Monday, May 30, 2011

Germany Orders Heavy Protected Recovery Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks in Germany has signed a contract with the German Armed Forces for delivery of protected Actros Heavy Recovery Vehicles for immediate use by the German troops in Afghanistan. The supply of these vehicles will substantially enlarge the capabilities of the ‘Bundeswehr’ and continue the successful relationship with Mercedes-Benz. Only in the last three years over 2.000 trucks and 650 Unimogs have been supplied by Mercedes-Benz.

The Actros vehicles to be delivered will be of the same configuration and with the same high level of protection as those successfully operated by the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan since March 2008. The vehicles will ensure the best available protection in wheeled logistics vehicles for the German soldiers in operation.

With a lead time of seven months between contract award and delivery, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will once more demonstrate its ability to react quickly to customer needs while ensuring at the same time the high level of quality, performance as well as protection uncompromised to ist principle trucks you can trust.

Protection of the highest level

With the heavily-armoured Actros 4151 AK 8x8, Mercedes-Benz is setting new standards in special-purpose logistics vehicles. The Actros provides Level 4 ballistic protection and Level 4b mine protection according to STANAG 4569. Thanks to its extremely effective armour against blasts and shrapnel, the Actros is also setting standards when it comes to protection against IED's and car bombs.

Ultimate protection and recovery capability

The systems of the heavily-armoured Actros 4151 AK 8x8 have been further optimized on the basis of many years of experience. Having proven its worth with the deployment of around 100 vehicles in six different vehicle variants in crisis regions around the world, the armoured Mercedes-Benz Actros has set bench marks. Thanks to their excellent cab protection, high-performance chassis and tried-and-tested bodies, the vehicles are able to offer a deployment availability of over 95%.

Mercedes-Benz has now consistently extended the vehicle's potential even further. In doing so, the body has basically been retained while the protection of the cab against weapons fire, shrapnel and blasts from explosive devices has been further enhanced. The drivetrain has now been designed to comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard applicable in Europe. Furthermore, the high-performance recovery and crane body has benefited from an improved and particularly user-friendly common control system.

Improved protection and ergonomics

As a result, the structure of the cab has been optimised, and the cab itself has been fitted with improved protection and new reinforced glass. The armoured cab can be tilted forward so as to guarantee access to the engine compartment, which is also armoured. A new seating system with 5-point seat belts provides the optimum basis for protecting the occupants against attack, including from the side. At the same time the seats offer both secure support when driving off-road as well as good freedom of movement. A high-performance air conditioning system helps to ensure optimum temperatures are maintained, even in extreme climatic conditions.

Technical Details of the Heavy Recovery Vehicle

A particular challenge faced by heavy recovery vehicles is the distribution of axle loads in all deployment situations - from heavy-duty recovery applications through to driving when empty. While the weight of the armoured cab lies across the front axles only, in recovery situations the weight of the raised, towed vehicle places a load on the rear axles which can act like a huge lever. The Actros 4151 AK 8x8 Recovery vehicle, however, has been designed in such a way as to ensure a substantially uniform axle load distribution and also enable safe handling in both heavy-duty recovery situations and also when driving unladen.

The protected Special Vehicle has a weight of 33.500 kg, a length of 10.530 mm, a width of 2.800 mm and a height of 3.400 mm. The wheelbase of the Mercedes-Benz Actros 8x8 is 5.580 mm. The BlueTec 5-V8-engine of the type OM 502 LA has a power of 375 kW/ 510 hp.

The recovery technology consists of the wreckerbody made bei Empl, three Rotzler-winches and a Hiab-front-crane. The Rotzler-winches have a max. tractive power of 25 to with a cable-length of 100 m. The Hiab-crane has a lifting capacity of 7.500 kg with 2,60 m. The arm of the Empl-wrecker has a lifting height of 5 m and a lifting capacity of 16 to. The wrecker capacity while driving is more than 12 to.

Available in a wide range of variants

In addition to the recovery vehicles on display which feature ultimate cab protection, a variety other chassis and body variants are also available - ranging from the heavy semitrailer tractor or hook lift with container handling unit, to the pickup body with crane. A wide variety of engines is also available. Based on a modular assembly system, Mercedes-Benz also offers cabs with lower classes of protection and in different lengths for the Actros 8x8, in some cases also with ABC protection.

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