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New Zealand officially receives HX44Ms

8th December 2021 - 09:29 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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One of the three new 8x8 heavy recovery vehicles for the NZDF. (Photo: Rheinmetall)

The addition of three 8x8 heavy recovery vehicles brings to 197 the number of Rheinmetall-supplied HX vehicles for the NZDF.

Rheinmetall announced on 8 December that it handed over three HX44M 8x8 heavy recovery vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in a ceremony on 25 November.

The company is also providing initial training on the vehicle with the NZDF.

The HX44Ms were ordered in December 2018. According to Shephard Defence Insight, the NZDF had expected to receive them in 2020 to replace five ageing M1089A1R wreckers.

Gary Stewart, MD of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, said ‘this enhanced recovery capability’ complements 194 HX-series Medium and Heavy Operational Vehicles (MHOV) already in NZDF service for training, operations and HADR.

The HX 8x8 heavy recovery vehicles feature capabilities ‘specifically developed to meet the current and future operational needs of the NZDF’, Rheinmetall noted.

For example, the three new vehicles are the first in the world to use an Integrated Armoured Swap Cabin that allows easy configuration to suit operational needs.

Each HX44M is 2.55m wide and can traverse 1.4m-wide ditches or cross flooded areas 1.5m deep, as well as scale 60° gradients and 30° side slopes. The vehicle can also function in extreme temperatures, ranging from -32°C to 49°C.

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