Germany upgrades Fennek, Boxer

The Dutch DMO (Defence Materiel Organisation), responsible for the bilateral Fennek programme, has ordered the modification of 30 Fennek reconnaissance vehicles to JFST (Joint Fire Support Team) status for the German Army on behalf of the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment (BAAINBw).

Two JFST version Fenneks (Photo credit: KMW)

The €8m contract, won by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (a member of the German-French defence technology group KNDS), includes retrofitting to the latest Fennek JFST 1A3+ variant in the Forward Artillery Observer and Forward Air Controller versions, as well as replacing obsolete component assemblies and the corresponding software adjustments. The Fennek scout cars will be retrofitted between 2018 and 2022 and then transferred back to the German Armed Forces.

The Fennek JFST has high-performance observation equipment and a communication connection which enables voice and data radio from the air force and marines. The system’s tasks include battlefield monitoring, target acquisition and directing fire. The Joint Fire Support Team consists of two vehicles, an artillery observer and a forward air controller.

A few days earlier, on 28 June, the OCCAR Director and the Managing Directors of ARTEC GmbH signed a contract to upgrade Germany’s fleet of 246 Boxer vehicles to the A2 highest build standard which will greatly enhance the survivability and effectiveness of these vehicles by the time the retrofit is completed in 2023.

The contracted performance provides the preparations for a Driver Vision System that will allow the German vehicles to be driven on public roads without support by the commander. In addition an updated safety standard for the drive modules will be retrofitted whilst the mission modules will receive changes to loading lists and stowage. Several other improvements, such as an explosion suppression system and satellite communication, will also be introduced.