The German Bundeswehr has ordered an additional supply of 56 heavy-duty HX81 tractor units in the 70-tonne payload class from Rheinmetall.

The manufacturer will deliver the unprotected trucks throughout 2023 and 2024. The order is worth just over €50m ($53.6m), including value added tax.

The Bundeswehr mainly use the trucks to transport heavy armoured vehicles, such as the Leopard 2 main battle tank and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.

The order is the last call-off from a framework contract signed din 2018 for the delivery of up to 137 units. Under the framework agreement, which had a seven-year lifetime, 80 units have already been delivered.

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The HX81 vehicle

The HX family is a proven, cost-effective mobility truck system class. HX vehicles integrate military off-the-shelf components and support military operations, with the capability to provide high mobility and reliability in difficult terrains.

An eight-cylinder 680 horse power diesel engine powers the tractors. The gross train weight of the system comes to 130 tonnes.

If necessary, Rheinmentall can adapt an armoured version of the cab. It comes with a Rotzler double action winch system, with a combined maximum tractive force of 40 tonnes, enabling the all-terrain tractor unit to tow vehicles onto the trailer.

Rheinmetall’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.

Widespread use

The HX81 is part of Rheinmetall’s MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) family, which includes the HX and SX range.

GlobalData intelligence from a report on The Global Military Land Vehicles Market Forecast tells us about the widespread us of Rheinmetall’s line of transport trucks. GlobalData forecasts the value of RMMVs in Europe to increase from $79m to $124m between 2023 and 2026.

As the Bundeswehr continues to fulfil its framework agreement for the HX81, the tractor’s value will maintain a moderate growth pattern as GlobalData indicates.