Up to 90 more new tanks for police in Germany

The Federal Police and the riot police of the federal states are paying € 81 million for armoured vehicles from Rheinmetall. Some procured them already for their special forces

On 15 November 2021, the procurement office of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior) awarded the company Rheinmetall Landfahrzeuge GmbH the contract for 45 „Survivor R“ vehicles for the riot police of the federal states and for ten additional units for the federal police. With these vehicles, the ministry intends to cover „potential terrorist threat scenarios with the danger of parallel situations“.

The armoured vehicles based on a truck chassis replace the four-wheeled „TM-170“, which the ministry procured 35 years ago as „Sonderwagen 4“ („Special Car 4“). The „Sonderwagen 5“ will be delivered from 2023; in a basic version it costs around €1.3 million, plus VAT.

Up to eleven officers can be accommodated in the „Survivor R“. According to the manufacturer, the vehicles, which travel at over 100 kilometres per hour, are equipped with a „protective ventilation system“ against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare agents. Optionally, they can be equipped with a launcher system for smoke and irritants or with other weapons. The Federal Police equip their vehicles with weapon stations from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann; these are fitted with a remote-controlled machine gun from Heckler & Koch. The riot police forces of the federal states can order these components from Rheinmetall.

For the first three years, Rheinmetall is also responsible for the inspection and maintenance as well as the training of the police personnel in charge. The defence company will receive around €1 million for this. The costs for maintaining the 45 vehicles will be borne by the individual Länder in accordance with an administrative agreement with the federal government.

As an option, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has agreed on the delivery of further vehicles. This could increase the stock of the Federal Police by a further seven and in the Länder by a further 28 „Survivor R“. These would be financed from Land funds.

The special police vehicles usually form a water cannon squadron with two water cannons. The Ministry of Interior has not yet announced whether this also applies to the „Survivor R“.

Some federal states have already procured „Survivor R“ for their special forces, including North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Saxony. Hamburg opted for the „Survivor“ model offered by the Austrian company Achleitner in cooperation with Rheinmetall.

Image: Rheinmetall Defence, Survivor R in Police configuration, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Autor: Matthias Monroy

Knowledge worker, activist, editor of the German civil rights journal Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP.