Telford's RBSL site to lead on £16 million military vehicle contract

Telford-based defence firm RBSL has won a £16 million contract to upgrade and sustain the British Army’s fleet of Fuchs/Fox CBRN reconnaissance vehicles and training simulator.

 Fuchs/Fox vehicle. Copyright: RBSL
Fuchs/Fox vehicle. Copyright: RBSL

The contract has been awarded by the MoD and the work will be led out of RBSL's site in Hadley Park, potentially sustaining hundreds of jobs.

The Fuchs is a 6x6 armoured vehicle with built-in detection equipment for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

RBSL, a joint venture between two defence companies – Rheinmetall and BAE Systems, will address equipment-related obsolescence issues and upgrade the system with the latest generation of sensing capabilities.

RBSL employs more than 450 employees based at sites across the UK, including 250 engineers who specialise in key capabilities such as weapon systems, survivability, and lethality.

The RBSL team will use their expertise in vehicle integration technology to upgrade and sustain the fleet. Experts from Rheinmetall Landsysteme will supply the necessary expertise in NBC reconnaissance and detection technology.

Experience

Peter Hardisty, RBSL managing director, said: “RBSL looks forward to applying our extensive knowledge and experience with armoured vehicles to the Fuchs programme. The contract protects key engineering skills in the UK, it presents an opportunity to exploit new technology, and it provides the British Army with an enhanced capability.

“This is also a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with Rheinmetall – our majority shareholder and Fuchs Design Authority – and a range of UK SMEs.”

The programme is in line with the UK Government’s agenda to provide opportunity to SMEs and level up regional economies, as well as to protect skilled jobs in engineering and manufacturing.

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said: “With the military landscape rapidly changing, it has never been more important to develop our capabilities and continue to strive for innovation and adaptability.

“This impressive contract award is a strong and positive step to evolve our traditional equipment into nimble and ground-breaking technologies.”

The German Government gave the British Army 11 ex-German Army Fuchs vehicles in 1990 to support ground operations during the First Gulf War.

In the meantime, the Fuchs/Fox is in service with customers worldwide and has proven to be highly effective in numerous operations.

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