first time early in 2001 and was shown in public for the first time at the MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition in Poland.
Rheinmetall Landysteme built 1,236 Fuchs 1 vehicles, most for the German Army. They did have a number of significant export sales including Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, UK, US and Venezuela.
In February 2005, Rheinmetall Landsysteme was awarded a EUR160 million (USD205 million) contract to supply 32 Fuchs 2 (6 × 6) Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) reconnaissance vehicles to the United Arab Emirates. This order brought the Fuchs NBC customer list up to seven countries.
In February 2007 Rheinmetall Landsysteme completed the first Fuchs 2 (6 × 6) NBC RS (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) vehicles for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
These are the most advanced NBC vehicles developed by Rheinmetall Landsysteme so far with the order comprising 16 NBC reconnaissance vehicles, eight bio vehicles and eight mobile command post vehicles.
Production of these Fuchs 2 NBC RS vehicles is undertaken in Kassel where a major upgrade of part of the German Army fleet (as well as Netherlands, UK and US) of first generation Fuchs 1 NBC vehicles has been undertaken for several years.
The overall layout of the Rheinmetall Landsysteme Fuchs 2 is almost identical to that of the original Fuchs covered in detail in a separate entry. The all-welded steel armour hull provides the occupants with protection from 7.62 mm armour piercing attack.
There is also an option to upgrade the level of protection further to provide protection against 12.7 and 14.5 mm armour-piercing attack, artillery fragments and mines.
When compared to the current Rheinmetall Landsysteme Fuchs, the new Fuchs 2 has a number of significant improvements. The troop compartment roof has been raised 145 mm for greater internal volume and the roof-mounted air inlet/outlet louvres have been redesigned.
Stronger DaimlerChrysler axles have been installed on the Fuchs 2, which has enabled the payload to be increased by 4,000 kg to a maximum of 9,400 kg. The braking system has been upgraded to take into account the increased weight of the vehicle.
To reduce overall life cycle costs, proven automotive parts are used wherever possible in the design of the Fuchs 2.
Fuchs 2 is powered by an MTU 6V 199 TE20 turbocharged low-mission diesel engine which develops 425 hp and meets EURO III emission standards. This is coupled to a ZF 6 HP 602 fully automatic six-speed transmission with integrated retarder.
A completely new digital electrical system has been fitted which meets CAN Standard SAE J 1939 and this provides for the automatic control of the vehicle status and easy component failure analysis. The driver of the Fuchs 2 is provided with a Driver Information System (DIS) which provides for online system status monitoring and failure identification.
At the request of the customer, the digital bus system of the Fuchs 2 may be expanded and data exchanged between the vehicle CAN BUS and mission kit bus system by means of a gateway.
Power steering is on the front four wheels and the tyres are 14.00 - 20 all round. An optional central tyre pressure-regulation system is fitted which allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suit the terrain being crossed. The tyres are run flat which enables the vehicle to remain mobile with one tyre damaged.
With a maximum combat weight of 22,000 kg the Fuchs 2 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two Schottel propellers mounted one either side of the hull at the rear. These propellers can be traversed through 360° and with the wheels and propellers being used together Rheinmetall Landsysteme has stated that the Fuchs 2 has excellent water ingress and egress capabilities.
The weapon fit of the Fuchs 2 depends on the operational requirement with a typical example being fitted with a new RLS 609 one-person external weapon system armed with a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. If required, this can be fitted with a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and joystick control. The RLS 609 has a traverse of 360° with elevation from 10 to +30° and the .50 (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun is provided with 105 rounds of ready to use ammunition. The RLS 609 allows the gunner to aim and fire the .50 (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun under complete protection from within the safety of the vehicle.
The Fuchs 2 vehicle can be fitted with a wide range of weapon systems up to and including their own E8 one-person turret armed with a 30 mm cannon and 7.62 mm machine gun as well as various missile installations such as anti-tank.
A wide range of optional equipment is available for the Fuchs 2 including collective NBC system, air conditioning system, various weapons, grenade launchers, amphibious capability, run-flat tyres, central tyre pressure regulation system, automatic fire detection and suppression system, intercom and radio, driver's and commander's night vision devices, winch, vehicle navigation system with integrated global positioning system, 5 kW auxiliary power unit and a variety of mission kits.
The baseline Fuchs 2 armoured hull provides protection against 7.62 mm Armour Piercing (AP) attack at zero degrees obliquity through a full 360°. The vision blocks and windows provide the same level of protection as the hull.
To meet different threat levels the Fuchs 2 has been designed to be fitted with an enhanced passive armour package developed by IBD including 12.7 and 14.5 mm AP, artillery fragments and mines. There is also a passive armour package that provides protection against attack from 30 mm Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) attack over the frontal arc.
The first example of the Fuchs 2 has the standard twin doors at the rear of the hull but for overseas trials, a power-operated ramp can be fitted.
Standard equipment includes an NBC system and an air conditioning system and there are a host of options available including automatic fire detection and suppression system, winch, global positioning system and an auxiliary power unit, to name but a few.
The UAE Fuchs NBC vehicles are based on the latest generation Fuchs 2 APC chassis that was originally developed as a private venture by RLS.
The UAE is the launch customer for the new Fuchs 2 series of vehicles, which will be the most advanced vehicles of their type produced by RLS so far.
The order comprises 16 NBC reconnaissance vehicles, 8 bio vehicles and 8 command post vehicles, which will enable the UAE to have a complete NBC detection capability linked to a command and control system.
As well as being used as an APC and fitted with various weapon systems, Rheinmetall Landsysteme can offer a complete family of vehicles on the same Fuchs 2 platform including NBC, C3I/C4I, electronic warfare, reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal and mortar carrier, to name but a few.
All of the UAE Fuchs 2 NBC RS vehicles are fitted with a new generation Rheinmetall Landsysteme Model 609E remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) prepared to receive a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG). This will be laid onto the target using a Thales Sophie thermal imaging system that has been modified to meet UAE requirements.
The gunner is located in the inner compartment and can operate the RCWS under full armour protection. Traverse is through a full 360 degrees with elevation from -10 to +45 degrees.
As well as a full NBC system and land navigation system, all of the Fuchs 2 NBC RS vehicles for the UAE are fitted with a full air conditioning system to allow the vehicle to operate in the high ambient temperatures encountered in the Middle East.
UAE vehicles retain their full amphibious capability with a maximum speed of 10 km/h being attained using the two propellers located at the rear.
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