Rheinmetall has delivered three HX 8×8 heavy recovery vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

A ceremony was held on 25 November to mark the official handover at the Trentham military camp in Wellington, New Zealand.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said: “Although it is very disappointing not to be back in New Zealand for this important event marking the joint achievement of the handover of the HX 8×8 heavy recovery vehicles, we are still very proud of this milestone.

“The HX 8×8 heavy recovery vehicle is another example of our commitment to providing sustainable design, development and manufacturing that delivers world-leading products and services to the NZDF.

“Delivery of this enhanced recovery capability, complementing the already delivered medium-heavy operational vehicles fleet, in the midst of global Covid challenges is a testament to the relationship between Rheinmetall and the NZDF.”

The HX 8×8 heavy recovery vehicles provide the New Zealand Army with improved recovery and mobility capabilities

The vehicles are specially designed to fulfil the NZDF’s existing operational requirements, as well as future needs.

Rheinmetall noted that the NZDF’s HX 8×8 heavy recovery vehicles feature the integrated armoured swap cabin.

A training team will be assigned by the company to provide initial vehicle training to the force.

The HX 8×8 heavy recovery vehicles can operate in various weathers and temperatures, including cold conditions as low as -32°C and in hot conditions up to 49°C.

It has a width of 2.55m that provides the vehicle with increased accessibility. It can also navigate through complex terrain with an ability to cross ditches that are up to 1.4m wide.

The NZDF is already using the medium-heavy operational vehicles (MHOV) fleet, supplied earlier by Rheinmetall, for training, operations, and disaster relief.