Patria 6x6

One Thousand Patria Armored Vehicles for Bundeswehr

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Finnish Defence Company Patria Secures German Tank Deal, excluding the frontrunner Rheinmetall. Patria’s 6×6 is expected to replace the Bundeswehr’s existing Fuchs fleet. Rheinmetall turns its gaze to North Africa.

Finnish defence company Patria is poised to deliver up to 1,000 6×6 armored vehicles to the German Bundeswehr starting from 2025. This breakthrough deal, mainly to be fulfilled within Germany, was reported by the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which cited defence sources. Patria has agreed with Defence Service Logistics (DSL) and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) for the design, production, and maintenance of these vehicle variants.

Despite extensive negotiations, the collaboration marks a significant turn as Rheinmetall, previously considered the frontrunner, was not selected for the partnership. According to Hugo Vanbockryck, head of Patria’s European Market Area, the companies could not agree on their respective roles in the collaboration.

Patria’s 6×6 is expected to replace the Bundeswehr’s existing Fuchs fleet, with the first batch of 800 vehicles due for replacement. The 6×6 vehicles are anticipated to be exclusively produced for the German market initially, with potential new orders that may also be produced locally.

Patria, DSL, and FFG, together

The cooperation agreement between Patria, DSL, and FFG will be enacted if Patria’s vehicles are selected through the international Common Armoured Vehicles System (CAVS) program, with Germany joining the Finnish-led initiative in April 2023. The program aims to establish a modern and cost-effective armored 6×6 vehicle system.

Patria’s Vanbockryck expressed enthusiasm for the unique partnership, emphasizing the cost-effective adaptation of the Patria 6×6 vehicles to the needs of the German defence. The vehicles are already in production and operational within NATO partner countries, ensuring a swift integration into the Bundeswehr. The local manufacturing in Germany is set to comply with high technical standards and requirements. The CAVS project, a joint venture by several European countries, was initiated by Finland and Latvia, and later joined by Sweden and Germany. Patria’s 6×6 was chosen as the shared vehicle platform for the project in 2019, signifying a significant step toward modernizing and unifying European defence vehicle systems.

Rheinmetall is Eyeing Algeria

As the German Bundeswehr is likely to shift towards foreign-manufactured wheeled armored vehicles, with a preference emerging for the Finnish defense company Patria’s “6×6” models, driven by both performance and cost considerations, Rheinmetall AG is succeeding in North Africa, namely in Algeria.
According to the German business publication Handelsblatt, Rheinmetall AG landed on an arms deal with the Algerians, reportedly worth €2.7 billion ($3.7 billion). The transaction involves the production of 980 Fuchs (Fox) 2 armored vehicles, which are to be assembled in a dedicated facility in southern Algeria using German-supplied components.

Rheinmetall signed a similar deal already in 2014, which was part of a broader strategic partnership between Algeria and Germany, estimated at €10 billion. It included the delivery of two frigates by ThyssenKrupp and military vehicles by Daimler. Additionally, Algeria has committed not to export the 120 vehicles manufactured annually to other nations.

Rheinmetall’s expansion in Algeria signifies the deepening of a longstanding cooperation, initially intended as a trade-off for liquefied natural gas supplies, which did not materialize due to complicated talks. Despite this, the relationship between the two countries has progressed, with Rheinmetall establishing a tank production facility in Algeria.

The latest order from Algeria represents one of Rheinmetall’s most substantial foreign contracts, with the last Fuchs tank expected to leave the Algerian production line in 2028. Moreover, the Algerian government is contemplating further acquisitions, possibly considering the more modern Boxer wheeled armor.

This arms deal marks a shift in Germany’s foreign policy, which has historically been cautious in trading arms with authoritarian regimes. Under Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s leadership, Germany seems to be re-evaluating its approach, possibly to strengthen political ties, particularly concerning the refugee crisis and to deter closer alliances with adversarial powers like Russia. The Fuchs 2, the most recent model of the Fuchs series initially designed in the 1960s, is currently being used by the Algerian military to safeguard its borders. Meanwhile, there are plans to replicate this model of local assembly with a future tank factory in Ukraine, intended to bolster its defenses against Russia.

Patria 6x6
Technical specifications: PATRIA’s 6×6
Dimensions
  • Length: 7,5m
  • Height over hull: 2,5 m
  • Width: 2,9 m
  • Track width: 2,5 m
  • Max. payload: 8 500 kg                           
  • Max. combat weight: 24 000 kg
Performance
  • Max. speed : >100 km/h
  • Climbing capacity                     60 %
  • Side slope:                                     30 %
  • Obstacle :                                      0,6 m
  • Trench crossing :                      1,2 m
  • Swimming (optional):             6-8 km/h
  • Fording:                                       1,5 m
  • Operating distance:           >700 km
Protection
  • Modular ballistic, mine and IED-protection system according to customers’ requirements.
  • STANAG level 2, optional level 4.
  • Readiness for future protection technologies.
LED-light technology
  • High performance, maintenance free LED lights
Engine
  • Power output                   294 kW
  • Torque output                 1870 Nm
  • Engine type                      5 in-line diesel
Transmission
  • Automatic                         7 + 2 gears
Driveline
  • Driven axles                     All wheel drive
Brakes
  • Pneumatically controlled hydraulic disc brakes with ABS
  • CTIS                    Optional
Suspension
  • Suspension type            Fully independent suspension with double wishbone
  • Spring type                       Coil springs with hydraulic shock absorbers, optional hydropneumatic springs
Steering
  • Steering type                  Hydraulically assisted steering with mechanical linkage for 1st and 2nd axle
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