700 Fire Control Units Worth EUR 55 Million
Germany’s Bundeswehr has assigned Rheinmetall an important role in modernizing many of its vehicles with new electro-optical sensor technology.
The Düsseldorf-based Group has received a follow-up order to supply some 700 high-performance sensors for an identical number of weapon stations destined for a variety of vehicles. In total, the order is worth around €55 million. Over the next four years, Rheinmetall will be equipping the Bundeswehr with 418 LAZ 200 and 275 LAZ 400L sensors.
Rheinmetall will thus be supplying particularly high-value components under a Bundeswehr procurement programme that will significantly enhance the self-defence capabilities of numerous different vehicles. It will also assure a substantially improved night fighting capability.
The sensor units form the central element of the electronic fire control unit in the weapon station, enabling highly effective target recognition, tracking and engagement. In combination with remotely operated weapon stations, they let vehicle crews respond to threats without having to leave the safety of the armoured fighting compartment, potentially exposing themselves to hostile fire. Older weapon systems can only be operated with the hatch open in unprotected mode.
Mounted on vehicles such as the Fox, Boxer, Yak and Dingo, LAZ equipment sets (LAZ stands for “Lafetten-adaptierbares Zielsystem”, or “gun mount-adaptable aiming system”) have already proven highly effective in deployed operations of the Bundeswehr.
The compact LAZ 200/400L systems comprise a sensor unit consisting of a thermal imaging device, a high-resolution CCD camera and – in the case of the 400L – a laser rangefinder. Unlike the LAZ200, the LAZ 400L model features a cooled thermal imaging device with an even better night vision capability. The package also includes operator interface and display devices, which form an integral part of the overall weapon station system.
This new order attests the excellence of the devices produced at Rheinmetall’s Ismaning plant, while also assuring adequate capacity utilization and the plant’s continued economic viability for years to come.