New aerial vehicle
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class converted for special forces: the Caracal
With the Caracal, Rheinmetall unveiled a new airborne vehicle that will be available in the future to support the Bundeswehr and other military personnel. The off-road vehicle is based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and should be usable for various purposes.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a road-legal vehicle with “exceptional off-road mobility,” as the automaker writes. The Rheinmetall armaments group then converted the all-terrain vehicle into a multifunctional aerial vehicle. The Caracal was first seen at the Eurosatory 2022 arms fair in Paris in recent days.
The off-roader is based on the new militarized chassis for rescue and special operations and arises from a cooperation between Rheinmetall, Mercedes-Benz and ACS Armored Car Systems. It features “maximum mobility, lightweight construction, and optionally mountable protection elements against ballistic threats and mines,” said the armament company. Additionally, standard infantry weapons and ATGM weapons can be used on ring mounts.
The converted Mercedes-Benz G-Class can take on different roles
With all-wheel drive and six-cylinder diesel engine, the 4.9-ton military vehicle has 249 hp and a top speed of 140 km / h. It is said to have a “unique modular design” with a choice of two different pitches. This should allow the Caracal to take on different roles in airborne operations, including as a vehicle for the transport of troops, medical or logistics.
The vehicle is “tailored to the platform requirements for special operations or airborne units,” he says. Up to two Caracals can be transported in the CH-53K King Stallion or CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters. The Bundeswehr will receive 60 new units of the latter type, as announced earlier this month.
Mercedes-Benz has been building the G-Class for over 40 years. As a converted vehicle, it has been part of the military fleet for years; the Bundeswehr has been using off-road vehicles for around 30 years. In Switzerland, for example, he has been part of the army for a long time. According to plans, the new Caracal will be available for mass production starting in 2023. Then the airborne vehicle will be used in Germany, the Netherlands and various armies around the world.
Sources: Rheinmetall, Autobild (1), Autobild (2)