Rheinmetall-MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has delivered 40 new medium-heavy operational vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
Delivered as part of $113m order for 200 new trucks in May 2013, the received vehicles would be used to replace its old fleet comprising Unimog and heavier Mercedes trucks.
New Zealand Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said that the new Rheinmetall-MAN military medium and heavy vehicles are designed for modern military operations and offer improved mobility and protection, enhanced technology, and greater capacity.
"By purchasing these trucks off the same production line as the UK, the government has ensured value for money, and has achieved a fast delivery in record time," Coleman said.
"This project is a good example of smart and efficient procurement. The government is keen to work closely with our international partners to identify future procurement opportunities which could achieve similar results."
Ordered in sizes including 6t 4×4, 9t 6×6 and 15t 8×8, the trucks feature thigh capacity electrical systems, air conditioners and Euro 4 emissions compliant engines, which will facilitate efficient operations even if lower quality fuel is used.
An additional $22m has been allocated for armour protection kits, weapons mounts, personnel modules and other particular military equipment, in addition to spares, logistic support arrangements and widespread training packages.
"The NZDF’s continuous drive to deliver back office savings and efficiencies means that reinvestment into frontline capabilities like these new trucks can be made," Coleman said.
"The new trucks are part of a wider programme of equipment upgrades and investment into navy, army and air force frontline capabilities."
The NZDF is planning to begin the training personnel in February-March next year, while the trucks will be introduced to Army and Air Force bases, with complete commissioning expected by the late-2015.
Image: New Zealand Army / Air Force Unimog vehicles in Auckland City, New Zealand. Photo: courtesy of Ingolfson.