The Bundeswehr has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply it with heavyweight semi-trailer tractors. The first of these unprotected Elefant 2 heavy-duty transporters is slated for delivery in 2019, with a further 31 vehicles to follow in 2020. In all, the order for the first 32 vehicles is worth around €28.5 million, including value added tax.
The framework contract runs for seven years and includes an option for the supply of a further 105 Elefant 2 vehicles. This means a total order value of €122 million (including VAT) for 137 vehicles. Following the Bundeswehr’s award in July 2017 of a major contract to Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles for unprotected transport vehicles (“Ungeschützte Transportfahrzeuge”, or UTF), the latest order is another major sales success for the company in Germany.
The Elefant 2 semi-trailer tractor is powered by an eight-cylinder, 680 HP diesel engine.
This gives the high-mobility truck a maximum speed of 89 km/h and lets it handle gradients of 60 percent. The technically permissible gross train weight is 139 tons. The Elefant 2 features the same driver’s cab as the UTF family of vehicles. If necessary, the cab can be exchanged for a protected version. Its equipment includes a Rotzler double winch, each with pulling strength of 20 tons.
With the Elefant 2 on the way, the Bundeswehr’s family of heavyweight transport vehicles continues to grow. The unprotected Elefant 2 complements the protected Mammut heavy-duty transporter, likewise supplied by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles.
Particularly in light of Germany’s obligation in 2023 to furnish NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF 2023), being able to transport heavy combat vehicles will be a key capability.