Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wiesel (military tracked vehicle)

The weasel is a light armored tracked vehicle platform and exists in different variants for reconnaissance, command and control, efficiency and mutual benefit. Besides the different vehicle variants is a fundamental distinction between the smaller and the larger Wiesel Wiesel 1 second The Rheinmetall Land Systems GmbH - a subsidiary of Rheinmetall AG - tracked vehicle is produced only by the armed forces as well as robotic test vehicle in a small edition of seven vehicles of the U.S. Army used.

Wiesel 1A1 MK
upgraded with the Autonomous optronic target system (ADF 2000) for a better night fighting capability
Main Features
2 or 3
3,31–3,55 m (Wiesel 1)
4,11–4,78 m (Wiesel 2)
1,82 m (Wiesel 1)
1,82–1,87 m (Wiesel 2)
1,83–1,89 m (Wiesel 1)
1,83–2,17 m (Wiesel 2)
2,75–3,30 t (Wiesel 1)
4,1–4,78 t (Wiesel 2)
Armor and armament
Steel armor
Main armament
20 mm automatic cannon MK 20 Rh 202 , TOW -2-start system, 120-mm mortars, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles
Secondary armament
Smoke grenade , MG3
Turbo Diesel
64 kW (87 PS) (Wiesel 1) 81kW (110 PS) (Wiesel 2)
Torsion bar
Top speed
about 70 km / h
Power / weight
23-17 kW / t (t 23-31 hp /)
Road: 286 km
Terrain: 200 km

Development History

As replacement of the weapon carrier Faun Kraka (carriers) of the airborne forces , the Bundeswehr 1977 developed a concept of a small and tracked armored vehicle.

This project saw a fast and easy luftverlastbares vehicle in front with a limited protection against small arms and artillery fragments.The origins of the design submitted to the year 1969 back to the initial ideas of the Ministry of Defense and the Army Office. Sun 1970 examined the company Porsche , the viability of appropriate vehicles. The former concept studies, however, had t gross vehicle weights from 6 to 7.5 tonnes, a transport only in a Transall C-160 and C-130 Hercules allowed. Then revised to the tactical demands (TAF) and made ​​the following claims:

  • Air transport also in the transport helicopter CH-53G , in t is a weight limit of 6 and limited external dimensions
  • Deductibility by parachute
  • Armed with machine gun (MK) 20 mm anti-tank system HOT and 120 mm mortar

With this line-up looked Porsche optimize their concepts, but at the same time developed a study on an armored weapons carrier with 2.75 t weight. The advantages of a shipment of two weapons carriers at the same transport capacity have led to a limitation of the dimensions to a total length of 3.30 m and a height of 1.30 m of the tub.
After the first presentation of the studies, the TAF has been changed again. Thus, the weapon system was PARS TOW with a supply of ammunition of 14 missiles for anti-tank, a crew of three men, a combat weight of up to 2.5 t, the possibility of air transport of two weapons carriers as internal load and a weapons carrier as an external load and the possibility of settling by elected last parachute.The demands for a version with 20-mm automatic cannon and 120-mm mortar was dropped.

On 5 July 1973 TAF was for the project armorbearer LL set by the Army Office in force and began the development of devices. It decided Porsche, Faun, Society for Technology (GST), IBH and Rheinstahl to develop draft and submitted their offers. Except for the company Faun, with a wheeled vehicle struck another way, all offers lightweight tracked vehicles through the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement were evaluated (BWB). They decided on 18 April 1974 for the Porsche concept, which has been supplemented by a model with a 20-mm MK and ended the definition phase 27 June 1974, the contract between the BWB and the set as a general contractor company Porsche.

The planned series number was 270 vehicles, of which the 170th with TOW and 100 with MK 20, but this was in April 1975 increased by a further 230 weasel with MK 20 The total number thus amounted to 500 weapons carrier.

