Amongst the newly developed mine-protected medium-size vehicles is the Survivor R recently unveiled by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. ©Paolo Valpolini
of Europe in Africa and the emergence of new threats in that continent might well allow those vehicles to see their customer base expand. Nexter of France, for instance, has developed the Titus, which is a heavy 6x6 based on a Tatra chassis that combines high mobility and high protection, but at a low price. A few years ago, the same company developed the Aravis – the first vehicle of its class to ensure all-round Level 4 protection – which is in service in France and Saudi Arabia. Still in France, Renault Trucks Defense is proposing a 6x6 VAB Mk.3 to those nations that already operate the older VAB in both 4x4 and 6x6 configurations, the new vehicle featuring a considerable improvement in terms of mine protection. Renault is also proposing its Higuard and Bastion APC, the latter mostly aimed at Africa given its Acamt underpinnings so popular in that continent. Nexter and Renault, together with Thales, have formed a temporary industrial consortium to provide the French Army with the new Griffon and Jaguar vehicles (both 6x6s), the first being an armoured personnel carrier and the other a reconnaissance and combat vehicle. No details have yet been aired regarding mine protection, although “the philosophy” calls for a baseline protection ready to be fitted with addon packages as technology evolves.
In Germany Rheinmetall proposes its Fuchs 2, as well as an upgrade package for the original Fuchs to considerably increase mine protection. Going lighter, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles introduced the Survivor R family in 2014 with mine protection up to Level 4a/3b and a gross weight of 15 tonnes. Its class competitor, the KMW Dingo HD, is based on experience acquired with the Dingos deployed downrange by the Bundeswehr, notably in terms of increased protection levels. Teamed with Iveco DV of Italy, KMW had developed a GFF4 6x6 proposal, but that programme now seems to be dead with no international customer interest so far. On the other hand Iveco DV developed the 4x4 version dubbed “Orso” (bear) by the Italian Army who acquired it for route clearance and ambulance duties. Although developed for support roles, the big numbers forecast when the programme was launched have fallen victim of financial constraints. The Turkish Land Forces acquired the 4x4-configured BMC Kirpi, which has proved its worth in action. It is now joined by the 6x6 version unveiled in May 2015 and by a lighter 4x4 known as the Vuran. The Otokar Kaya 4x4 also falls in this category of vehicles, as does the new , Pars 4x4 by FNSS. EDR - September / October 2015
European Defence Review magazine issue #23