New fleet of trucks for New Zealand military

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-15 16:41:05

The New Zealand Defence Force ( NZDF) is buying a fleet of 200 new trucks from Germany's Rheinmetall-MAN military vehicles manufacturer in a deal worth 135 million NZ dollars (110.51 million U.S. dollars), the New Zealand government announced Wednesday.

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said the new military vehicles would replace the old NZDF Unimog and heavier Mercedes trucks.

"The new NZDF medium and heavy trucks will carry more people and equipment, and will be fitted with armor and weapons to protect the crew, allowing them to function effectively in modern military environments," Coleman said in a statement.

"The same military vehicles are being purchased by the United Kingdom and we have bought them at a great price by purchasing off the same production line as the Brits, achieving an economy of scale."

The total cost for the trucks was 113 million NZ dollars, and the rest of the project costs included armor protection kits, weapons mounts, personnel modules and a range of specialised military equipment, as well as spares, logistic support arrangements and training packages.

"The arrival of all the new trucks by the end of 2014 will mean the NZDF can begin working up to a future operational capability which will be a huge step forward in technology and protection from the current fleet," he said.

The trucks were part of an ongoing program of equipment upgrades, including modernization of the navy's frigates, replacement helicopters for the navy, and upgraded Orion and Hercules aircraft.

Vice Chief of Defence Force, Major General Tim Keating said the current Unimog and heavy truck fleets had been in use for almost 30 years.

The new trucks would come in three sizes and would be in use across the NZDF.

"All the engines are emissions compliant and allow for efficient operations even if the fuel is of lower quality, as might be found on foreign military operations," Keating said in a statement.

"They also have modern computerized systems and are fitted with high capacity electrical systems to future proof them for future communications and other electronic systems."

All trucks would be in service by 2015.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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