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Army Says It Will Purchase West German Reconnaissance Vehicle

March 17, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Army announced Wednesday it had decided to begin purchasing a specialized West German military reconnaissance vehicle rather than continue development of its own.

The decision ultimately could be worth $790 million to West Germany and demonstrates the U.S. commitment ″to NATO standardization and cooperation,″ the Army said.

The decision involves a unique type of wheeled reconnaissance vehicle outfitted for use in a battle zone contaminated by either nuclear radioactivity or biological and chemical agents.

The West German version of the vehicle is known as the ″ABC-Spuerpanzer FUCHS″ and is made by Thyssen Henschel of Kassel, West Germany. The U.S. Army calls the German vehicle the ″Fox NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle.″

″The Fox wheeled vehicle has been in service with German forces since 1979,″ the Army said. ″A version of it has been recently fielded as a reconnaissance vehicle with imbedded nuclear and chemical detection, warning and navigation equipment.

″The Army will adopt (this) vehicle ..., terminating funding for the XM87 NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle program.″

Maj. Randy Morger, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Army intended to purchase six of the Fox vehicles in the near future for about $1 million each in order to perform final acceptance tests.

Ultimately, the service may spend about $790 million to acquire 576 of the vehicles. That pricetag would include adding some additional sensor, data processing and radio equipment to the vehicle, Morger said.

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