Rheinmetall rolls out new-gen HX3 tactical truck line
Rheinmetall has rolled out its latest generation of HX heavy military truck, the HX3. Boasting a thorough redesign of previous HX vehicles, it offers greater crew protection, better visibility and "future proofing" that will allow it to use crew-optional autonomous systems.
Designed as military-off-the-shelf (MOTS) products, Rheinmetall's HX military trucks have been fairly successful since they were introduced in 2007, with about 15,000 deployed worldwide, thanks in part to the company's emphasis on military-only applications and use of a robust chassis and EURO 6 engine.
With HX3, the goal is not only to improve on the current HX2 design, but to produce one that won't be pushed into obsolescence by new technology. To this end, the HX3 adds an active rear axle suspension as an option for better off-road performance, an all-new electric and electronics systems, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, and new interfaces that will allow the vehicle to accept emerging autonomous control devices, enabling the truck to be crew-optional or carry out truck platooning and other applications.
The HX3 will be available in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 configurations that can handle not only general goods, but also specialized loads, such as truck-mounted artillery, radar, and the Automated Load Handling System (ALHS), which allows a single soldier in the cabin to load and unload the vehicle. For ease of maintenance, the HX3 shares a large number of common components with other models.
Up front, the HX has a new optional armored modular cabin that is tailored to the desired level of protection. Despite this hardening, the crew will have a large windscreen and side windows for a very wide field of vision, supplemented by an optional BirdView camera system for urban driving situations. In addition, the cabin has improved ergonomics that, along with the new driver assist systems, is designed to reduce fatigue and improve safety during long, tiring drives.
For defense, the HX3 has a digital stealth mode that can deactivate various data transceiving functions to reduce the truck's digital signature. For harder defenses, the cabin roof is reinforced to hold a station for heavy weaponry, like the short-range ADS Active Defence System, which can identify and counter incoming ballistic threats.