Rheinmetall, in collaboration with ACS Armoured Car Systems and Mercedes-Benz, secured the contract for the Caracal, defeating a bid from Krauss Maffei-Wegmann and Defenture, which had proposed the GRF platform.
Deliveries of the vehicles are scheduled to commence in 2025, with an annual pace of 100 vehicles. According to a statement published on the website of the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the Caracal air assault vehicle offered by Rheinmetall met all the tactical and technical requirements of the Dutch airborne forces.
“The new vehicles are technically identical for Germany and the Netherlands. They can be equipped with different weapons, for example a heavy machine gun and the Spike anti-tank system. They can also be equipped with ballistic protection, which can be attached to the vehicle in a modular fashion,” the Dutch Minsitry of Defence stated.
The ministry emphasized that when evaluating the vehicle procurement proposals, technical requirements, price, and delivery timeline were taken into consideration.
Furthermore, the statement from the Dutch Ministry of Defence reveals that the German Ministry of Defence has also decided to purchase over 1,000 Caracal vehicles from Rheinmetall.
According to Rheinmetall, the Caracal is based on the latest militarized and proven G-Class chassis, offering a wide range of capabilities for various airborne operations. Its compact design allows for air transport either as internal load or underslung transport, making it compatible with the latest CH-47F Chinook and CH-53K King Stallion helicopters. The vehicle boasts high mobility, a lightweight superstructure, and the option to mount ballistic protection elements.
“Thanks to its unique modular design, the Caracal can fulfill different roles in airborne operations, including troop transport, ambulance applications, combat engineering groups, and various logistical tasks,” said Rheinmetall.