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StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)


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  • 3 weeks later...

According to a report from the German website hartpunkt, the Boxer will be used in Germany as vehicle for the heavy joint fire support team (JFST), for which about 20 to 30 vehicles are required, and as a dedicated fire support vehicle in the fifth company of the light motorized/mechanized infantry (Jäger) units, which would require something around 100 Boxers. Supposedly the German Army is focusing on a 30 mm calibre, but has yet to decide which turret configuration (manned vs unmanned) and which crew configuration (only 3 men crew or should the vehicle also carry dismounts like an IFV?) is prefered. 


It is understood that the RCT 30 turret (Puma turret) from KMW and the Lance turret from Rheinmetall are being considered.








Meanwhile the Boxer is competing in several official tenders from other European countries. England (300 to 900 vehicles) will decide in late 2017 wether it wants to buy the Boxer directly or prefers an open evaluation with other competiting designs (Patria AMV, VBCI, Piranha, ...). Bulgaria is looking for about 600 new wheeled 8x8 vehicles to equip three new battlegroups. Bidding for the contract started in May already. Slovakia is interested in buying some 81-100 new 8x8 vehicles, while Slovenia might buy 50. Also Japan requested informations on the Boxer's performance, although it seems questionable that they'd buy such a heavy vehicle instead of a lighter amphibious design.





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Back to the Wiesel:



The Wiesel 1 upgrade apparently has started. Details still remain unclear, but it seems that the offer from the company FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbaugesellschaft was chosen. At least FFG has contracted the British company Morgan Advanced Materials to deliver packages of the CAMAC armor system for three variants of the Wiesel 1 (hint: Germany operates only three variants of the Wiesel 1 - the recon version, the MK20 variant and the tank destroyer with TOW missiles).


Earlier this year the magazine Wehrtechnik/Military Technology reported on the planned upgrade of the Wiesel. The number of active Wiesel 1s will be reduced, the vehicles will be cannibalized for spare parts. The other Wiesel 1s would receive upgrades regarding protection, ergonomics, command & control systems, optics and other minor aspects. The service life should be extended to at least 2025. Back then the plans included the upgrade of one hundred of the currently operational 190 Wiesel -m 16 recon vehicles, 2/3 of the rest gun-armed Wiesel 1s and 1/3 missile-armed Wiesel 1s. The schedule from earlier this year saw the work starting in 2017 and being finished in 2019/2020. The TOW missiles are meant to be replaced by MELLS (EuroSPIKE-LR), because newer TOW variants (such as the TOW-2B) would need to be qualified for use in the German Army. The 20 mm Rh202 autocannon is to be retained, as the 20 mm ammo stocks of the German military are still pretty decent.


The lifetime extension aspect of the upgrade includes changes to the mobility. The up-armored Wiesel 1s are meant to be at least as mobile as the current models, in ideal case even better. The ride in the Wiesel is rather unstable, so the shock absorbers, tracks and running gear might be changed. Tests/plans in Germany already included rubber band tracks, new composite-fibre roadwheels. Armor protection shall be provided according to STANAG (original Wiesel 1 pre-dates the STANAG 4569 documents), although no protection level has yet been revealed. It also is meant to include IED and mine protection, as long as the weight remains acceptable. My guess is STANAG 4569 level 2 or level 3 ballistic protection in best case.


The FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbaugesellschaft presented their Wiesel 1 DIOK (demonstrator for innovative and optimized tracked system) several times during the last year(s). This vehicle was developed in cooperation with Koni, Diehl and the university of the Bundeswehr. It features a 340 mm stretched chassis and an additional roadwheel. Furthermore a large idler wheel was added to the back of the running gear for evaluating the possibility of fitting the Wiesel 1 DIOK with an electric drive system. The longer tracks and addiitonal roadhweel resulted in a much more stable ride, specifically when the vehicle is reversing (something that was really bad on the original model). The DIOK was equipped with a 86 hp Volkswagen diesel engine an Diehl 622C tracks. However Wehrtechnik reported that changes to the size of the Wiesel 1 are not expected, as the schedule is too harsh for long reworking.

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Rheinmetall told the Czech authorities that they could also make a light tank based on the Lynx. However the article from DTR seems to be very much limited to speculation only (specifically the part of the Leopard 2 style turret).


While not confirmed by Rheinmetall, the Lynx seems to be based on the Marder hull - maybe new built ones, but honestly I suspect that they also use refurbished ex-Marders. The Marder has been used for various light/medium tank prototypes in the past (and the series production model of the TAM tank). The last prototypes used Oto-Melara HITFACT turrets, but aside of the TH301/TAM, there also have been prototypes with low-profile turrets and with the AMX-13 turret.



I don't think that Rheinmetall should try to compete for the MPF project, given the historic trend in US arms purchases speaking clearly against Rheinmetall-made solutions. Also the Lynx might have a hard stand against the competition, if it really is based on old Marders. The company however announced that sometime in 2017 the L/47 LLR (lightweight, low recoil) smoothbore tank gun should be ready for production.


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According to the Czech military news website/blog Armádní Noviny, the negotiations on buying the Puma IFV are going well. The German companies responsible for the Puma have met with more than 30 potential Czech partners to discuss possible work-share and future cooperation. About 35 billion Czech Koruna (€~1.3 billion) worth of contracts could in theory be awarded to local companies. This could then lead to further cooperation, if the Czech Army opts for adopting the Leopard 2 and Panzerhaubitze 2000.

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