The Finnish land systems specialist Patria, alongside German defence suppliers DSL (a KNDS subsidiary) and FFG, announced that they will team up to offer a German variant of the 6×6 CAVS.

It is hoped that this armoured personnel carrier will replace the German Army’s existing Fuchs 1 and 2 systems. Germany currently operates 356 units according to the leading intelligence consultancy GlobalData. While the Fuchs 1 entered service in 1979 its successor, the Fuchs 2, began trials in 2001.

Germany’s estimated contract allocation for the CAVS 6×6 vehicle will be $198.5m (€184.6m) over the next ten years, projected GlobalData.

As a participant state in the CAVS programme since 2021, Germany’s principal contractor will be Patria should the Bundeswehr Procurement Office decide to give the go-ahead for the new vehicle.

Series delivery of CAVS began in November 2021 with the handover of the first system to Latvia, which has ordered more than 200 in total. Germany is now the fifth country to participate in this multinational programme. The others are Finland (lead), Estonia, Latvia and Sweden.

Patria will lead the design and development of the system while DSL and FFG sustain it through local engineering, production and life-cycle support in Germany. As detailed localization preparation begins, the team may engage other German companies to the effort.

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“We offer to adapt for German needs a cost-effective, fully developed, off-the-shelf platform – the Patria 6×6 – that is already in production, fielded by Nato partner nations and will be produced locally in Germany to meet the high requirements and technical standards of the Bundeswehr,” said Hugo Vanbockryck, senior vice president, Market Area Europe of Patria.

From left: Michael Lausen, head of in-service support/special technology at FFG; Christoph Cords, CEO of DSL; Jukka Holkeri, executive vice president, global of Patria; and Jörg Kamper, CEO of Jungenthal Wehrtechnik. Credit: Patria.

Patria CAVS 6×6 features

Patria’s CAVS 6×6 armoured personnel carrier is a new all-wheel drive combat vehicle. It is a successor to the Patria XA-series 6×6 Pasi armoured personnel carrier, which was introduced in the 1980s.

The vehicle provides tactical troop transportation capability, advanced protection and extreme mobility. It can be used for multiple missions, including peacekeeping.

It has a length of 7.5 metres (m), height over hull of 2.5m, and width of 2.9m. The maximum combat weight and payload capacities of the vehicle are 24 tonnes (t) and 8.5t respectively. It can accommodate up to three crew members and up to ten combat troops.

CAVS is armed with a variety of weapon systems including a 7.62-millimetre (mm) machine gun, 105mm/120mm cannon, and 120mm Patria Nemo turreted, single-barrelled, remote-controlled mortar system.

The modular protection system of the Patria 6×6 offers STANAG level 2 standard ballistic protection for the occupants. The vehicle can be integrated with STANAG level 4 threat level protection kit for protection against heavy machine gun fire.

A higher protection level also means more weight while the advantage of CAVS is that it weighs less than half that of a Boxer.

Fuchs 2 makes a comeback?

In December 2023, the Fuchs manufacturer, Rheinmetall, received a substantial order in the three-digit-million-euro range for components of the vehicle to be produced outside Germany.

“This long-standing strategic partnership is thus entering a new, promising phase, including the potential export of Fuchs 2 vehicles produced in the partner country.”

Fuchs 2 evolution armoured personnel carrier. Credit: Rheinmetall.

The Fuchs 2 has been in the German Army inventory for almost five decades. Around 1,800 Fuchs vehicles have been built to date, which makes the Bundeswehr’s conversion to Patria even more significant.

Based on the longstanding Fuchs system, the Berlin Security Conference – a forum aimed at promoting common security – suggested that, for the CAVS, a modularity similar to that of the Boxer will be chosen, where different variants are realised on one platform.