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Picture Courtesy: Rheinmetall Defence Photo

Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has been awarded a contract to supply 12 new 8×8 HX 81 tractors including a training package, tools and spare parts to the German Army (Bundeswehr).

Based on an 8×8 MAN HX-series chassis, the HX 81 is an all-wheel-drive vehicle powered by a MAN D2868 eight-cylinder diesel engine offering 500kW output with direct fuel injection, and offers increased off-road mobility.

The vehicle can be used as a semi trailer or tank transporter and has a maximum authorised gross train weight of 130t, which enables it to carry modern main battle tanks (MBTs) across rough terrain.

The German variant features a Euro 5 V8 engine which is placed under the driver cab with a cooling system on top of the frame behind the cab.

The driver cab is capable of carrying up to four soldiers and is provided with detonation-proof windscreens to minimise light reflection and offer a high degree of protection against ballistic threats, landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The new tractor-trailer system will be used by the army for long-distance transport of tracked and wheeled vehicles, containers and heavy equipment in remote areas with poor infrastructure.

A self-recovery winch with a traction force of eight tons is mounted onto the front of the vehicle, while two cable winches with a pulling force of up to 20t each enable the loading and unloading of defective equipment.

The army is also procuring a tractor and two different low-bed semi-trailers for carrying various payloads that supply the tractor with a carrying capacity of up to 70t, equal to a Leopard 2A7 main battle tank (MBT).

Deliveries under the €12m contract are scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

Image caption: Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX 81 tractor.