German Armed Forces Takes Delivery of Fourth Fuchs KAI Ordnance Clearing Vehicle

The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) recently took delivery of the fourth of the seven new Fuchs KAI ordnance clearing vehicles, the service announced.

Rheinmetall’s Fuchs/Fox KAI (“Kampfmittelaufklärung und –identifizierung, Ordnance reconnaissance and identification) is a specially configured variant of the Fuchs/Fox 6×6 armored vehicle for detecting and identifying roadside bombs, mines, etc. The vehicle reinforces the Bundeswehr’s “Route Clearance System” for reconnoitering and neutralizing improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, from the safety of an armored fighting vehicle (AFV).

Bundeswehr Fuchs KAI vehicle
The Fuchs/KAI KAI armored ordnance clearing vehicle during the ordnance reconnaissance with its multifunction arm extended. Photo: Bundeswehr/Gerd Benndorf

Besides excellent crew protection, the Fuchs/Fox KAI features a multiple-joint, high-precision manipulator arm with a 10-meter reach and heavy lifting capacity. The arm is equipped with high-performance sensors, special tools and camera systems.

The manipulator arm makes it possible for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel to examine and identify unexploded ordnance and IEDs with extreme precision from a safe standoff without leaving the safety of the fighting compartment. Moreover, a special rescue platform can be used for evacuating personnel and equipment from the danger zone.

In addition, the Fuchs/Fox 1A8 is equipped with highly effective anti-landmine and IED protection elements, special suspended seating that keeps the crew’s feet off the floor of the hull, textile rifle holders and nets for securing all wall-mounted equipment. As an option, the vehicles can also be outfitted with the Active Defence System (ADS), which neutralizes incoming projectiles just before impact.

Complements Bundeswehr’s Route Clearance System

The Fuchs/Fox KAI adds a new dimension to the Bundeswehr’s heavy mine-clearing capability and is intended to reconnoiter danger zones that the service’s Route Clearance System cannot reach. In addition, KAI will also be able to serve as a standalone EOD detection system for reconnoitering hotspots during convoy escort operations.

The larger Route Clearance System (RCP) consists of four vehicles: one for reconnaissance; one for clearing IEDs, mines, etc.; a control vehicle; and another used for transport.

Rheinmetall Route Clearance System
Rheinmetall Route Clearance System. Rheinmetall Photo.

Rheinmetall’s remote control Wiesel detection vehicle, equipped with a newly developed dual sensor with integrated ground penetration radar and a metal detector, has the task in the GRCP of detecting landmines and IEDs on roads. The Fuchs/Fox 1A8 armored transport vehicle serves as a mobile, highly protected control center, equipped with operator interfaces as well as systems for evaluating the signals from the dual sensor.

The “Mini MineWolf” manipulator vehicle is used for the disposal of dangerous unexploded ordnance by remote control.

Depending on the specific mission, this approx. 10-tonne manipulator vehicle can be equipped with tools such as a robotic arm, tiller system or bulldozer blade. An integrated video system instantly transmits imagery back to the EOD specialists in the Fuchs/Fox operator vehicle, keeping them in the picture at all times.

Finally, a Multi FSA logistics vehicle made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has the task of transporting the vehicles of the Route Clearance System.

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