The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is continuing with the steady renewal of its main operational land vehicle fleets, notifying industry of its intention to replace the army’s unprotected Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles with new utility platforms.
In an 'advance notice of intended future procurement’ released on 12 July, the NZ Ministry of Defence (MoD) disclosed it is seeking to acquire both medium and light utility vehicles under Phase 1 of its Protected Mobility Capability Project (PMCP).
Phase 1 running from 2018 to 2024 involves replacing the capabilities of the 321-strong eight-variant Pinzgauer fleet, and operational Unimogs. Phase 2, running from 2025/2026, will upgrade or replace the 83-strong NZ Light Armoured Vehicle (NZLAV) capability.
The PMCP has already seen the delivery of an undisclosed number of US Polaris MRZR-D 4x4 all-terrain vehicles to replace quad bikes and other small vehicles, together with a decision in June 2020 to replace armoured Pinzgauers with 43 Thales NZ 5.5 Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles with delivery starting in late 2022.
The ‘Utility Vehicle-Medium’ (UV-M) is expected to have a 2-4 tonne payload as well as space for four personnel and their equipment in its basic configuration. Armour protection is optional.
The army will acquire a total of 106 UV-Ms including 30 cargo variants and 30 troop transports, 19 maintenance support variants, 18 command post variants, and nine ambulances.
The ‘Utility Vehicle - Light’ (UV-L) will be an unprotected low-weight vehicle providing a 1,400 kg payload as well as seating for a crew of 2-4 and space for stowage. Ninety-nine UV-Ls are required, comprising 64 general service variants and 35 in the command and liaison role.
The MoD said military or commercial off-the-shelf vehicles were desired, with the complete vehicles set to be delivered by a prime contractor that must also be their design authority. The contract would include integrated logistics support and through-life support arrangements.
A Request for Proposal is expected to be issued in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In 2015 deliveries began to the NZ Army of 200 Rheinmetall MAN Australia medium heavy operational vehicles in 10 variants of six, nine and 15-tonne units.
In 2018 the New Zealand SAS received an undisclosed number of Supacat HMT Extenda MK2 special operations vehicles. The NZSAS also operates five Bushmasters designated as Special Operations Vehicles – Protected Heavy.