The German Army has received the first series-production joint fire support team (JFST) Fennek vehicle from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) at the artillery school in Idar-Oberstein.

The Fennek all-terrain vehicle features special equipment for JFST operations and allows the team to effectively coordinate indirect fire of land assets, and airborne and shipboard weapons systems.

The Fennek comes in two different configurations, a ground-ground configuration as an artillery observer and an air-ground configuration as a forward air controller to provide fire support.

The air-transportable vehicle also features powerful observation and reconnaissance equipment, and can be easily deployed to distant and remote areas of operation.

In addition, the vehicle provides a high level of protection against mines and ballistic threats as well as against NBC contamination.

The Fennek has an operational range of 850km and can be operated by the three-man crew for several days.

The fire support system features an integrated laser pointer and illuminator, which will improve the capability to use laser-guided munitions with a future extended function.

KMW member of the board Jürgen Weber said the highly sophisticated system provided the Bundeswehr with new and urgently required capability.

“Opponents can be reconnoitred, identified and geographically positioned up to a range of several kilometres during day and night time,” Weber said. “The information gathered by the JFST is vital to the army, air force and navy.”

The vehicles are scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010.

To date, the German Army has ordered 20 vehicles that will be delivered through 2011. The overall requirement of the armed forces amounts to 40 vehicles.