Germany orders 57 Rheinmetall military tractors worth over €50 million


Rheinmetall Heavy Military Truck: German defence company Rheinmetall has received an order from the Bundeswehr to supply a another 57 heavy military tractor units in the 70-tonne payload class. Known as the “SaZgM 70t mil” in German military parlance, the unprotected heavy-duty trucks are scheduled for delivery in two years.

According to a company statement, the total value of the order is worth over €50 million, including value added tax.

The German armed forces use the trucks primarily for transporting heavy armoured vehicles like the Leopard 2 main battle tank and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.

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Rheinmetall Heavy Military Tractor

Rheinmetall said the current order was the last call-off from a framework contract signed in 2018 for the delivery of up to 137 SaZgM 70t mil trucks. Under the framework agreement, which had a 7-year lifetime, eighty tractor units have already been ordered and delivered to the Bundeswehr.

Rheinmetall’s HX81 tractor units are powered by an eight-cylinder 680 horse power diesel engine.

This gives the high-mobility all-wheel-drive truck a top speed of 89 km/h and the ability to climb gradients of 60 percent, said the company.

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The Gross Train Weight of the system is 130 tonnes. The HX81 tractor unit has the same driver’s cab as Rheinmetall’s UTF family of vehicles.

According to Rheinmetall officials, the cab can be exchanged for a protected version.

It comes with a Rotzler double action winch system, with a combined maximum tractive force of 40 tonnes, enabling the all-terrain tractor unit to tow vehicles onto the trailer.

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Reinforcing the Bundeswehr’s logistic capabilities

Logistic vehicles play a crucial role in assuring the operational effectiveness of combat units, enabling a rapid response and subsequent sustainment in the field. Today, being able to transport heavy combat vehicles is a key capability in national and alliance defence.

According to Rheinmetall, the HX81 complements the Bundeswehr’s SLT heavy transport vehicle.

Besides the unprotected HX81, Rheinmetall also supplies the Mammut protected heavy transport vehicle, along with the UTF unprotected transport vehicle and the WLS hook loading system.

Since 2018, Rheinmetall has supplied the Bundeswehr with over 4,000 military trucks. Together with the UTF and WLS, the SaZgM 70t tractor unit forms the logistic backbone of the Bundeswehr, said the company.

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