13 Nov 18. After 20 years, the majority of the G-Model off-road vehicles used by the Dutch military are to be replaced. In their place will come proven Mercedes-Benz G-Class 300 CDI vehicles which are, however, much more technologically advanced. Following a successful tendering process, Mercedes-Benz Cars Netherlands B.V. (MBCNL) will supply around 515 vehicles to the Dutch military between 2021 and 2023. Known as the “12kN AASLT”, the vehicles (1200kg payload air assault vehicles) can be transported with precision to their place of deployment by Chinook helicopters as either internal or external cargo. In a second tranche, a further 550 vehicles could be purchased through to the year 2030. Other vehicle variants are a logistics body and an ambulance body.
“We are proud that an intelligent combination of modular solutions from Graz in Austria and local flexibility was demanded by the Dutch army,” explains Niels Kowollik, CEO of MBCNL. “For the Dutch dealer network this also means that servicing, maintenance and repair of these vehicles will be required over an extended period.”
Dr. Gunnar Güthenke, CEO of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, had this to say about the pleasing result of the Dutch army’s tendering process: “The G-Class speaks for itself. In all deployment scenarios, the off-road vehicle is compelling for its performance, outstanding handling characteristics and safety, whatever the terrain. Time after time, we see that nations who have bought the G-Class once opt again and again for the G-Class’s proven quality.”
Jane’s reported that formal AASLT activity traces back to a tender published in December 2016, for which there were nine respondents. Between May and August 2017 a selection process reduced that to five. These were invited to participate in a two-phase follow-on ‘dialogue stage’ that ran from September 2017 until February 2018, and four accepted the invitation.
For the tender stage, which ran from March 2018 until August 2018, there were three respondents: Mercedes-Benz Cars Netherlands, the Netherlands’ Defenture BV, and the UK’s Jankel. Mercedes-Benz’s selection was announced on 23 October.
Following contract signing, an engineering and verification phase is to run from 2019 to 2020, with production and delivery running from the first half of 2021 until 2023. Jane’s sources suggested that a contract option could allow for another 515 vehicles to be delivered between 2023 and 2028.
The winning solution is based on the recently introduced 3.12 m wheelbase option of Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class, which will be supplied to the Netherlands as a rolling chassis from the G-Class production facility in Graz, Austria. No official comment has been made regarding local industry involvement, although Jane’s sources suggested the VDL Group is involved.
The AASLT will be delivered in three main variants: Combat (FV) (329), Logistics (LOG) (144), and Casualty (CAST) (42). The FV variant will seat four within roll-over protection and feature a central ring-mount. The Logistics and Casualty variants will seat two (the Casualty variant accommodating up to two stretchers). The payload of all variants is 1,223kg.
Jankel is believed to have offered a variant of the Fox Rapid Reaction Vehicle (RRV), whilst Defenture ATTV (Air Transportable Tactical Vehicle). The vehicle was launched at the Land and Airland Defence and Security international exhibition, EUROSATORY 2014, held in Paris, France. General Dynamics European Land Systems markets the vehicle in Europe under an agreement with Defenture BV. The ATTV is a new member of General Dynamics European Land Systems’ light tactical vehicle line including EAGLE (4×4 and 6×6), DURO, and Super Light Tactical Vehicle QUAD.