KMW, RDE to Launch New Armored Vehicle Families at Eurosatory


Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has also teamed with Rheinmetall Defence of Düsseldorf to launch a new class of armored multi-purpose vehicle family weighing 5 – 9 tons. The first of the four-wheel drive Armored Multi Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) vehicles should be ready for serial delivery by 2011. Completion of the first prototype is planned for 2009. The companies are planning to launch the new vehicles at the Eurosatory defense exhibition next month.

While the Bundeswehr’s current GFF (“protected command and role-specific vehicle”) is being addressed by heavier vehicles, the companies decided to develop a GFF 1/2-class to address evolving requirements. Development costs are being shared by the two partners.

The AMPV vehicle family will encompass two type series – an agile AMPV 1 will be the smaller of the two, proposed as a well protected liaison vehicle. A higher level of protection and a heavier payload are the primary characteristics of the bigger AMPV 2. The AMPV1 and AMPV2 are both extremely compact, and differ only slightly in height, length and wheelbase. The entire vehicle family will be based on standardized engineering principles and technologies. Both type series will also have patrol vehicle configuration, a utility version with an unprotected floor in the rear section, and an equipment kit carrier with a safety cell extending all the way to the rear of the vehicle. Also planned is a special patrol version of the AMPV1 that can be airlifted in a CH53 transport helicopter.

The crew compartment will comprise a highly protected vehicle cell configured as an autonomous armored steel structure with a spoor liner. Reinforced undercarriage and reinforced cell structure will enhance protection against landmines and IEDs. Add-on armor modules could be added, to meet higher ballistic protection requirements. All vehicles in the AMPV family consist largely of identical components; the workstations in the fighting compartment are also identical, ensuring uniform operation. The advantages in terms of simplified logistics and training are readily evident.

The vehicle will receive a high-performance running gear, independent wheel suspension and spring deflection and run-flat tires assuring high performance on and off-road and continued mobility even in critical situations; it will maintain high ground clearance to improve cross-country and cross-obstacle mobility. The vehicle will be powered by a 3.2-liter diesel engine with an output of around 200 kW. It will have a permanent four-wheel drive as well as automatic transmission and automatic differential lock management, relieving the strain on the driver.

At the recent ILA 2008 aerospace exhibition Krauss-Maffei Wegmann unveiled a new family of modular scalable tactical vehicles based on the FENNEK armoured reconnaissance vehicle. The generic platform Future FENNEK Technology (GP-F²T). The new Family of Vehicles (FOV) is offered to the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) and international customers.

The new GP-F2T family of Armored Vehicles based on the Fennek. Image: KMW