Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fuchs und Luchs

The Spähpanzer Luchs (German: Lynx) is a German 8x8 amphibious reconnaissance armoured fighting vehicle (Spähpanzer) in service since 1975 by the German Army, who used a total of 408 in their armoured reconnaissance battalions. It was developed by Daimler-Benz between 1968 and 1975, replacing the M41 and the Schützenpanzer SPz 11-2 Kurz.

The all-wheel drive Luchs made by Thyssen-Henschel (now: Rheinmetall) is well armoured, has an NBC protection system and is characterized by its low-noise running. The eight large low-pressure tyres have run-flat properties. At speeds up to about 50 km/h all four axles can be steered. As a special feature the vehicle is equipped with a special rear-facing driver with his own driving position. Up to the first combat effectiveness upgrade in 1986 the Luchs was fully amphibious and could surmount water obstacles quickly and independently using propellers at the rear and the fold back trim vane at the front.

The 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 gun in the turret is similar to the one in the Marder IFV. The upgrade to the Luchs A1 starting in 1986 included the incorporation of a thermal observation and gunnery system, which replaced the original infrared/white light night vision system mounted to the left of the turret. The incorporation of the new SEM 80/90 radio system gave it the designation SpPz 2 Luchs A2. The Luchs was replaced by the Fennek in Bundeswehr service.

TPz (Transportpanzer) Fuchs ("fox") is an armoured personnel carrier developed by Daimler-Benz and built by Thyssen-Henschel in 1979. It was the second wheeled armoured vehicle to be fielded in the Bundeswehr. It is used for tasks including troop transport, engineer transport, bomb disposal, NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) reconnaissance and electronic warfare. In selecting models and retrofit kits, more than 90 combinations are possible; 32 have been produced. The TPz Fuchs is thus referred to as a "retrofit platform".

The engine is a Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled 320 HP diesel. Its top speed is 105 km/h and the range is 800 km. It is 7.33 m long, 2.98 m wide and 2.37 m high. It weighs 18.3 tons with the capability to carry 6 tons in equipment. The 6x6 APC has high performance over many terrains, with low noise. Its rear-mounted propellers with 360° turning range enable it to take water obstacles at 10 km/h.

MAN (4 x 4), (6 x 6) and (8 x 8) Category 1 (Kat 1) high-mobility tactical trucks (Germany), Trucks

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the West German Technical Office for Armament and Military Purchases drew up requirements for a new range (or second generation) of vehicles for the army. Covering all weight classes and mobility levels, the Bundeswehr's second generation requirement originally called for some 62,000 vehicles (of all classes including cars and buses) including four-tonne (4 × 4), 7-tonne (6 × 6) and 10-tonne (8 × 8) trucks, (4 × 4) and (6 × 6) armoured amphibious load carriers and an (8 × 8) amphibious reconnaissance vehicle.To meet development and production demands, a joint venture led by MAN and including Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz (KHD), Rheinstahl-Henschel, Krupp (which later dropped out) and Bussing (acquired by MAN in 1971) was set up. The first prototype vehicles were shown at the end of the 1960s, and a further two prototype series were developed before the first genuine pre-production vehicles were designed and built. Along the development trail it became clear that the highly technical vehicles as originally specified would simply not be affordable, so many of the more ambitious wish list-type features were dropped; truck numbers were also reduced to 18,000. In 1972 the amphibious specification and the requirement that the vehicles should be powered by an air-cooled multifuel engine were dropped. In 1975 the four-tonne rating was uprated to five-tonne and at the same time this models' rear cargo platform was lengthened and the wheelbase was increased from 4.3 to 4.5 m. Armoured vehicles evolved to become a separate development.

Category I In December 1975, MAN was awarded a contract to build 8,385 (4 × 4), (6 × 6) and (8 × 8) Category 1 vehicles at a cost of DM1,400 million; this production total was further reduced to 7,925 in 1979. The usual abbreviation for Category 1 vehicles is Kat or KAT 1, although this is sometimes presented as Cat or CAT 1.The (8 × 8) version was the first Kat 1 model to enter production and first deliveries were made in 1976. Deliveries of a (6 × 6) tipper and the (4 × 4) cargo truck began in 1977. Deliveries of the (6 × 6) cargo truck began in January 1979; final deliveries were made in 1981. By 1983, 8,617 vehicles of all Kat 1 configurations had been delivered to the West German armed forces. By the end of 1986, 411 examples had been delivered to the Austrian Army and 82 to the Belgian Army. This complete range of Kat 1 vehicles, which was produced at MAN's Watenstedt plant, was designed specifically for cross-country operations and to keep up with mechanised forces operating across country.

All trucks of the series share a modular design. They have a torsionally rigid box-section frame with highly mobile axles linked to the frame via coil springs. The engine is mounted inside the forward-control cab, which is separated into a driver and engine compartment by a firewall. As a distinctive feature, the engine is located to the rear of the driver compartment instead of beneath it. This way, the total height could be kept below 2.9 m, which means the trucks can be transported on standard railway flatcars. The characteristic, cut-away corners of the otherwise box-shaped cab ensure compliance with the railway loading gauge. The cab of the first batch does not tilt forward for maintenance because the vehicles were still based on the amphibious prototypes. The tilting cab was only introduced with the second batch in the mid-80s. The engine powers the front and rear axles via a torque converter, semi-automatic transmission and a transfer case. In the first batch KAT I, these components form a single, special unit. The later KAT I A1 seires use cheaper mass-produced, standard truck components. At the same time, this allowed to raise the number of gears from six to 16, and the theoretical top speed from 90 to about 130 km/h. This in turn led to much lower engine speeds at the usual top speed of 80 km/h, lowering fuel consumption. Vehicle voltage is standard 24 Volts. The tow hitch is a standard NATO coupling suitable for towing trailers even in difficult terrain, although they must be equipped with the matching lunette ring.

For self defence, the vehicles hava a swiveling machine gun mount for the Rheinmetall MG3.

For the extraterritorial deployment of the Bundeswehr, some vehicles were fitted with an additional modular armour (modulare Schutzausstattung, MSA) to increase crew protection. Some new 3rd generation vehicles have the so-called vehicle protective equipment (Fahrzeugschutzausstattung, FSA) which is part of the vehicle design and factory-installed.

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