The German Ministry of Defence has tapped Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG (KMW) under an approximately $46.4 million deal to supply 10 new Fennek reconnaissance vehicles to the armed forces’ Joint Fire Support Teams (JFST).

The 10 new Fennek vehicles, which coordinate indirect fire from the army, the air force and the navy, will be delivered to the German armed forces by November 2009.

Additionally, KMW has received a contract to deliver four highly protected Dingo 2 patrol vehicles to the Czech Republic. Joining Belgium, Germany and Austria, the Czech Republic is now the fourth to protects its soldiers with the Dingo 2. The contract also contains deliveries for training services and special tools.

KMW CEO Frank Haun, said: "The importance of protection and mobility remains unaltered high for allied armed forces in today’s hot spots. KMW’s strategy is to expand its leading position in this business segment. Both contracts are hereby important steps with regard to the opening of new markets and new business opportunities."

The JFSTs coordinate indirect fire assisting each of the individual services through efficient and tactical fire support. The low profile Fennek with minimized infrared and radar signatures comes fully equipped with top-of-the-range reconnaissance systems.

From an operational, economical and time management point of view, the Fennek is specifically designed to meet the armed forces’ requirements and demands, now and in the future. A Fennek vehicle is a defence system capable of undertaking the most demanding tasks in international conflict management. Fennek vehicles were deployed as artillery observer vehicles by the International Security Assistance peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan in 2004.

The JFST version, a Fennek vehicle developed and manufactured by KMW and its subsidiary in the Netherlands, is equipped with an extraordinarily efficient observation and reconnaissance system with a very wide range so that targets can be located and identified during day or night time.

The vehicle is also equipped to interact with the services through voice and data link, and can therefore remain in direct contact with each of the three individual forces. A state-of-the-art laser designator enables the crew of the Fennek to identify targets for the air force and guide laser-controlled missiles to their targets.

By adding the new JFST Fennek to their fleet, the armed forces will have a vehicle that is not only resistant to fire from hand-held weapons and anti-personnel mines, but that is also protected against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. With a range of nearly 1,000 kilometers, the three-man Fennek crew can operate autonomously for a period of up to five days. In addition, the air-transportable Fennek can be deployed in remote areas, quickly and smoothly.

The German and Dutch armies’ Corps of Engineers were equipped with the first JFST version vehicles in 2005.

The Dingo 2 provides, for up to eight persons, the best currently available level of protection in its class against modern small arms, shell splinters and shrapnel, anti- personnel and anti-tank mines and NBC weapons. Orders for more than 700 vehicles have already been placed. In addition, the vehicle has proved out its protection capabilities in military missions like in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan or Lebanon.

Besides the armored personnel carrier variant, Dingo 2 is available in other variants such as the mobile command post, the AC detector version or the battlefield ambulance. All mission variants provide the same degree of security and safety, i.e., maximum protection against ballistic, explosive and NBC weapons.

The Dingo 2’s all-terrain Unimog chassis permits top speeds of more than 90 km/h and a range of around 1,000 km for all vehicle variants. All Dingo 2 versions can also be air- transported in C-160 Transall, C-130 Hercules and A400M aircraft.