Germany, Netherlands place €1.9 billion order for Caracal airmobile vehicles
The German and Dutch governments on 10 July placed an order for thousands of Rheinmetall Caracal airmobile special operations vehicles with delivery of the first trial examples expected to take place in the first quarter of 2024.
The framework contract is worth €1.9 billion ($2.09 billion) for up to 3,058 airmobile vehicles, 2,054 for Germany and 1,004 for the Netherlands, and an initial contract has been placed for 1,508 vehicles worth about €870 million. Germany will be funding its side of the purchase from a special fund established in 2022 to re-equip its army.
The tendering process for the requirement began in October 2022 and delivery of trial models under the contract is expected in the first quarter of 2024, with series delivery planned from early 2025.
The vehicle is a partnership between Rheinmetall, Mercedes-Benz and Armoured Car Systems GmbH and it was unveiled at Eurosatory 2022. Built on a modified Mercedes G-Class chassis it is available in both long and short wheelbase and the Caracal's stripped-down frame is designed to increase manoeuvrability and payload storage.
Featuring a six-cylinder Diesel Euro III engine with a power of 185kW (249hp) and a torque of 600NM at 1,400rpm, the Caracal has a top speed of up to 140kph. Weighing up to 4,900kg, including a 2,500kg payload, the Caracal can be airlifted by helicopters such as the CH- 53K King Stallion or CH-47F Chinook, both of which can fit two inside or undersling one.
It can integrate light infantry weapon systems of up to 7.62mm on a side passenger mounting, alongside a roof ring mount capable of mounting a 40mm grenade launcher, 12.7mm machine gun, or anti-tank guided missile system.
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