NBC reconnaissance vehicle valued internationally
A reliable "workhorse" for the German Bundeswehr: the Fox armoured wheeled vehicle
Foxes are cunning and fast. These attributes of Reynard the Fox are equally true for the versatile and proven armoured transport vehicle called Fox. Thanks to its shrewd design concept, the vehicle can be put to multiple uses. The Fox not only reaches maximum speeds of up to 100 km/h (6x6 drive configuration) but is also highly mobile in difficult terrain.
Already introduced in the 1970s, the Fox wheeled vehicle is today one of the most reliable “workhorses” of the Bundeswehr. The German forces will continue to use around 900 such vehicles in more than 30 different variants (with 16 variants of the 1A8) – many of them having the latest design configuration Fox 1A8 that incorporates modifications based on the experience acquired during many foreign missions. This is, for instance, reflected by the reinforced chassis and power train, high level of protection, new stowage box concept and integration of a remotely controllable weapons station. Although these systems increase the weight of the vehicle to around 20 tons, it hasn’t lost any of its agility.
One particular variant of the fox is especially well known internationally: the NBC reconnaissance fox for the detection of nuclear, biological and chemical agents. 102 NBC reconnaissance vehicles are operated by the German NBC corps, 8 of them featuring the 1A8 design status. Great Britain presently has eleven NBC reconnaissance vehicles, Norway and the Netherlands each have six, Saudi Arabia 10 and the UAE 32 such vehicles.
Not only is the vehicle from Rheinmetall: the defence contractor is also responsible for the extensive integration and networking of the many different sensors on board the vehicle. The cut-away illustration shows some of the systems that can belong to the vehicle. The vehicle is manned by four persons, i.e. the driver, commander, reconnaissance personnel 1 and 2. Numerous civilian forces likewise benefit from Rheinmetall’s expertise in the field of CBRNE defence (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosives). For example, the fire department in North Rhine-Westphalia operates NBC reconnaissance vehicles with Rheinmetall technology.
The production “fox-house” is in Kassel. In the former Henschel factory, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles today can today offer the systems needed for maintenance, service, modernization – and production of integrated systems including the related carrier vehicle. Thanks to the 2005 order from the United Arab Emirates to deliver 32 modern, fully integrated NBC reconnaissance systems, it was possible to develop the Fox 2 vehicle. The ongoing success of this vehicle demonstrates impressively just how successful the strategy has been. Currently, the first vehicles for Algeria are leaving the factory hall; the North African country will perform final assembly of the vehicles in its own production sites built especially for the purpose.
1 Double-wheel sampling system – two silicone-coated wheels for the automatic detection (whilst moving) of persistent warfare agents and hazardous adhering to the ground.
2 Standoff infrared detector capable of detecting volatile chemical substances in the air from a great distance.
3 “NBC tail” including the tube magazine for transporting samples, the marker trap, glove opening and tongs for manual sampling.
4 Mass spectrometer (behind the operator’s position) for chemical analysis of samples collected.
5 Operator’s position with the Rheinmetall software “NBC Inspector” – the heart of the NBC kit in the Fox reconnaissance vehicle.
6 Central computer system.
7 FLW 200 remotely controllable weapon station - operated from the armoured interior as a means of self-defence.