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New Zealand Wants to Replace 40-Year-Old Support Vehicle Fleet

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is looking to replace its domestic support vehicle fleet with commercial vehicles.

The off-the-shelf vehicles will be used for weather and disaster response operations, as well as transport of personnel and equipment.

NZDF announced the plan to retire its Unimog trucks and Mitsubishi Tritons on October 5 as part of its Garrison and Training Support (GATS) Project, which seeks to provide the force with an enhanced vehicle fleet for updated training and domestic operation environments.

Responses to the request for information (RFI) are required by November 3.

Prospect Changes

Ministry of Defense Capability Delivery Deputy Secretary Sarah Minson said that the RFI asks for information, data, and pricing about lower-emission vehicles, and details on high-fording pickups that can drive through floodwaters or broken and disturbed ground.

The RFI also confirmed that the defense force has its eyes on hybrid and electric vehicles.

Minson further stressed the importance of modernization. “The Mercedes Benz Unimogs were purchased in the 1980s and are now more than 40 years old,” she said.

Critical Modernization Through GATS

The GATS Program was established in 2019 to cover NZDF’s upgrades on vehicle fleets, including Medical Response Vehicles and Rural Fire equipment.

The program’s second phase, which began this year, addresses most of the country’s need for newer Light and Medium Multi-Purpose Vehicles.

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