On 2 Porsche unveiled in October 1975 in collaboration with Keller and Knappich Augsburg (KUKA) the first wooden model at 1:1 scale, during the first six prototypes were produced. Back in October 1976 the first attempts began in the Porsche Development Center in Weissach , followed by technical trials in the WTD 61 in the period from February 1977 to May 1978. By the company and Techdok KUKA and the drafting of the technical service regulations but was in 1977 at the School Technical Force 1 will be started in Aachen and in the Old City with Luftlande-/Lufttransportschule troops trials.

In spring 1978 Porsche launched the BWB and the industrialization, however, the project was set in 1979 for financial reasons. To ensure the development results in the same year Porsche received a contract to final completion of the project armorbearer MK 20/TOW.

Just two years later showed, however, that the replacement of the Kraka was inevitable. So the BWB launched in June 1981, the project again armorbearer MK 20/TOW and examined 19 more proposals from domestic and foreign companies. Porsche to hire two prototypes of Wolverine was available, it was possible to have a working model of the TOW vehicle on 3 September 1981 on the occasion of Hammelburg presentation armored wheeled and tracked vehicles in the KTS one present (combat troops school).

The new tactical demands of 11 March 1983 was again introduced a concept and definition phase for a weapons carrier MK 20/TOW. The market analysis of the BWB was the weasel and an armored wheeled vehicle based on the Mercedes G-model in close selection. However, there was no decision of a contract, which the Army Office and the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement, caused the concept study in office area to perform with industry participation in own contribution. They defined the following requirements for the purpose of feasibility to the start of the 1989th

  • Air transportability of two vehicles in the CH-53G
  • Shoot the MK 20 in single shots, rapid fire and single short bursts
  • Off-road capability in the area of the VW Iltis
  • Using commercially available gasoline or diesel engines
  • Use of an automatic
  • Features of the MK-carriage with a thermal imager and ability to change to 25 mm ammunition
  • Conversion to TOW 2
  • Installation of the radio family SEM 80

In May 1984, we presented a model under the name MK 20 closed-top , but this prototype was still too high. Thus, a second alternative solution with a weapon and aiming device was next to each other favors in the turret, which brought significant benefits during loading and unloading in the CH-53G and better ballistic protection, better visibility and a greater elevation range of MK 20th Could result in a decree on fighting vehicles only diesel engines are installed. Therefore, a 2-liter 5-cylinder turbo-diesel engine from Volkswagen and an automatic transmission were of ZF Friedrichshafen (then Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen) installed. These changes have led to a huge increase in weight, which was compensated by new lightweight and armor steel.

After the Army Office, the BWB and the material of the Army Office had completed their evaluation, the concept was weapon carrier Wiesel imposing on the airborne troops recommended. Were listed as the reason
  • ballistic round protection
  • small size and therefore low silhouette
  • low combat weight
  • low ground pressure
  • Luftverladefähigkeit as internal and external load
  • Transport of two weasels on a truck 10 t
  • high road and off-road capability
  • low noise
  • Unit chassis for both variants
  • commercial building components

Following the adoption of the phase document "Military-Technical and Economic demand," short MTWF, and the share of the budget in April 1985, the development contract was awarded to Porsche. In March 1986, depending on a weapon system for testing and system testing at the WTD was 91 (Bundeswehr Technical Center for Weapons and Ammunition) and WTD 41 ( Bundeswehr Technical Center for motor vehicles and tanks passed). The chassis followed the end of June 1986.

Because of the long development phase prior the tests ran without major problems, what the schedule troops attempt tactics and logistics allowed the fall of 1986, and thus the production stage until September 1987. The procurement contract was signed on 21 Signed in December 1988.

Mass production and the company Krupp MaK took (since 1992 a part of Rheinmetall Land Systems GmbH), who applied next Krauss Maffei and Thyssen Henschel. The total number amounted to 343 vehicles, including 210 with TOW (including 24 tanks driving school) and 133 20th with MK The delivery took place in the years 1990 to 1992. Another seven vehicles were in the United States delivered.
Already in 1981 already indicated several concept studies of Porsche points to the expansion of the weasel-1-platform. Thus, for example, for a recovery vehicle angedachtes the trough of the Wiesel 1 is significantly increased.

