At AAD 2014 at Waterkloof Air Force Base, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles is displaying various members of its high-mobilty logistical vehicle family: the HX77 8x8 fitted with a modular armoured cabin, the HX58 6x6 and the HX60 4x4. The HX77 will also participate at the dynamic display.
All HX vehicles are “military off the shelf” (MOTS) products specially developed for military applications. Their main priority is high mobility and reliability even in the harshest terrains.
Many other militarised vehicles are based on commercial construction vehicles. By contrast, the HX family combines tried-and-tested components from major commercial vehicle series with a toughened low-torsion ladder frame and other technologies designed to meet the specific needs of the military. This includes armour, self-protection systems, extreme fording capabilities, multi-fuel engines and blackout lighting. Right from the start, these trucks are designed not merely for greater durability and better off-road mobility, but also to operate in a wide range of climate zones. Moreover, they can be equipped with protective modules and/or weapon stations for self-protection.
Another specific characteristic of the HX family is high commonality and interoperability. This results in total ease of use as well as streamlined logistics and maintenance, since many of the components and assemblies are common to all the vehicles and fully interchangeable. In the UK, the net effect has been to reduce a previous logistical vehicle parts inventory stock from 30,000 line items to less than 7,000.
Operation of the vehicles is largely identical. The same applies to maintenance and repair of the vehicles, engines and drivetrains. This produces considerable synergies when it comes to training crews and maintenance staff as well as substantially simplifying logistics for the entire fleet of vehicles.
The multi-fuel capability and excellent supply arrangements (all maintenance-significant spare parts are NATO-codified) are further important features of the HX family.
Depending on customer requirements, all of the HX vehicles can be equipped with a modular armoured cabin (MAC) or a fully integrated armoured cabin (IAC) to meet the highest STANAG or Mil-Standard specifications with regard to ballistic and mine protection. Installation of the MAC takes only six to eight hours, and can be performed by two trained technicians with the help of a lifting device. Furthermore, the vehicles can be equipped with sophisticated command and control technology, a remote control weapon station and Rheinmetall’s hard-kill “Active Defence System”.