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New Zealand orders Rheinmetall trucks

May 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, May 15 (UPI) -- New Zealand's military is acquiring 200 trucks from Germany's Rheinmetall MAN in a deal worth $111.3 million.

The vehicles, which will be delivered by the end of next year, will replace Unimog and heavier Mercedes trucks in use by New Zealand forces.

"The new NZDF medium and heavy trucks will carry more people and equipment and will be fitted with armor and weapons to protect the crew, allowing them to function effectively in modern military environments," said New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman.

"The same military vehicles are being purchased by the United Kingdom and we have bought them at a great price by purchasing off the same production line as the (British), achieving an economy of scale."

The trucks being purchased are 4x4s, 6x6s and 8x8s and all are fitted with high-capacity electrical systems. Models are comprised of a number of variants, including trucks fitted with winches and cranes, dump trucks, trucks fitted with specialized pallet and container handling equipment and tractor/semi-trailer combinations.

The Defense Ministry said some specific components -- such as semi-trailers and dumper bodies -- will be manufactured in New Zealand.

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