At the beginning of the 1990s also saw the army the growing importance of air-transportable armored vehicles. To meet this demand, the company MAK developed in ownership the first prototype of the future Wiesel 2.
The prototype was developed as a personnel carrier and saw a nearly doubled interior volume compared to weasels before the first This course is prolonged, the vehicle hull and it was added a fourth wheel. Due to this change in vehicle dimensions can only be transported in one of the two weasels CH53. Along with the increase in the total weight of the engine (production-based 1.9-liter was TDI engine from Volkswagen ) changed, as was a new gearbox, which now also allows you to turn around the vertical axis. The cabin is air conditioned, so a use in many climate zones. In addition, NBC protection guarantees.
This development took place at the required carrier approval. Thus, on the basis of the new vehicle light air defense system has been implemented and delivered in 2004 to the customer. Other vehicle versions followed.
The state of the vehicle development that is currently in the production MrsKpfSys represents Due to a further weight increase of the maximum weight of the vehicle was the tub extended again and inserted a fifth wheel. Because of the, in comparison of Wiesel 1 on Wiesel 2, lower technological advancement this vehicle variant is still counted in the Wiesel 2 platform.

Concept of Operations

The Wiesel 1 is a light armored combat-capable night and luftverlastbarer weapons carrier. It was developed primarily for the paratroopers, but finds after the restructuring of the armed forces also use a fleet of fighter force and Mountaineer . Used the weasel in monitoring terrain sections and objects to monitor and back up at checkpoints, reinforcing forces as protection of property and, contrary to his concept, even as a convoy escort and convoy protection. The Wiesel 1 has a top speed of up to 80 km / h The reason for this is to be seen in the weight-power ratio. This is when Wiesel 1 about 23 kW / ton, a value which is called for tracked vehicles to be very good. By a base pressure of 3.5 N / m of weapons carrier has even under unfavorable soil conditions, good off-road capability, combined with speeds of about 50 km / h Its small size favors the use and makes it easier to obtain covered positions. This can be seen as part of passive protection. As a rule, always work together at least two weapons carriers that back each other.
Another advantage is the air movement . Thus, a CH-53G two weasels 1 (a weasel 2) as an internal load or a weasel transported as an external load. During transport planes like the C-160 Transall , the number rises to four, with the American Lockheed C-130 can accommodate only three weapons carrier.
Another way to land the weasel, was dropping by parachute load. This possibility was rejected after four weapons carriers were damaged during the testing and sank the tactical importance of this discharge type.
The weasel was and is of the Bundeswehr in international assignments ( UNOSOM II , IFOR , SFOR , KFOR , TFH , ISAF used).


From the relevant specification, the transport to weasel in a CH-53, was the weasel much attention to lightweight construction.
The weasel is a self-supporting tray tank steel sheets of different thickness. It offers limited protection against fragments of the crew and infantry ammunition. Therefore, it is not a weasel when armored vehicle, but a weapons carrier chain, from the low stances brings his weapons against enemy forces used. All weasels lacks the usual smoke grenades at armored vehicles agent system that provides protection against optronic reconnaissance systems.
As with the Leopard family of engine, automatic transmission, air-filters, the exhaust system and the groups and steering gear are combined in one block. This engine block is located in the left front area of ​​the vehicle. By rapid change of the separation points, the entire engine in ten minutes is possible. The military drivers sitting right next to the engine room geschotteten. The crew and the corresponding conversion kit located in the rear of the vehicle. Welded to the tank, so-called for the lashing on the helicopter Heißösen or in the transport aircraft.
Like all components of the stoat the drive is also a lightweight construction. It is driven by the drive wheel at the front end of the vehicle. Depending on vehicle type, there are three (Wiesel 1) or four to five torsion bar suspension rollers (Wiesel 2). At the rear end of the vehicle are the large rollers, which both carry a part of vehicle weight as responsible for the tension of the chain. At the top of the drive make a (Wiesel 1) or two (Wiesel 2) supporting roles for the return of the chain to the rear wheel. Exceptional was the endless rubber track from Kluth, but this was later replaced with a classic steel Endverbinderkette the Diehl.

