26 May 2023 – Rheinmetall has received an order from the German Bundeswehr to supply a further 57 heavy tractor units in the 70-tonne payload class. Known as the “SaZgM 70t mil” in German military parlance, the unprotected heavy-duty trucks are scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024. The total value of the order is worth just over €50 million, including value added tax. The German armed forces use the trucks primarily for transporting heavy armoured vehicles like the Leopard 2 main battle tank and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.
Just booked, the current order is the last call-off from a framework contract signed in 2018 for the delivery of up to 137 SaZgM 70t mil trucks. Under the framework agreement, which had a 7-year lifetime, eighty tractor units have already been ordered and delivered to the Bundeswehr.
Rheinmetall’s HX81 tractor units are powered by an eight-cylinder 680 hp diesel engine. This gives the high-mobility all-wheel-drive truck a top speed of 89 km/h and the ability to climb gradients of 60 percent. The Gross Train Weight of the system is 130 tonnes. The HX81 tractor unit has the same driver’s cab as Rheinmetall’s UTF family of vehicles. If necessary, the cab can be exchanged for a protected version. It comes with a Rotzler double action winch system, with a combined maximum tractive force of 40 tonnes, enabling the all-terrain tractor unit to tow vehicles onto the trailer.
Important contribution to reinforcing the Bundeswehr’s logistic capabilities
Logistic vehicles play a crucial role in assuring the operational effectiveness of combat units, enabling a rapid response and subsequent sustainment in the field. Being able to transport heavy combat vehicles is a key capability in national and alliance defence. The HX81 complements the Bundeswehr’s SLT heavy transport vehicle. Besides the unprotected HX81, Rheinmetall also supplies the Mammut protected heavy transport vehicle, along with the UTF unprotected transport vehicle and the WLS hook loading system.
Since 2018, Rheinmetall has supplied the Bundeswehr with over 4,000 military trucks. Together with the UTF and WLS, the SaZgM 70t tractor unit forms the logistic backbone of the Bundeswehr.
Photo courtesy Rheinmetall