HomeCommercial VehiclesMercedes-Benz Special Trucks to expand its defence portfolio, introduces new Zetros 8x8

    Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks to expand its defence portfolio, introduces new Zetros 8×8

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    Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be offering the Zetros off-road truck with four axles and all-wheel drive (8×8) in two variants from 2025 onwards. The Zetros will then be available in various configurations from a two-axle to a four-axle model. The Mercedes Benz Special Trucks’ new Zetros 8×8 formed as a result of a major order from the Canadian Ministry of Defence, under which more than 1500 Zetros vehicles will be delivered over the next few years.

    Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be presenting the new Zeros 8×8 and Zetros with a protected cab at Eurosatory. From now on, the vehicle with a protected cab can be delivered directly from the Wörth plant. Further, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be able to offer the entire product range of the high-terrain Zetros from 4×4 to 8×8 with and without a protected cab from a single source. Visitors to stand D127 (EXTPe6b Outdoor) will also find other vehicles for military use, such as the Unimog U5000 with a flatbed and tarpaulin as a troop transporter, an Arocs 6×6 with a double winch as an armored tractor unit, a Zetros 4×4 and the variable FGA chassis as a tactical chassis for the armored personnel carriers (APC).

    Mercedes Benz Arocs 6×6

    “With the expansion of our portfolio, we can now offer our customers the complete product range of the Zetros high-terrain truck series. With the new Zetros 8×8, customers get a robust and highly mobile logistics vehicle with a large payload for military use. In future, they will also benefit from being able to obtain the Zetros with a protected cab from a single source. And all of this made in Germany, of course.” Franziska Cusumano, Head of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks said.

    New Zetros 8×8 comes with more payload and larger body space

    The new Zetros 8×8 variant offers a significantly increased payload of up to 25 tons with the usual high off-road capability. At the same time, the available body space is increased thanks to the longer vehicle frame. The Zetros can therefore be used for an even wider range of tactical and logistical requirements.

    In any case, the series with an OM 460 in-line six-cylinder diesel engine, with 360 to 510 hp (265 to 375 kW) and a maximum torque of up to 2,300 Nm from 12.8 liters of displacement, is designed for heavy-duty use. Off-road, drivers benefit from the large slope and ramp angles and the fordability, while engageable longitudinal and transverse differential locks can increase traction and maneuverability depending on the driving situation. The Zetros 8×8 also retains full off-road capability while significantly increasing transport performance.

    New Zetros 8×8 variants

    The new Zetros 8×8 will be available in two variants. The first variant has two axles at the front and two axles at the rear, with the two front axles being steered. In the second variant, there is one steerable front axle and three rear axles. The last of the three rear axles is steered in order to reduce the curve radius. Both variants will be available both as a tractor unit and as a carrier vehicle with a large body space.

    Zetros with a protected cab

    Zetros 6×6 with protected cab

    The start of production of the new Zetros 8×8 follows the introduction of the likewise new option of a protected cab ex works. With the special cab armoring, the driver and crew inside the vehicle can be protected from ballistic fire or landmines. The protected cab is already available for the Zetros 6×6 and will be successively available to order on a project-specific basis for the entire product range of the Zetros high-terrain series from 2025 onwards.

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    Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks is thus expanding its product portfolio and will in future be able to offer vehicle solutions including protected cabs from a single source, even for large orders. For customers, this means: one contact partner, one manufacturer, one complete vehicle with harmonized components, one invoice. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks claims that they will ensure extensive service and spare parts availability for its customers. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will continue to collaborate with manufacturers of protected driver cabs and protected cells for military trucks and military chassis to realize specific customer requests and national requirements.

    Eurosatory: The defence trucks that will be on display

    The leading European trade fair for Security & Defence will take place in Paris from June 17–21, 2024. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be exhibiting following six vehicles at Eurosatory:

    Zetros 8×8 with container from the major Canadian order

    The new Zetros 8×8 is 11.15 meters long, 2.60 meters wide and 3.70 meters high. The vehicle is powered by the Euro V OM 460 six-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 12.8 liters. The diesel engine delivers 510 hp (376 kW) of power, mated to an Allison 4500 SP automatic transmission. When driving through sand and mud, the tire pressure can be adjusted on the move using the tire pressure regulation system. For water crossings and high off-road mobility, the Zetros comes with a 1.50 meter fordability as a special feature. A hook lift system with a front spreader is fitted for fast loading and unloading of containers.

    Zetros 6×6 with protected cab and self-sealing tank

    Zetros 6x6 with protected cab | Vandi4u
    Zetros 6×6 with protected cab

    A Zetros with a protected cab from Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will also be on display at Eurosatory. The exhibit has a tank from Lindner & Fischer, which was built in collaboration with WEW Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH and is self-sealing. This means that if liquid leaks out, it reacts with the coating and usually seals the damaged area again. The tank body can be fixed in place using an interchangeable frame with twistlock fasteners and can therefore be fitted and removed in just a few minutes.

    Zetros 4×4 flatbed/tarpaulin

    Another model in the Zetros series is the Zetros 4×4 with a Mercedes-Benz OM460 Euro III six-cylinder engine, which has a displacement of 12.8 liters and an output of 360 hp (265 kW). The vehicle on display has a low-torsion platform body with tarpaulin and benches for transporting personnel and materiel.

    Arocs 6×6 semitrailer tractor with a double winch

    Arocs 6×6

    With heavy-duty drive components and a solid chassis and suspension design, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs is also suitable for off-road operations, even under challenging climatic and environmental conditions. At Eurosatory, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be exhibiting an Arocs 6×6 with the same engine as the Zetros models: the powerful OM460 delivers 421 hp (310 kW). With twin tires and a double winch, the semitrailer tractor is suitable for heavy off-road transport, for example as an armored tractor unit. The double cable winch can be used to recover damaged vehicles and load and unload them onto the low-loader.

    Unimog U 5000 flatbed / tarpaulin 

    Unimog U5000

    Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks is also exhibiting a Unimog. This universal motorized vehicle has been part of the vehicle fleets of state armed forces for almost 75 years. The Unimog U 5000 on display is fitted with the Euro 3 OM 924 engine with 222 hp (163 kW). The body with a torsion-free flatbed as a troop transporter comes from EMPL Fahrzeugwerk GmbH.

    FGA chassis

    FGA Chassis

    The “chassis for protected superstructures” is the basis for armored tactical military wheeled vehicles (Armored Personal Carrier, APC) with protected cells of 9.5 to 14.8 tons gross vehicle weight. Numerous international military special vehicle manufacturers build their products on this chassis derived from the Unimog. They benefit from the high off-road capability and robustness of the chassis, the extensive service and spare parts supply and the support and advice provided by Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks engineers.

    The driveline of the 14.8 special chassis is equipped with the Euro III six-cylinder OM 926 LA diesel engine, which has an output of 336 hp (240 kW) and is coupled with the Allison 3500 automatic transmission with six gears. The chassis features mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic interfaces that are suitable for a wide range of superstructures.

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