Wiesel 1

Wiesel 1 MK 20

The main weapon of the Wiesel 1 consists of a 20-mm automatic cannon (MK) MK 20 Rh 202 by Rheinmetall. The MK was in a one-man turret E6 II A1 KUKA defense installed (since 1999 a part of Rheinmetall). The mechanical straightening drives allow one side directional range of 110 ° and an elevation range of -10 ° to +45 °. The side of the weapon and thus outside, two ammunition boxes with 60 cartridges are armor-piercing armor piercing ammunition (AP) left and 100 cartridges explosive ammunition (HE) on the right. By a Doppelgurtzuführer the quick switch from AP to HE or vice versa is possible. By the image intensifier PERI Z-59 MK Wiesel's night fighting capability.
In the context of combat performance upgrades from February 2002, the night fighting capability has been improved. That is why 76 weapons carrier received the new designation Wiesel 1A1 MK optronic target the Autonomous System (ADF 2000) of STN with laser rangefinder, thermal imager and fire control.
Under the symbol Wiesel 1A2 MK from 2006, a total of 53 vehicles with the Zielperiskop PERI Z17 BM48 WBG (day vision channel with 4 - and 8-fold magnification, and the third generation thermal imager) equipped by Rheinmetall. With the introduction of the Command and Control Information System for the Army changed the name of the converted Wiesel 1 to A3 Wiesel 1 MK (AOZ 2000 with FüInfoSys) andWiesel 1 MK A4 (PERI Z17 with FüInfoSys).
  • Wiesel 1 MK A0 - production version with 20-mm machine cannon
  • Wiesel 1 MK A1 - upgraded with an optronic target Autonomous System (ADF 2000) for a better night fighting capability
  • Wiesel 1 A2 MK - upgraded with the PERI Z17 BM48 WBG for a better night fighting capability.
  • Wiesel 1 MK A3 - Wiesel 1A1 Command and Control Information System Land Forces (Army command posts)
  • Wiesel 1 A4 MK - Wiesel 1A2 Command and Control Information System Land Forces (Army command posts)

Wiesel 1 TOW

The weapon system TOW was mounted on an adjustable mount. It consists of the launch tube, the optical block and which is designed for day and night vision thermal imaging device AN / TAS 4 . The target area is 45 ° to the side as well as + / - 10 ° in the height. The maximum ammo is officially six TOW 2, five of them in the vehicle and an outside of the rear wall. By storing a missile into the weapons system that rises to seven.
As secondary armament includes the TOW Wiesel also an MG3 . Initially not equipped to the vehicles were converted to homemade troops and supplemented by a mount bracket in place of the loader. With the standard assumption changed the name to Wiesel TOW 1A1 and for armor-bearer with the Command and Control Information System army to Wiesel TOW 1A2.
  • Wiesel 1 TOW - with wire-guided ( T ube launched, O ptically tracked; W ire-guided missile) anti-tank missiles
  • Wiesel 1 TOW A1 - Equipped with a MG3 as secondary armament
  • Wiesel 1 TOW A2 - A1 Wiesel 1 with Command and Control Information System Land Forces (Army command posts)

Wiesel 1 reconnaissance

This is a modified Wiesel TOW which was procured for airborne reconnaissance companies (LLAufklKp). The vehicle has undergone extensive changes. They removed the weapons situation continued, the vehicle roof above and built a hybrid navigation system, an autonomous Optronic target system (ADF 2000). With TV camera, infrared camera and laser rangefinder, the leadership, communication and information system FaKoM The reconnaissance optics is here on a Schwenk-/Neige-Einrichtung which is a mast up to three meters extended. To communicate with the scout car radios SEM 80/90 and HRM 7400 is equipped. As armament is an MG3 on Free Indicative carriage. In July 2001, Rheinmetall gave the troops attempt to pattern the 310th LLAufklKp A total of 16 reconnaissance vehicles exist in the army.

