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Monday, January 15, 2007

Rheinmetall To Produce Engineer Vehicles for Swiss Army

The Swiss Army has ordered 12 Kodiak armored engineer vehicles from Rheinmetall, the German armored vehicle producer announced.

The new systems, which the Swiss Army will call “Geniepanzer,” are scheduled to be delivered in 2009. The contract is valued at 95 million Swiss francs ($76.4 million), according to a statement from Switzerland’s RUAG Land Systems.
The Kodiak is jointly developed, marketed and manufactured by Rheinmetall Landsysteme and RUAG.
Designed as a heavy-duty combat engineer tool, the Kodiak is based on components from the Leopard 2 main battle tank. It is equipped with a high-performance hinged arm excavator mounted in the center position, a dozer and a double-winch system. For self-defense, the Kodiak sports a 12.7mm machine gun and smoke grenade launcher.
According to Rheinmetall, the vehicle’s anti-landmine protection is comparable to that of the latest version of Leopard 2, making the Kodiak — when equipped with a full-width mine plough, a signature-duplicator and a lane-marking unit — a “high-performance minefield-breaching system.”
“The Kodiak has clear market potential in all Leopard 2 user countries,” Rheinmetall spokesman Oliver Hoffman said. “A number of nations have already expressed an interest in this state-of-the-art system; some have launched procurement projects already.”
In a Jan. 9 press statement, Rheinmetall called the Swiss Army “an important reference customer,” but declined to name other specific nations interested in the Kodiak.
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