PARIS — Finland’s Patria is teaming up with two German companies, including a unit of KNDS, to offer a local variant of its six-wheeled armored personnel carrier to replace Germany’s fleet of Fuchs vehicles.

Patria joined with KNDS-owned DSL Defence Service Logistics and FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau for the offer to design, build and maintain the future 6x6 armored personnel carrier for the Bundeswehr, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Patria will remain the prime contractor should Germany pick its vehicle.

Joining with local partners may assuage the concerns of some German politicians, who last year expressed concern that the government was turning abroad to replace the decades-old Fuchs. The government said in September the Bundeswehr needs about 1,000 armored 6x6 vehicles, with the new APC requiring ballistic and mine protection.

“The main design of the vehicle system comes from Patria, the lion’s share of the manufacturing is German,” Jörg Kamper, a board member of FFG, said in the statement. “This means that skilled jobs will be created in Germany, and German industry know-how, capacity and investments can be utilized and further developed in this program.”

Germany last year joined the Common Armoured Vehicles System program, originally set up by Finland and Latvia as a multinational project, with the Patria 6x6 vehicle picked as the main platform in 2019. Sweden joined the CAVS program in 2022.

Finland in January exercised an option to buy another 40 vehicles as part of the CAVS program, following up on 91 APCs acquired last year, while Sweden agreed to buy 20 Patria 6x6 vehicles in April, with future demand for several hundred vehicles this decade.

Germany is also reviewing the General Dynamics Pandur 6x6 and a new version of Rheinmetall’s Fuchs. Joining the CAVS program last year didn’t constitute a decision on the Fuchs successor, Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Hitschler said in response to parliamentary questions in December.

Patria will lead the design and development of the system, with DSL and FFG providing local engineering, production and life-cycle support.

“We offer to adapt for German needs a cost-effective, fully developed, off-the-shelf platform – the Patria 6x6 – that is already in production, fielded by NATO partner nations and will be produced locally in Germany,” Hugo Vanbockryck, Patria’s senior vice president for Market Area Europe, said in the statement.

Germany in June announced a 2024 defense budget that would rise by €1.7 billion to €51.8 billion ($55.7 billion), and said in 2022 it would spend €100 billion as part of a special rearmament plan.

Rudy Ruitenberg is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. He started his career at Bloomberg News and has experience reporting on technology, commodity markets and politics.

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