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Germany and Netherlands procure Caracal airborne vehicles from Rheinmetall

Germany and the Netherlands are jointly procuring the Caracal airborne vehicle that Rheinmetall unveiled at Eurosatory 2022 (pictured armed with a Spike missile launcher). (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

Germany's Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr: BAAINBw) signed a framework contract with Rheinmetall Landsysteme on 10 July for up to 3,058 Caracal 4×4 airborne vehicles for Germany and the Netherlands. The multi-year framework agreement for up to 2,054 German and 1,004 Dutch vehicles is valued at up to EUR1.9 billion (nearly USD2.08 billion), Rheinmetall said in a press release on 10 July.

As a first step, Germany and the Netherlands will order 1,505 airborne vehicles worth EUR870 million, with the German share of this amount coming from the EUR100 billion Zeitenwende special fund approved after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on its website on 11 July that 504 of the vehicles would be for the Netherlands.

Deliveries of the first test vehicles are planned for the first quarter of 2024, followed by serial deliveries at the beginning of 2025, according to Rheinmetall. The Dutch MoD said the Netherlands would receive its first four vehicles in 2024 and that series production would begin in 2025 at a rate of 100 Dutch and 200 German vehicles a year for five years.

The BAAINBw said in the press release that it expected the vehicle to replace airborne versions of the Wolf and Mungo vehicles mainly in the Bundeswehr's Division Schnelle Kräfte (DSK) – Rapid Forces Division – and the Royal Netherlands Army's 11 Airmobile Brigade that is subordinated to it starting in the beginning of 2025.

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