THE MANY FACES OF The command of the Bundeswehr started the revival of its airborne forces in the late 1950s, However, as in the days of the Wehrmacht, look at VDV was still as highly mobile light infantry without any means of “motorization”, not to mention the armor.

Soon, however, impressed by the possibility of using nuclear weapons, there is a change of concept. Now the actions of paratroopers assigned to the most active and independent, which means the need for greater agility and mobility. In this case, for a successful fight against “mechanized” enemy in the composition of the airmobile parts should be your Avialesookhrana armored vehicles.
According to the military command of the Bundeswehr, such a vehicle could be combined “compactness along with the necessary capacity, operational and tactical mobility at the same time, sufficient protection, ease of management”. Tacticities extended requirements determined in the first place, transport them by helicopters CH-47 and CH-53G “Sikorsky” aircraft C-130 Hercules and C-160 “Transall” and the reset option on the parachute system. Therefore, the weight of the machine is limited less than 2.5 tons, the length is slightly more than 3 m, height – 1,5 m.
So light airborne combat vehicle (BMD) was to provide a platform for 20-mm automatic cannon, anti-tank missile system, self-propelled anti-aircraft complex, 120-mm mortar be used simultaneously as the belt of ammunition, as command and staff, intelligence, health.
The Ministry of defence of Germany on its production initially signed a contract with the company “Porshe”, but then in 1978 transferred the development and manufacture of the company “Krupp-MA K Marienbaum”. Transferred to the military trials of the four prototypes began in 1986 and took place in the tropics and the desert, even in the far North. Then followed various improvements and design changes. The result is an armored personnel carrier armament, which had a mass of about 3 tons and a payload of 750 kg.
“Wiesel” TOW A1 was armed with anti-tank missile system TOW. Open launcher M151 complex together with instruments of guidance and control were placed on the turret before more hatch operator, equipped in the rear of the roof. Afghanistan, 2009.

“Wiesel” MK20 A1 in the embodiment of the machine of fire support had a single turret armed with a 20mm automatic cannon Mk20 Rh 202 “Rheinmetall”
In July 1987, A1 BDM Wiesel (“weasel” in German is “Weasel”) adopted by the Navy of Germany. The first two serial vehicles were in the 1st airborne division on August 1, 1990
One of the structural features of the “Wiesel” was the location of the engine-transmission compartment in the front. Here was the engine. Since it was installed left front, the right side of the compartment was given over to the workplace of the driver. The Central part of the housing and feed were a unified fighting compartment, where the commander (aka gunner) directed the actions of the machine.
The machine body is welded from rolled armor plates protected the crew only fire 7.62 mm small arms and small fragments of mines and shells exploded away from her. The upper front plate had an angle of about 25°, in front of the right and left were hatchways with hinged lids for maintenance of the engine and transmission. The front of the roof to the right is the hatch for the driver; before him installed a periscope observation devices. Behind him is another door, behind which was the working place of the commander.
Depending on weapons, delivered on BMD in the back part could be a single tower or can be cut a large hatch gunner missile system.
Side of the machine straight, in the lower part with negative slope. The fenders ended up with the stamped wings.
“Visele” mounted 5-cylinder 4-stroke diesel engine of the company “Volkswagen” with a turbocharger and water-cooled with a capacity of about 2 liters and output of 86 HP at 4500 rpm grille were in the roof of the housing; an exhaust pipe with a silencer, covered with mesh, placed left above the crawler shelf.
“Wiesel” Мк20А1
1 – 20-mm automatic gun Mk20 Rh 202 “Rheinmetall”; 2 – the exhaust pipe of the engine; 3 – driven wheel; 4 – support roller; 5 – driving wheel; 6 – the front maintenance hatch of the engine and transmission; 7 – surveillance device of the driver; 8 – driver’s hatch; 9 – cartridge tape gun; 10 – the hatch of the commander of the machine; 11 – louver radiator; 12 – upper front inclined panel; 13 – the ammunition box of the gun; 14 – antenna

The fuel tank in the stern with a capacity of 80 l was a PROTEK-based capacity, made of reinforced fiberglass with a rubberized cloth. The so-called ballistic cover – protector – damage tank, for example, the cross from a bullet or fragment penetration of the swell under the action of fuel and tightened the hole, preventing leakage. In addition, the internal volume of the tank was filled with polyurethane foam “with a mesh structure otkrytost”. It eliminates the formation of air-fuel mixture and detonation of the vapor with lumbago. Note that reducing the supply of fuel through the filler (the loss of useful volume) was less than 3% of the tank volume, and the presence of open cells of the filler was enabled without difficulty to fill the fuel tank completely and to develop it into operation.
