Defence Equipment and Support, the UK MoD procurement arm, has acquired 500 HX family MAN military vehicles from the German manufacturer Rheinmetall in a deal worth £282m ($354.9m).
The newly procured high mobility logistic trucks come under the HX family. These are a range of purpose-designed military vehicles equipped with a multitude of protection capabilities that can carry out tactical and technical missions.
The company’s engineering department, located in Vienna, Austria, modifies the vehicles to meet military requirements. More than 10,000 vehicles of the family are currently in service worldwide.
HX is an operationally proven, cost-effective mobility truck system class. The vehicles integrate military off the shelf components and are designed to support military operations, with the capability to provide high mobility and reliability in difficult terrains.
The vehicles are capable of operating at temperatures ranging from -32 to +49 degrees celsius. An arctic kit can be installed to enable operations in climatic conditions with temperatures as low as minus six degrees celsius.
The platforms have several capability improvements compared to those already in service, including an increased payload, a reduced turning circle, an underrun protection safety feature and a more efficient EURO 5 engine.
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UK procurement reform
Since spring 2023 the MoD has been committed to a new mode of procurement in which the department prizes delivery time more than it ever has before.
In the Defence Command Paper (2023), the UK Government stated:
“The experience of Ukraine has reminded us that accepting 80% can deliver effective and robust capability into the hands of the users today. Waiting for 100% – the exquisite solution – may mean losing strategic advantage.”
With a new can-do attitude toward procurement reform, this contract will help to strengthen the British Army multi-purpose support fleet within the next seven months.
“The rapid delivery of transport capabilties to the front line is paramount to the lifeblood of British Army logistics and operations,” the Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge added.
The rapid procurement of these vehicles is timely given the fact the this year the British Army will face increased commitments through Op MOBILISE and its offer to the Nato New Force Model.
“It shows that the acquisition process can be responsive to user demands.”Colonel Stuart Nassé, assistant head military capability delivery of Army Headquarters.
The deployment will include Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, 3 (UK) Division, 12 Armoured Brigade Combat Teams, 7 Light Mechanised Brigade Combat Team as the Vanguard Joint Task Force (Land), and 1 (UK) Division as the Land Component Command ahead of assuming readiness on 1 July 2024.
“As a collaborative project, it shows that the acquisition process can be responsive to user demands, and more importantly that when the user, delivery agent and industry all work together we can achieve significant outcomes quickly,” Colonel Stuart Nassé, assistant head military capability delivery of Army Headquarters stated.