Fuchs

June 16, 2008


TPz (Transportpanzer) Fuchs (fox) is an armoured personnel carrier developed by Daimler-Benz and built by Thyssen-Henschel (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme) in 1979. It was the second wheeled armoured vehicle to be fielded in the Bundeswehr. It is used for various different tasks including troop-transport, engineer-transport, bomb disposal, NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) reconnaissance and electronic warfare. By mixing and matching the different models and retrofit kits, today more than 90 different combinations are possible, 32 of which have so far been produced. The TPz Fuchs is thus also referred to as a “retrofit platform”.

The vehicles engine is a Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel with an output of 320 hp. It has a max speed of 105 km/h and a range of 800 km. Fuchs is 7.33 m long, 2.98 m wide and 2.37 m high. It weighs 18.3 tons with the capability to carry additional 6 tons in equipment. The 6×6 APC is characterized by high performance over all terrains and low noise. Its rear-mounted propellers and 360° turning range, enable the vehicle to take water obstacles in its stride at up to 10km/h.

Armament

The TPZ Fuchs can be equipped with up to three Rheinmetall MG3 general purpose machine guns, one of which is mounted on a manually controlled turret. Fuchs’ of the Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, Panzergrenadiers (mechanized infantry), the Franco-German Brigade, the mountain infantry and the Jäger (rangers) of the German Army are also armed with MILAN anti-tank-guided missiles (in this configuration max. two MG3s can be mounted).

Improvements over the years

The vehicle’s ability to withstand high-performance, armour-piercing ammunition fired not only from small arms but also from lightweight carriage-mounted machineguns, as well as shrapnel (e.g. from artillery rounds), and to augment its protection against anti-personnel and antitank mines had to be improved.

Due to the weight and volume restrictions they had to use advanced armour materials to meet the protection specifications. Compared to equally effective steel or aluminium alloy armour, modern armour materials enable weight savings of 50% or more.

The modular armour protection system used in the TPz Fuchs encompasses six harmonized, complementary elements which in part operate in coordinated fashion:
add-on armour mounted to the exterior of the vehicle housing;
anti-mine protective plating in the wheel cases;
reinforced bullet-proof windows;
reinforced bullet-proof visors for shielding the window exteriors;
spall-lining of all interior surfaces of the vehicle compartment, and
a shielded gun mounting (except on the medical vehicles).

Type    Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin     West Germany
Service history
Used by    Bundeswehr
Production history
Manufacturer    Thyssen-Henschel
Produced    1979-present
Specifications
Weight    18.3 t
Length    7.33 m
Width    2.98 m
Height    2.37 m

Primary
armament    Up to three Rheinmetall MG3
Secondary
armament    MILAN anti-tank guided missile, smoke grenade launchers
Engine    Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel
320 hp
Payload capacity    6 t
Suspension    6×6
Operational
range    800 km
Speed    105 km/h
10 km/h (in water)

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