Transmission ЗНР22 car had an automatic transmission with torque Converter, providing in motion three speeds forward and two backward. Suspension consisted of front drive wheels, three double rollers on individual torsion bar suspension with vertical travel 170mm, rear guide wheel is lowered to increase the bearing surface of the soil. The peculiarity consisted in the fact that rollers were secovnie for their relief. In addition, the track was rubber-type “Dill-Kette”. It has reinforced metal cord and had a pressed steel cross-members that make up the “tracks” that interacts with the teeth of the drive wheel.
Rubber band greatly facilitates suspension, reduces noise in movement. With a length of the support surface 1.83 m, “Wiesel” could impede one of the tracks, turn on the spot, although the normal turning radius was equal to 7.2 m. the High specific power of the engine, comprising 31 HP/t, it provided the necessary agility and throttle response. Suffice it to say that she was able to accelerate in 5 seconds to a speed of 32 km/h and 28 – to 75 km/h.
Shots, ready to fire, was equipped in ribbons, were in ammunition boxes on both sides of the gun: 60 armor were in the left box, 100 shrapnel in the right. When you open fire, they are flexible hoses fed directly into the breech
Shots, ready to fire, was equipped in ribbons, were in ammunition boxes on both sides of the gun: 60 armor were in the left box, 100 shrapnel in the right. When you open fire, they are flexible hoses fed directly into the breech
Engine compartment of the machine
The engine compartment of the machine “Wiesel”. Established a 109-horsepower 5-cylinder 4-stroke diesel “Volkswagen” with a turbocharger and water cooling
Aft of the chassis
Aft of the chassis “Wiesel-2” openly placed a 120 mm smoothbore mortar cannon loaded with hill-start assist devices
Self-propelled anti-aircraft missile complex short-range
Self-propelled anti-aircraft missile complex short-range “Ocelot” was on the roof of the rotary launcher. It fit four controlled anti-aircraft missile complex FIM-92 stinger missile in transport-launch containers
To ensure the operation of anti-aircraft missile system is intended self-propelled radar station reconnaissance and provide target detection to fire control on the chassis
To ensure the operation of anti-aircraft missile system is intended self-propelled radar station reconnaissance and provide target detection to fire control on the chassis “Wiesel-2”
Launcher M151 TOW anti-tank systems on Board the
The launcher M151 TOW anti-tank systems on Board the “Wiesel”. The crew in this embodiment consisted of a driver (in front), commander (left) and operator of the complex (right)
“Wisely” was installed radio. Aft installed radio system BOEHM 80 with pin antennas: one each in linear and two – commander.
As is often the case with “missing required samples” – “Wiesel” was immediately adopted, and then ordered its manufacture. In 1988 with the firm “Krupp-MA K” has signed a contract to produce 210 units of anti-tank complex, and 140 units – with a gun.
“Wiesel” TOW A1 was armed with anti-tank TOW missile system (ATGM “Tow”), produced by the American firm “Hughes aircraft”. Open launcher M151 complex together with instruments of guidance and control was placed in the feed on the turret before more hatch operator, equipped in the rear of the roof. The ammunition of the seven missiles were placed in the stern to ready for start-up transport-launch containers. The setup could see the target in azimuth with angles up to 45° in both directions and up – +10° declination.
Later on the “Wiesel” began to establish modernized “Tow-2”.
With ATRA could be applied to the rocket from the BGM-71C release 1972 to BGM-71H edition 1987, differing in caliber, and therefore the mass of the warhead and fuse. Their pointing – command, semi-automatic. For searching, targeting and subsequent retention missiles at targets in direct line of sight, the operator used a telescopic sight. The control signals transmitted to the missile control system by two wires unwound from the coils in the back part of it. As a sight you used a thermal imaging night sight AN/TAS-4, allows you to fire and at night.
Maximum sighting range missiles was equal to 3750 m, and the minimum is 65 m at flight speed of 280 m/s armor Penetration while missiles with cumulative part of the BGM-71С was 430 mm, missiles VSM-71Н with a tandem warhead – 900 mm.
The crew with ATRA increased by one operator and was three people.
“Wiesel” MK20 A1 in the embodiment of the machine of fire support had a single turret armed with a 20mm automatic cannon Mk20 Rh 202 “Rheinmetall”. This gun was designed to combat ground targets at ranges of up to 7000 m and flying at altitudes up to 2000 m, with ammunition rounds with armor-piercing and high-explosive shells. The initial speed was equal to 1300 m/s, mass is 0.11 – 0.12 kg. But with such characteristics subcaliber projectile, for example, at ranges of 1000 m could penetrate the armor thickness of 20 mm at an angle meeting of 60°.
“Wiesel-2” ATGM TOW:
1 – driver’s hatch; 2 – the hatch of the commander of the machine; 3 – the launch tube of the complex TOW; 4 – devices monitor and control the rocket; 5 – hatch operator

BMD, “Wiesel” was an air transportable tank. In the cargo compartment medium transport helicopter CH-53S and CH-47 “Chinook”, loaded two cars
Shots, ready to fire, was equipped in ribbons, were in ammunition boxes on both sides of the gun: 60 armor were in the left box, 100 shrapnel in the right. When you open fire, they are flexible hoses fed directly into the breech. The remaining 240 rounds (in the ammunition their only 400) was supposed to be in the way in the rear of the machine.
