The German armed forces have awarded Rheinmetall a contract for the modernization of the Fuchs/Fox armored NBC reconnaissance vehicles.
A total of five A6A1 versions of the vehicle will be upgraded to the new A8A7 configuration, which will offer improved protection.
The Bundeswehr will thus have at its disposal a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) reconnaissance and analysis capability that is a match for modern operational threats.
In addition to increasing ballistic protection and mine protection, an additional integration of the remote-controlled weapon station FLW 200 is planned.
According to Rheinmetall, work on the upgrades is beginning this month and is expected to be complete by July 2024. The first vehicles are due to be transferred to the German military starting in 2023.
As noted by the company, the order could also lead to the Bundeswehr’s remaining 22 Fuchs/Fox armored NBC reconnaissance vehicles being upgraded to the new A8A7 configuration, as well as proposals to modernize systems operated by international customers.
In October 2020, the UK defense ministry awarded Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), a joint venture company, a contract worth £16 million for the upgrade of British Army Fuchs/Fox CBRN reconnaissance vehicles and training simulators.
The Bundeswehr has fielded numerous versions of the Fuchs/Fox armored transport vehicle ever since 1979, deploying over a hundred of them in Afghanistan. Owing to its versatile operational possibilities and high reliability, the Fuchs/Fox has always been popular with the troops. After over forty years in service, it is still undergoing continuous improvement.
The latest version of the Fuchs/Fox, the 1A8, offers substantially greater protection against mines and improvised explosive devices than earlier models, together with enhanced resistance to ballistic threats. Among the principal modifications featured in the Fuchs/Fox 1A8 are structural alterations of the hull; new seats and seat suspensions in the fighting compartment decoupled from the floor of the hull; reinforcement of the wheel wells, doors and window mounts; as well as additional storage bins and reinforcement of the vehicle exterior. The Bundeswehr now has over 940 Fuchs/Fox vehicles in its inventory, 267 of which are the latest 1A8 design.
A derivative of the Fuchs/Fox 1, the vehicle’s export variant, the Fuchs/Fox 2, has undergone a separate process of continued development, and now features a more spacious fighting compartment, a more powerful engine, modernized running gear, enhanced state-of-the-art protection and a digitized electrical system.