650th Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 5000 Delivered to the German Armed Forces

A legendary vehicle with unsurpassed versatility, the Unimog U 5000 is a representative of the all-terrain Unimog series

by  John Clark  | 


The armed forces vehicle fleet service (BwFPS) took delivery of its 650th Unimog U 5000 right on time as the year comes to a close. The head of procurement at BwFuhrparkService GmbH, Uwe Günther, accepted the symbolic Unimog U 5000 keys from Michael Diez, head of government sales in the Mercedes-Benz sales organisation for Germany. Unimog deliveries are distributed to the appropriate armed forces locations in Germany and the logistics office via the mobility centres of BwFPS. The Unimog has a long tradition with the armed forces, starting in 1956 with the Unimog S and successfully continuing with tens of thousands of vehicles delivered right up to the present day.

The all-terrain Unimog U 5000 for the armed forces vehicle fleet service

A legendary vehicle with unsurpassed versatility, the Unimog U 5000 is a representative of the all-terrain Unimog series for difficult assignments far from the roads and beaten track. The Unimog is the most capable all-terrain vehicle in the gross vehicle weight class between 7.5 t and 12.5 t. Thanks to its outstanding suspension and running-gear, the Unimog is ideal for extremely tough off-road requirements and various military assignments.

The Unimog U 5000 for the German armed forces vehicle fleet service is supplied in the version with a long 3850 mm wheelbase. It is powered by the Mercedes-Benz OM 924 LA diesel engine developing 160 kW (218 hp) in the Euro-5 version.

The all-terrain Unimog U 5000 owes its high torsional flexibility to a flexible frame design incorporating two U-section side members with welded tubular cross-members. Standard equipment includes portal axles at the front and rear with differential locks, wheel hub drive, wishbones, a torque tube, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabilisers at the front and rear. The portal axles and the cranked frame with a diagonal torsional flexibility of up to 600 mm ensure a high ground clearance with a low centre of gravity at all times, while keeping all the wheels on the ground. The long travel of the coil springs allow even hazardous cargo to be safely transported over the most difficult terrain without damage. With a torque distribution of 50/50 between the front and rear axles, the vehicle is able to manage uphill/downhill gradients of up to 100% and an angle of inclination up to 38° without difficulty.

The all-terrain Unimog chassis of the U 5000 combines traditional Unimog attributes such as solidity, robustness, durability, reliability and an almost legendary all-wheel drive concept with the very latest engine and transmission technology and ergonomics at the highest level. The modernised all-steel cab with a roof hatch is also available as a crewcab. Like the engine, transmission, platform and body it has three mounting points, compensating every vehicle movement.

Bodybuilder Sonntag produces the non-distorting BwFPS standard platform

Mercedes-Benz supplies the Unimog chassis for the 650 Unimog U 5000 units. The bodybuilder Sonntag in Lennestadt, a longstanding partner of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks and a development partner for bodies, produces the standard BwFPS platform and is responsible for the vehicle body. Both companies, Mercedes-Benz and Sonntag, have cooperated very successfully in completing this project for the German armed forces. The bodies are not rigidly bolted in place, but rather have a deformation-free connection with the frame made possible by a double mounting at three points. The BwFPS vehicle has a 4-point Twistlock demounting system which makes rapid body exchange possible.

Mercedes-Benz military vehicles – the complete vehicle family from 0.5 t– 110 t payload

Mercedes-Benz AG offers a full range of vehicles specifically for the military, with payloads from 0.5 t to 110 t. This range is backed up by the experience and expertise of the world’s largest and oldest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

In all commercial vehicle classes, the range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles with special military equipment excels with excellent off-road performance and a fording depth of 800 ‑ 1195 mm. Derived from the civilian truck variants, the range comprises military payload classes from 0.7 t for the G‑Class, 0.5 t to 2.0 t for the Mercedes-Benz vans, 3 ‑ 5 t for the Atego, 5 – 7 t for the Axor and 7 t to 18 t for the various two, three or four-axle Actros models.

The dedicated portfolio of military vehicles complies with military specifications such as all-wheel drive with single tyres, first-class off-road capabilities, ballistic protection, air and rail loadability, fording depth up to 1195 mm, blackout lighting system, roof hatch, tyre pressure control system etc. This portfolio extends from the G-Model to the Unimog series U 4000 to U 5000, the Zetros and the heavy Mercedes-Benz Actros, Axor and Atego all-wheel drive trucks.

All-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz vehicles are designed for maximum off-road capabilities. All-wheel drive, inter-wheel and inter-axle locks and high-torque engines ensure that even extreme driving conditions are manageable. The technology used in Mercedes-Benz all-wheel drive vehicles ensures a climbing ability of up to 80 %, and in the case of the Unimog even up to 100 %.

READ MORE: Autos, Mercedes-Benz, Unimog


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