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Rheinmetall transfers first Kodiak armoured engineering vehicle to Sweden

A state-of-the-art combat support vehicle based on the Leopard 2

(PresseBox) (Düsseldorf, ) Rheinmetall Defence has handed over the first "Kodiak" AEV 3 S armoured engineering vehicle to the Swedish armed forces procurement agency (FMV, Försvarets Materiel Verk). At an official ceremony in Kiel, Harald Westermann, Member of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH of Kiel, presented the symbolic vehicle keys to Stefan Grann, Head of Vehicles and Engineering Equipment Office at FMV (Swedish Defence Materiel Administration).

Known in Rheinmetall parlance as the "Kodiak", the AEV 3 S is a heavy-duty combat engineering system that falls into the military weight category MLC 70. Its mineprotected MBT (main battle tank) Leopard 2 chassis and 1,100 kW diesel engine assure outstanding mobility and a high level of protection. It is equipped with a powerful hinged-arm excavator with different excavator tools, a dozer system featuring cutting and tilt angle settings and a double-winch system consisting of two 9-ton capstan winches. For its self-protection, the vehicle is equipped with a remote control weapon station and a smoke grenade launcher system.

Six cameras provide the two or three-man crew with a panoramic view of the vehicle's surroundings, enabling them to switch tools and carry out a full range of combat engineering tasks without leaving the safety of the armoured fighting crew compartment. If required, the dozer blade can be replaced with a mine-breaching plough. By adapting the mine breaching kit to the AEV 3 S, the vehicle can be used as a mine breaching system. Among other things, this enables the Kodiak to cut through minefields and to erect or dismantle artificial obstacles. Thanks to its extensive array of equipment, it can also be deployed in a civil defence or disaster recovery capacity as well as in joint civil-military operations.

Rheinmetall manufactures and markets the Kodiak worldwide as part of a consortium with RUAG Defence, the strategic technology partner of the Swiss armed forces.

This vehicle delivery is the start for further deliveries to Switzerland and The Netherlands, which will use the Kodiak to support their Leopard 2 main battle tanks and to supplement their previously fielded ARV 3 armoured recovery vehicles, likewise supplied by Rheinmetall.

Now poised for on-time completion, the AEV 3 S project began in 2005. The Netherlands joined the project in 2006.

On 16 January 2008, the procurement agencies of Sweden and the Netherlands awarded Rheinmetall an order for 16 armoured engineering vehicles, with six earmarked for the Swedish armed forces, and ten going to the Dutch Army. In total, the order is worth around €100 million.

Having already supplied some 14,000 tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles, Rheinmetall Defence is one of Europe's leading makers of land systems, including wheeled and tracked combat vehicles and combat support vehicles as well as NBC reconnaissance systems.