KMW renews Dutch Army Fennek reconnaissance vehicle fleet


Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and the Dutch procurement agency DMO (Defence Materiel Organisation) have signed a contract for the upgrading of 322 Fennek vehicles. The MLU (Mid Life Update) order has a volume of over EUR 300 million and includes among others the integration of new observation and reconnaissance systems (BAA II NDL) and the integration of the C4I command and control system.
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Dutch army Fenneks (Picture source: Army Recognition)


The work is to be carried out at KMW in Germany as well as in the Netherlands, at the partner companies Van Halteren Defence and Nedinsco in cooperation with the army’s Material Stock Logistic Command (MatLogCo). Delivery of the upgraded Fennek systems will begin in 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2027.

The Fennek is a binational project between Germany and The Netherlands. There are other variants in addition to the Fennek recon vehicles, ranging from an engineering vehicle to an anti-tank version and even one for high-mobility anti-aircraft defence.


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Various weapons can be fitted on the Fennek, such as a 12.7 mm machine gun for the Dutch reconnaissance version (Picture source: KMW)


The Fennek has four wheels with selectable two or four wheel drive. It has a Deutz diesel engine producing 179 kW, giving it a top speed of 115 km/h. Tire pressure can be regulated by the driver from inside the vehicle to suit terrain conditions.

The primary mission equipment is an observation package mounted on an extendable mast. Sensors include a thermal imager, daylight camera and a laser rangefinder. Combined with the vehicle's GPS and inertial navigation system the operator can accurately mark targets or points of interest and pass that data to the digital battlefield network. The sensor head of the observation package can also be removed and mounted on a tripod for concealed operation, as can the control unit from the vehicle should the crew want to use the entire system dismounted. Many Fenneks of the German Army are also equipped with Aladin miniature UAVs.

Various weapons can be fitted, such as a 12.7 mm machine gun for the Dutch reconnaissance version, a Rafael Spike anti-tank missile on the Dutch MRAT version or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (HK GMG) or Rheinmetall MG3 for the German vehicles. The Royal Netherlands Army also placed an order at the Turkish company ASELSAN for 18 Raytheon Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers to be fitted on the Fennek. The launcher in this case is the Stinger Weapon Platform (SWP), with four Stinger missiles intended for mid-range air defence. The launcher can be controlled from on board the vehicle, or else remotely as part of a distributed air defense system. On the Dutch Fennek the primary weapon is the 12.7 mm machine gun.

The vehicle is protected all-round against 7.62 mm rounds and additional armour can be added if the mission requires. The air conditioning system provides protection against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare and the crew compartment is protected against anti-personnel mines.


 

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