Wiesel 1 tanks driving school

For driver education more Wiesel 1 TOW have been modified. For this purpose, all vehicle bodies were removed as mount and rear hatches. Instead, an air-conditioned cabin is fitted with large glass windows on the rear of the vehicle. Herein lies the space for the instructor. This is similar to intervene in civilian driving school vehicles in the driving process.

Wiesel 1 concepts and prototypes

As with other German developments, the suitability of the weasel for various purposes has been investigated.
Wiesel 1 BTM 208
The Spähpanzer Wiesel as constructed had a one-man turret of the company SAMM. He was armed with a gun in 12.7 mm caliber.
Wiesel 1 BTM-263 mortar carrier
This version also has a one-man turret of the company SAMM. It has been modified to accommodate a 60-mm mortar and a FN-Mag as armament.
Wiesel 1 FlaPanzer
As antiaircraft tank, he was fitted with a directable to start the Pedestal Mistral anti-aircraft missiles.
Wiesel 1 ambulance
A doctor armored troops. Similar to the concept of a mobile medical teams
Wiesel 1 Bergepanzer
The concept of an armored recovery he had a revolving crane and winch.
Wiesel 1 replenishment tanks
His concept was to use as ammunition against transporters.
Wiesel 1 tank destroyer
equipped with anti-tank weapon MILAN on a rotating twin gun mount.
Wiesel 1 with battlefield radar
equipped with the French-German artillery radar RATAC (artillery radar de l'tir de campagne) it should be used for battlefield surveillance, target acquisition and target classification, and for directing the artillery fire.
Wiesel 1 ATM HOT
He served as a universal weapon carriers for reconnaissance, anti-tank, monitoring and surveillance. For this purpose, it has a retractable universal platform thermal imager, goniometer with TV camera, laser range finder and camera surveillance for short range. He was armed with an M2HB and the anti-tank weapon HOT .
Wiesel 1 RMK 30
This testbed serves as proof of the possibility of the low recoil 30-mm automatic cannon RMK 30 mount as armament. It was in November 2004 in Hammelburg presented (Bavaria).


Wiesel 1 MK
Wiesel 1 TOW
Wiesel 1 reconnaissance
air landing usable weapons carrier
VW-5-cylinder TDI engine with turbocharger
2000 cm ³
64 kW (87 hp)
Liquid cooling
hydromechanical torque converter 3HP-22 with three forward, one reverse gear
torsion bar spring mounted support roller drive with three wheels, a supporting role, and a pulley per page
3.545 mm
3.310 mm
3.550 mm
Overall width:
1.820 mm
1.825 mm
1.897 mm
1.838 mm
Ground clearance:
302 mm
500 mm
-Border capacity:
1.200 mm
Climbing ability:
400 mm
Climbing ability:
60 %
30 %
Gross vehicle weight:
ca 3000 kg
ca 3300 kg
Maximum speed:
over 70 km / h (road), 50 km / h Off
Amount of fuel:
80 l
Fuel consumption:
Street: 28 liters per 100 km, area: 40 liters per 100km
Driving range:
Road: 286 km Terrain: 200 km
1 Maschinenkanone MK 20mm
TOW -2-start system and MG3 (optional)
400 rounds
5–7 TOW 2

Wiesel 2

Wiesel 2 light air defense system (LeFLaSys)

Das Wiesel 2 leFlaSys ( Le ichtes Fl ug a bwehr- Sys tem) besteht aus den folgenden Fahrzeugen:
  • Batterieführungs-/Unterstützungsfahrzeug (BF / UF)
  • Reconnaissance and Feuerleitfahrzeug (AFF)
  • Armorbearer ocelot (FlaRaWaTrg)
Overall for were LeFLaSys 67 vehicles procured.

Wiesel 2 ambulance squad (SanTrp)

The Wiesel 2 (SanTrp) is intended for assisting casualties in difficult terrain as well as the first aid on the spot. For this purpose, a wounded man lying, two injured people sitting and paramedics transported. The crew consists of a driver and a military medic. There were 33 ambulances were delivered to the Bundeswehr.

