A £16-million contract has been placed to upgrade and sustain the British Army’s critical fleet of specialist CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) surveillance and reconnaissance vehicles.
Fuchs are six-wheeled, all-wheel drive, armoured vehicles which have been adapted into a protected platform to carry out chemical, radiological and nuclear survey and reconnaissance missions.
The vehicles are equipped with automatic systems and sensors for detecting nuclear radiation as well as CBRN agents and other toxic substances.
The importance of the UK’s counter-CBRN capabilities have been highlighted both in the conflict in Syria and the response to the Salisbury nerve agent incident in 2018.
The agile vehicle, which can travel at speeds of up to 100km/h, is operated by a four-strong team who are sealed in against hazardous environments and can establish the severity and location of any chemical or radiological threat.
The nine-strong fleet of FUCHS are complemented by a training simulator – also to be updated and sustained under the contract – which ensures the specialist operators within the Warminster-based Falcon Squadron can undergo regular training on site.
The contract, placed with Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), was negotiated by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) – the procurement arm of the MOD – and will protect highly-skilled jobs in engineering and manufacturing.