A first step towards a Net-Centric Capability
Munich, March 11, 2010) -- Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) today handed over the first series-production vehicle of the Joint Fire Support Team (JFST) FENNEK to the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) and the Armed Forces at the artillery school in Idar-Oberstein. The vehicles feature special equipment for Joint Fire Support (JFS) tasks and will see deployment to Afghanistan as early as in April 2010. More than one hundred guests attended the ceremony at which KMW Member of the Board Jurgen Weber handed over the new JFST FENNEK to BWB's vice president Reinhard Schutte as well as to the Commander of the Artillery School, Brig. Gen. Heribert Hupka.
Based on the highly mobile FENNEK all-terrain vehicle, the JFST coordinates indirect fire of land assets as well as airborne and shipboard weapons systems, thus increasing their effectiveness. Two different vehicle configurations work together to provide this vital support: The "ground-ground" configuration as an Artillery Observer and the "air-ground" configuration as a Forward Air Controller. The JFST provides the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) with significantly improved capabilities for the reconnaissance, detection, identification, and evaluation of enemy targets. Furthermore, the vehicles are characterised by their additional communication links to other Army, Air Force and Navy platforms.
"This highly sophisticated system provides the Bundeswehr with a new, urgently required capability," said Jurgen Weber. "Opponents can be reconnoitred, identified and geographically positioned up to a range of several kilometres during day and night time. The information gathered by the JFST is vital to the forces of the Army, Air Force and Navy." A laser pointer and illuminator, integrated onto the system, will improve the capability to use laser-guided munitions with a future extended function.
So far, a total of 20 vehicles have been ordered which will be delivered through 2011. The overall requirement of the Bundeswehr amounts to 40 vehicles.
The FENNEK Artillery Observer configuration has already been deployed with the ISAF troops since 2004. The new "double act" system features an extraordinarily powerful observation and reconnaissance equipment. The vehicles further provide a high level of protection against mines and ballistic threats as well as against NBC contamination. With a range of 850 kilometres the three-man crew can operated independently for several days. Being air-transportable, the FENNEK can be rapidly and easily deployed to distant and remote areas of operation.
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