When the law enforcement officers drive up in the Survivor, the gangsters’ knees tremble…

The federal police are upgrading their vehicle fleet – and will be relying on particularly heavy artillery in the future: 55 units of the Survivor R armored multi-purpose vehicle from Rheinmetall have been ordered. Each one a monster on wheels.

Even the data sheet of the Survivor (in German: survivor) has it all: Up to eleven people find protection inside, the steel colossus weighs a whopping 12.5 tons unladen.

The drive is provided by a 6.9-liter diesel that delivers 340 hp and can even meet the Euro 6 emission standard if desired. There is a choice of semi-automatic and fully automatic transmissions, and the Survivor plows through water up to 1.20 meters deep without any problems.

The Survivor can easily cope with steeper passages or extreme slopes

Photo: Rheinmetall

The heavyweight can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h on the road, and a range of 800 kilometers is enough for any chase – although that will certainly not be the primary purpose of the Survivor.

The special vehicle stands on an all-wheel-drive truck chassis from MAN, and Rheinmetall manufactures the armored body. The Survivor R replace the previous model “Sonderwagen 4” introduced 35 years ago and are already in use by some state police units. The Berlin police even compared their survivor on Twitter to all-rounder Chuck Norris.

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How’s the new deal going? For the time being, Rheinmetall will deliver two sample vehicles to the federal authority this year. With these, “extensive tests and a complete protection certification” are carried out. It is common practice that the exact configuration of the vehicles is changed after such test phases, a Rheinmetall spokesman told BILD. The experiences from the tests flow into the final configuration.

Delivery of the series vehicles is scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2026. The manufacturer Rheinmetall takes over the maintenance, repair and logistical support of the armored personnel carrier under a framework agreement.

But what the federal police ordered exactly is secret. “We are not allowed to provide any information on the technical data of the (…) vehicles for the federal police – these are confidential. The vehicle can be adapted in many ways to customer requirements,” says a Rheinmetall spokesman.

The manufacturer’s brochure reveals what is possible: the Survivor can be “adapted to changing threat situations” with interchangeable protective elements, and reinforcements are also available for the panes. Thanks to the auxiliary heating and air conditioning, the officers in the interior remain comfortable at all times of the year.

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Thanks to a snorkel, even deeper waters are no obstacle

Photo: Rheinmetall

And as with cars, the manufacturer also offers a long list of additional extras. In this case, however, we are talking about a ram, clearing grid, infrared and searchlights, fog and irritant gas systems or an extremely powerful winch. Protective ventilation against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare agents is also available.

Purpose? The federal police are on the road in border protection, and also protect rail traffic, airports and important state institutions nationwide. A vehicle that can be used and converted in a variety of ways makes sense for the different areas of application. For targeted use against unmanned drones, there’s even the special version Survivor R C-UAS.

And how much does the crook scare cost? Rheinmetall does not want to give any information about the price, which is heavily dependent on “equipment, configuration, number of units and additional services (service and maintenance contracts)”. In an earlier Survivor order by the state of Berlin, there was talk of around 500,000 euros per vehicle.


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