Rheinmetall receives €40 million order from Canada for Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicle

The Rhein­metall Group of Düs­sel­dorf, Ger­many, is to sup­ply the Cana­di­an armed forces with the state-of-the-art Büffel/Buffalo armoured recov­ery vehi­cle. Rhein­metall secured this impor­tant con­tract in the face of stiff com­pe­ti­tion, under­scor­ing the Groups lead­ing role in the world of heavy­weight com­bat sup­port vehi­cles. The order is worth around C$54.7 mil­lion (€40 mil­lion). Rhein­metall has thus suc­ceed­ed in win­ning anoth­er impor­tant con­tract in Cana­da as well as adding a new chap­ter to the Büffel/Buffalo ARV suc­cess sto­ry: Cana­da will be the eighth coun­try to field the sys­tem.

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Büffel/Buffalo armoured recov­ery vehi­cle

The recent­ly signed con­tract encom­pass­es the man­u­fac­ture and deliv­ery of the tracked armoured vehi­cles as well as the pro­vi­sion of relat­ed train­ing sup­port. They will be equipped with the lat­est force pro­tec­tion fea­tures, mak­ing them more than a match for the kind of threats encoun­tered in mod­ern deployed oper­a­tions, e.g. in Afghanistan.

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Deliv­ery of the armoured recov­ery vehi­cles is slat­ed to take place in 2013–2014. The Cana­di­an mil­i­tary are fur­nish­ing a num­ber of Leop­ard 2 tank chas­sis from their inven­to­ry, which Rhein­metall will con­vert into Büffel/Buffalo ARVs. The project will be car­ried out in Ger­many at Rhein­metalls Kiel and Kas­sel plants as well as in Cana­da in coop­er­a­tion with its sub­sidiary Rhein­metall Cana­da and oth­er Cana­di­an com­pa­nies.

Kiel is home to the Groups com­pe­tence cen­tre for com­bat sup­port vehi­cle R&D, while series pro­duc­tion of tracked armoured vehi­cles takes place in Kas­sel. Rhein­metall Cana­da is cur­rent­ly engaged in a major pro­gramme to mod­ern­ize and mod­i­fy 42 Leop­ard main bat­tle tanks which the Cana­di­an mil­i­tary took over from the Dutch armed forces in 2007.

The Cana­di­an Army has already been using the Büffel/Buffalo ARVs in Afghanistan since 2007. Drawn from the Bun­deswehr inven­to­ry, Rhein­metall opti­mized the vehi­cles pri­or to deploy­ment, fit­ting them with added force pro­tec­tion fea­tures. Both the Leop­ard 2 main bat­tle tank and Büffel/Buffalo have per­formed extreme­ly well in this high­ly chal­leng­ing tac­ti­cal envi­ron­ment, reli­ably pro­tect­ing their crews from road­side bomb blasts, etc.

Known as the Bergepanz­er 3 Büf­fel (BPz 3) in Ger­man, the Büffel/Buffalo ARV is based on the Leop­ard 2 chas­sis, and was joint­ly devel­oped on behalf of the Ger­man and Dutch armies. It is designed for recov­er­ing dis­abled tanks as well as for con­duct­ing main­te­nance and repair work under field con­di­tions. Thanks to a built-in crane, the Büffel/Buffalo is able to exchange a Leop­ard 2 pow­er­pack or com­plete tur­ret. Besides a pow­er­ful hydraulic crane sys­tem, this cut­ting edge ARV is equipped with a robust winch sys­tem and a com­bined doz­er and sta­bi­liz­ing blade.

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