Rheinmetall to supply Ukraine with two Forward Surgical Team stations

Forward Surgical Team (FST) stations
Forward Surgical Team (FST) stations

Rheinmetall will supply Ukraine with two Forward Surgical Team (FST) stations for field operations. The systems will be delivered in late 2023 and early 2024.

As heavy casualties are suffered on both sides as Ukraine looks to regain territory occupied by Russian forces, highly mobile FSTs will enable “lifesaving procedures” to be carried out quickly on badly wounded soldiers close to the frontlines of the battlefield.

Patients are stabilised and prepared for transport to other medical units in the rear for further treatment at a Role 2 or Role 3 field hospital or stationary facilities. The two systems have been acquired within the framework of the “Enable & Enhance” Initiative of the German government. They have a contract value in the high single-digit million-euro range.

At the end of 2022, Rheinmetall was also awarded an order to supply Ukraine with a turnkey mobile Role 2 hospital. A sheltered FST system comprises three sets of vehicles, each consisting of a truck, a trailer and a total of six containers, which remain truck- and trailer-mounted even during operation.

When deployed, the containers, which are interconnected and expandable, include a reception and triage area, an x-ray shelter, a pre-operation unit, and an operation shelter as well as an intensive care unit.

Equipped with a generator and water tank, the supply container allows the turnkey system to operate independently for at least 48 hours. The system features the latest medical technology: including high-performance X-ray devices from Siemens Healthineers, a strategic partner of Rheinmetall.

Since the war in Ukraine began, Rheinmetall has provided 20 combat-ready Marder infantry fighting vehicles from Rheinmetall stocks, along with a further 20 from the German Bundeswehr.

As part of the German government’s “Ringtausch” multilateral equipment exchange programme, the armed forces of Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are receiving Leopard 2 main battle tanks or Marder IFVs from Rheinmetall, in exchange for which they are transferring equipment from their own inventories to Ukraine.

Rheinmetall is also supplying the Ukrainian armed forces with ammunition, air defence systems, military trucks, and “a turnkey, state-of-the-art field hospital.” It is currently rushing to complete a new production line for medium-calibre ammunition at its plant at Unterlüß in Lower Saxony, which Ukraine needs for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank. Delivery is slated to begin this summer.