Rheinmetall bags 3058 Caracal airmobile platforms deal from Germany, Netherlands

The German and Dutch armed forces have contracted with Rheinmetall to supply up to 3,058 Caracal airmobile platforms.

Worth up €1.9 billion (including VAT), the multiyear framework contract includes up to 2,054 vehicles earmarked for Germany and 1,004 for the Netherlands. 

As a first step, a firm order from the framework contract has been placed for 1,508 vehicles worth approximately €870 million, including value added tax.

To finance the procurement project, Germany is drawing on the special fund set up last year for reequipping the Bundeswehr.

The Caracal is the product of a partnership between Rheinmetall, Mercedes-Benz AG and Armoured Car Systems GmbH.

Delivery of the first trial models is scheduled to take place as early as the first quarter of 2024, with the start of delivery in series planned for early 2025.  

A 4×4 all-wheel-drive vehicle, the Caracal is a mobile platform specially designed to meet the needs of airmobile formations and special operations forces.

The tendering process, which began in October 2022, was completed in two fast-paced proposal phases.

In the end, Rheinmetall put forward the most economical proposal, with price and technical performance converging to overcome the remaining competitor.

The Caracal is based on a commercial off-the-shelf chassis of the new G-model 464 series from Mercedes-Benz.

In future Rheinmetall will therefore be able to offer users around the world a proven, technically mature platform, providing logistic support throughout the vehicle’s long service life.

With the Caracal, Rheinmetall’s portfolio of tactical vehicle systems has expanded to embrace the lightweight, less-than-10-ton 4×4 segment, where the Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise sees strong growth potential.

Source: https://www.rheinmetall.com/en/media/news-watch/news/2023/7/2023-07-10-rheinmetall-contracted-with-caracal-airmobile-platforms

About Caracal airmobile platforms 

Based on the latest militarized and series-proven G-Class chassis, the Caracal enables a wide array of capabilities covering the full airborne operational spectrum.

The compact vehicle design allows air-transportability as internal load or as underslung transport matching with the latest CH-47F Chinook and CH-53K King Stallion helicopters and comes with highest mobility, a lightweight superstructure and optionally mountable ballistic protection elements.

Its unique modular design allows Caracal to serve in airborne operations in various roles ranging from simple troop transport, via ambulance applications to combat engineer groups and different logistic applications.

Key Characterstics

  • Exclusive cooperation between Rheinmetall, Mercedes-Benz AG and ACS Armoured Car Systems GmbH 
  • Latest generation military-of-the-shelf G-Class chassis by Mercedes-Benz
  • Lightweight and modular superstructure by ACS
  • Transport of up to two vehicles inside heavy transport helicopters CH-47F and CH-53K
  • Air transportability as underslung load
  • Integration of standard infantry weapons and ATGM weapons on ring mount
  • Large scale series production availability from 2023 onwards
  • Full life cycle support over 20 years by Rheinmetall

Length: 4,350/4,700mm
Width: 1,810mm
Height: 1,850mm
Gross vehicle weight: 4,900kg
Air transportable weight: ≤4,400kg
Payload: up to 2,000kg
Maximum speed on road: 130km/h
Gradient: 60%
Side slope: 30%
Fording depth; 700mm
Climbing ability: 330mm
Trench crossing ABS and ESP: 500mm

Power pack
6-cylinder Diesel engine (EURO III)
Engine output: 183kW (249hp)
Engine torque: 600Nm @ 1,400 – 2,800rpm
Transmission Mercedes-Benz NAG3 9G-tronic
Air transportability:Up to two vehicles inside HTH CH-47F and CH-53K or underslung
– Personnel transport (half group/group)
– Reconnaissance
– Ambulance
– Command post
– Combat engineer group/Material transport
Protection (optional)
Ballistic protection kit
Mine protection kit

Source: https://www.rheinmetall.com/en/products/tactical-wheeled-vehicles/wheeled-armoured-vehicles/caracal-air-assault-vehicle