15 More Wiesel 2 Ambulances for the Bundeswehr
Germany’s BWB (Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement) has ordered 15 more Wiesel 2 tracked armored vehicles from Rheinmetall Defence. Rheinmetall will supply the Bundeswehr with 13 field ambulances, as well as a second order for 2 training vehicles, accompanying logistical materiel for training German maintenance units, and 2 training models. Together the two orders are worth around EUR 9 million (about $11.8 million), with work taking place in Unterluss and Kiel, Germany and expected to be complete by the end of 2007. This brings the number of Wiesel 2 vehicles procured for the German Bundeswehr to over 140.
The 2-4 tonne Wiesel family of vehicles are fully portable in medium helicopters and above, and fill a number of infantry enhancement roles. As one can see from the accompanying photos, there isn’t a lot of room inside; indeed, Wiesels generally carry just their crew of 2-3 plus accompanying weapons. The Germans see it as a lightly-protected but very mobile and very transportable vehicle that can add significant firepower punch to airborne units, or provide key capabilities like air defense (vid. LeFlaSys OZELOT variant) that can be shuttled into place by plane or helicopter and set up almost immediately.
In the case of the ambulance variant, the Wiesel provides an excellent and compact option for rescuing and then evacuating wounded soldiers from remote areas while under fire. During rapid response missions, it gives its carrier helicopter more landing zone options and so reduces overall mission risk. If the vehicle is an embedded armored asset with ground forces instead, commanders have additional protected options for recovery of wounded soldiers under fire, using small armored vehicles that can go where the infantry go and won’t get stuck in mud or off-road terrain.
- Rheinmetall Defence (June 25/09) – Combating terrorism: Rheinmetall wins €54 million order to equip the Bundeswehr with an advanced mortar system. Also based on the Wiesel 2, and will also deploy to Afghanistan.