Rheinmetall has announced the official handover of three HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) at the Trentham Military Camp in Wellington.
Colonel Ben Bagley, director of Land Domain for NZDF, accepted the handover of the vehicles from Rheinmetall New Zealand manager, Marty Roelofs at an official ceremony in Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director, Gary Stewart’s place.
“The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicle is another example of our commitment to providing sustainable design, development and manufacturing that delivers world leading products and services to the NZDF,” Stewart said.
“Delivery of this enhanced recovery capability, complementing the already delivered Medium-heavy Operational Vehicles fleet, in the midst of global COVID challenges is a testament to the relationship between Rheinmetall and the NZDF.”
The successful delivery of the vehicles to the NZDF provides the New Zealand Army with important new capabilities. The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles have enhanced recovery and mobility capabilities, specifically developed to meet the current and future operational needs of the NZDF.
The HX 8×8 purchase adds to the in-service medium and heavy operational vehicle fleet with NZDF. The Medium-heavy Operational Vehicles (MHOV) fleet which was supplied by Rheinmetall has already had significant use with NZDF in training, operations and disaster relief, both in New Zealand and offshore.
The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles delivered to the NZDF are the first in the world to use the Integrated Armoured Swap Cabin, which allows easy configuration of the vehicles to suit the operational need. Rheinmetall will also provide a dedicated training team to conduct initial training on the vehicle with the NZDF.
At just 2.55m wide, the HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicle allows greater accessibility and operates exceptionally in difficult terrain, with an ability to cross ditches of 1.4m wide and cross flooded areas of 1.5m in depth, as well as scale gradients of up to 60 per cent and side slopes of 30 per cent.
The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicle is also able to operate in a range of radically different environments, operating in cold conditions as low as -32°C and in hot conditions all the way up to 49°C.