Wiesel 2 combat engineer reconnaissance (PiErkTrp)

The PiErkTrp is equipped for water exploration in a rubber dinghy. Additional material is entrained for blocking and blasting operations.There were eight PiErkTrp delivered to the Bundeswehr

Wiesel 2 Mobile Command Post (bewBefSt)

The bewBefSt serves as pace car of an Army unit at company and battalion level. For this purpose, it is equipped with an extensive radio equipment. There are 32 bewBefSt were delivered to the Bundeswehr.

Wiesel 2 Mortar System (MrsKpfSys)

The airmobile reconnaissance, command and Networked Advanced Mortar System consists of various vehicles on Wiesel 2 in different designs and features.
light tank mortar (lePzMrs)
The lePzMrs is the active component of the system group. Equipped with a return mounted 120-mm mortar muzzle, which is designed for both conventional ammunition at 8,000 m range and for endphasengelenkte ammunition, the weapons system is operated under ballistic and NBC protection and recharged. Through automatic direction, altitude and position determination and fully automatic correction of arms position from shot to shot a rapid fire readiness and high precision is ensured. This allows the Wiesel 2 lePzMrs for quick change of position can be used (Hide-hit-run-hide tactics). Due to an increase in weight to the other weasel-2-variants include the production vehicles over five sets of rollers. The prototypes are equipped differently with four sets of rollers.
Command Vehicles (FüFhz)
The management of MrsKpfSys there are different functions, which are complied with specially adapted vehicle equipment. The Platoon Headquarters (ZgTrp) and Feuerleittrupp (FltTrp) perform a Mörserzug. Here reconnaissance data are analyzed, determines the next steps of the train passed and the corresponding target allocations to the fire control data to the subordinate lePzMrs. The company leadership group (KpFüTrp) leads the unit at the company level. The Joint Fire Support Coordination Team (JFSCT) is responsible for communication to higher levels of command.
Aufklärungsfahrzeug JFST (Joint Fire Support Team)
Das Joint Fire Support Team (JFST) stellte die Aufklärungskomponente im MrsKpfSys dar. Es verfügt über eine ausfahrbare Beobachtungsausstattung mit hochauflösender CCD-Kamera, einer Wärmebildkamera der 3. Generation, einem Laserpointer (nur Boden-Luft-Variante BL) und einem Laserentfernungsmesser zur Gefechts und Einsatzaufklärung. Aufgeklärte Ziele werden über integrierte Führungs- und Feuerleitsysteme innerhalb des eigenen Systemverbunds sowie externen Kräften zur Verfügung gestellt.
In June 2009, with the Rheinmetall AG, a contract for the delivery of the first eight Wiesel 2 lePzMrs was completed, which will be delivered in 2011 to the German Army. In addition, two command vehicles in the variant are supplied as ZgTrp and FltTrp. The contract has a total value of € 61.5 million.  As part of the reorientation of the Bundeswehr , the system is not purchased in full.

Wiesel 2 concepts and prototypes

Testbed 1 (VT01)
The first Wiesel 2 with four wheels as personnel carriers
Wiesel 2 ATM HOT
He served as a universal weapon carriers for reconnaissance, anti-tank, monitoring and surveillance. For this purpose, it has a retractable universal platform thermal imager, goniometer with TV camera, laser range finder and camera surveillance for short range. He was armed with an M2HB and the anti-tank weapon HOT .
Wiesel 2 Argus
observation and reconnaissance vehicle elevierbarer observation equipment. For long observation missions with ergonomic ausgelegtem interior and innovative operating concepts.
Wiesel 2 SYRANO
Furthermore, the chassis of the Wiesel 2 was the basis for the experimental French SYRANO program ( Sy stems R obotisé d ' Acquisition pour la N eutralisation d' O bjectifs ) used. This program explores the deployment of unmanned automatic combat vehicles.
Testbed 2 (VT02)
The first Wiesel 2 with five wheels as a test vehicle. As a base, a vehicle of the type used movable command point was separated the bottom group and replaced by an elongated assembly having five pairs of rollers. Allows the ability of the Wiesel 2 was detected with five t rollers and a total weight of 4.78.