‘Explosive reasons’ delay delivery of 200 German MRAPs to Ukraine

Significant obstacles have led to a delay in the delivery of 200 Germany-produced MRAPs to Ukraine in 2024. This revelation was made on April 22 by the reputable German source, BILD, which referenced exclusive, confidential documents. 

'Explosive reasons' delay delivery of 200 German MRAPs to Ukraine
Photo credit: TurDef

BILD disclosed that Fahrzeuge der Flensburger Waffenfirma [FFG] was engaged by the Ukrainian administration to supply 400 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles [MRAP]. According to the initial agreement, the German government was to transport 20 vehicles monthly to Ukraine. Consequently, over ten months, Ukraine should have expected the delivery of half of the ordered vehicles. 

However, BILD’s investigative reporting has unveiled alterations in these initial plans, with the early 2024 delivery schedule reduced and delayed. Instead of the expected 200 MRAPs, just 100 units of the FFG vehicles will be delivered this year, with the commencement of the deliveries shifted from January to May 2024.

'Explosive reasons' delay delivery of 200 German MRAPs to Ukraine
Photo credit: Tag Defence

Simultaneously, it’s becoming apparent from BILD’s intel that Germany’s Ministry of Defense is struggling to maintain even this revised delivery timeline. As of mid-April, a confidential document acquired by BILD revealed that the 100 mine-resistant German vehicles, originally guaranteed by Pistorius in March, are now slated for delivery beginning in June 2024. 

BILD poses, and answers, the lingering question of why there’s been a delay in the delivery of the German FFG vehicles. “It’s likely because FFG does not produce the primary components of the mini-protected vehicle independently. Instead, they source them from the US.” 

Within the report by the German publication, it’s disclosed that the 400 vans due for delivery [with a projected unit cost paid by Germany at approximately 787,500 euros, inclusive of spare parts, certifications, and delivery costs] are essentially modified versions of the “BATT UMG”, a primarily civilian type. This vehicle is produced by “The Armored Group [TAG]”, an American company.

The report further provides that an FFG representative wouldn’t confirm the actual vehicle model to BILD but did state, “Vehicle elements are made in the USA and then exported to Germany where the cars are finally assembled.” 

BILD concludes by saying, “Constrained US export licenses to Germany’ have been blamed within ministry networks for the existing delivery halts. It’s internally accepted, however, that the obligatory vehicle mine protection certifications [STANAG 4569 level 2 a+ b] are not ready yet. These are crucial for ensuring that Ukrainian soldiers are protected against mines and other blasts in the defense war against Russia.” 

As noted by an anonymous source within the ministry who spoke with BILD, there have been no successful explosive tests that are required for the necessary certifications up to mid-April. It seems that the promised vehicle mine protection from FFG remains unproven. In a somewhat unconvincing denial to BILD, FFG only partially refuted the accusations. A spokesperson responded, “The protective level has previously been tested successfully and is currently undergoing a revaluation. We have the necessary proofs and certifications from the appropriate testing facilities in hand,” as reported by BILD, a German publication.

'Explosive reasons' delay delivery of 200 German MRAPs to Ukraine
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Withstanding Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDs] and ambushes, German Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles [MRAPs], a group of armored combat vehicles, are designed to prioritize the safety of soldiers onboard from projected blasts.  

Typically, a standard German MRAP measures about 6 meters long, 2.5 meters wide, and 3 meters tall. However, it’s important to note that these measurements may vary based on the specific model and vehicle specifications. 

German MRAPs are known for their powerful engines – often diesel – designed to provide the significant horsepower necessary for navigating rugged terrains. The inclusion of advanced suspension systems serves to augment their off-road prowess. For added durability, they’re typically fitted with puncture-resistant tires and feature ample ground clearance to guard against underbody blasts.

Their design showcases a potent emphasis on crew protection, a trait epitomized by their V-shaped hulls. Built to direct the force of land mines or IEDs away from the vehicle, this design element dramatically enhances the survival chances of those onboard. Reinforced armor plates add an extra layer of security against missile strikes. 

Their mine resistance capability is indeed impressive. Constructed to withstand blasts equivalent to several kilograms of TNT, this remarkable capability is achieved by integrating the V-shaped hull and utilizing advanced materials in the vehicle’s construction. 

The vehicles offer even more perks; they often come equipped with fire-fighting mechanisms, protective systems against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats, along with top-tier communication systems. Such features significantly improve the vehicles’ survivability and operational efficiency in a myriad of challenging combat situations.


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