West Midlands-based RBSL has won a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract worth over £16 million to upgrade and sustain the British Army’s fleet of Fuchs/Fox CBRN reconnaissance vehicles and training simulator.
The Fuchs is a 6x6 armoured vehicle with built-in detection equipment for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Rheinmetall possesses long-standing experience and wide-ranging expertise in this high-tech field.
Thanks to continuous technical advances and performance upgrades, international users of the CBRN Reconnaissance Fuchs/Fox are able to access the very latest in sensor technology. Just awarded, the modernisation contract sees the MoD using Rheinmetall’s experience and abilities to assure the future operational readiness and effectiveness of the UK CBRN reconnaissance fleet.
RBSL will address equipment-related obsolescence issues and upgrade the system with the latest generation of sensing capabilities. Rheinmetall Landsysteme will be drawing on comprehensive technological support from of its centre of excellence for NBC systems technology in Kassel.
The team will also review safety risks and implement a new support contract that includes technical support, provision of spares and repairs, maintenance, training, and design services. The British Army will benefit from Rheinmetall’s extensive experience in the field of NBC detection vehicles.
The work will be led out of RBSL’s facility in Telford, with the support of a UK supply chain. The programme is in line with the UK Government’s desire to provide opportunity to SMEs and level-up regional economies, as well as to protect skilled jobs in engineering and manufacturing.
RBSL has a highly skilled workforce of more than 450 employees based at sites across the UK, including 250 engineers that specialise in key capabilities including weapon systems, survivability, and lethality.
The RBSL team will use its expertise in vehicle integration technology to upgrade and sustain the fleet. Engineers from Rheinmetall Landsysteme will supply the necessary expertise in NBC reconnaissance and detection technology.
The upgrades delivered under the contract will provide an increase in interoperability and commonality with a number of the UK’s NATO partners. The vehicles will also provide the British Army with an advanced ability to detect CBRN threats.
James Heappey, Minister for the Armed Forces, said: “With the military landscape rapidly changing, it has never been more important to develop our capabilities and continue to strive for innovation and adaptability.
“This impressive contract award is a strong and positive step to evolve our traditional equipment into nimble and ground-breaking technologies.”
Peter Hardisty, RBSL managing director, said: “RBSL looks forward to applying our extensive knowledge and experience with armoured vehicles to the Fuchs programme. The contract protects key engineering skills in the UK, it presents an opportunity to exploit new technology, and it provides the British Army with an enhanced capability.”
“This is also a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with Rheinmetall – our majority shareholder and Fuchs Design Authority – and a range of UK SMEs.”