The tower could be rotated horizontally by 110° in both directions and at angles from -10° to +45° in elevation. Gunner to target and aiming used a laser rangefinder and a periscope sight with independent stabilisation of the field of view.
In yet another variant of the “Wiesel” to ensure that terrestrial intelligence has placed the radar RATAC-S. It was put on the armed reconnaissance battalions, and a platoon of artillery reconnaissance. This station medium-range could detect and track in automatic mode surface and air targets at ranges of 35 – 40 km.
The machine was equipped with a crane where a height of 12 m was raised antenna and transmitter / receiver unit. Instrument signal processing housed within the housing: the display could show the path of the moving targets. The accuracy of determination of their coordinates was 10 m.
The practice of using BDM “Wiesel” showed that the machine met the requirements of airborne troops as a carrier of light weapons, and also, very importantly, their airtransportable. She started to go to the Bundeswehr just at the time of formation of airmobile forces and the so-called forces of fast reaction. By 1995 in the newly created airborne brigade were armed with 46 units, “Wiesel” TOW A1 and 30 “Wiesel” MK20 A1. And in its anti-tank company there were 9 anti-tank gun and 6 such machines.
25th airborne brigade, for example, became part of the German airborne forces and were intended to participate in the peacekeeping contingent. Its affiliates could be shifted to the place of concentration depending on the distance an aircraft or helicopter. So, the main military transport aircraft medium and long range U.S. and NATO C-130 Hercules could take on Board 3 of the machine “Wiesel”, the other is the average military transport aircraft C-160 “Transall”, a staff for the air forces of Germany and designed for cargo transportation and landing operations, could carry 4 such machines, the American heavy long-range transport of the airborne aircraft C-141A “Starlifter” – 6 units. American strategic military cargo aircraft with increased carrying capacity-5 “galaxy” or double-deck long-haul wide-body “Boeing-747” could transfer to the other hemisphere of the earth from a quarter or even a third brigade of cars: they would seat 30 and 24 BDM “Wiesel”, respectively.
In the cargo compartment medium transport helicopter CH-53G, and CH-47 “Chinook”, loaded two cars. On the external sling of helicopter 14-60A “black hawk” or AS 332 “Super Puma” could carry only one “Wiesel”.
New model combat airborne machine “Wiesel-2” submitted to the Bundeswehr in 1994, its Main advantage was twice expanded the habitable internal volume. The machine frame is lengthened to 4200 mm, so putting in the undercarriage of one of the fourth support roller and second support roller to each Board.
The circuit layout has remained the same – with the engine Bay in front, but added the troop compartment at the rear. A few changed the shape of the body inclined front plate went on, placing at the top of the driver’s hatch, and behind him on the roof in the cockpit – hatch commander. In the stern put the double swing door to release the paratroopers.
Troop unit composed of three people left
Airborne unit consisting of three people left “Wiesel-2” through the swing door in the hull rear
“Wiesel” TOW on the street one of the cities of Afghanistan. The German contingent of the International coalition forces to promote security, Afghanistan, 2011
Engine power increased from 86 HP to 109 HP, installing diesel “VW – Audi – TDI” turbo. Replaced the transmission new automatic ZF LSG 300/4 with hydromechanical transmission; it provides four forward and two reverse speeds. Increased fuel tank capacity, bringing the cruising range of 550 km.
Now the armored “Wiesel-2” could hold and carry in suspension of up to six crew members and paratroopers. Armor could protect them from armor-piercing bullets of 7.62 mm, had air conditioning and the filtering and ventilating unit. At the same time preserving the low silhouette of the body, a low specific ground pressure -only 0.41 kg/cm2, excellent mobility and maneuverability BMD.
Expanded and the family of vehicles for various purposes on the basis of “Wiesel-2”. So, in 1998 was created the command-staff vehicle (CSV) Primus S2, which was intended to control artillery fire from the positions of military units, as well as actions taken as good points of intelligence. Crank was supplied with information and control system HERGIS “Siemens and CO.” showing the situation monitors, and data transmission devices. It is supplied with two radios VHF and one HF range, devices of satellite navigation. Armed with 7.62 mm machine gun MGЗ with ammunition up to 500 rounds.
Was separately developed version of the combat reconnaissance vehicles (BRM) “pioneer”. Its ground reconnaissance complex is consisted of a laser range finder, television and thermal imaging equipment placed on the push up mast. The car was also installed data-processing equipment, means of communication, the receiver of the NAVSTAR system and other equipment. The main task of the machine was the detection of enemy ground targets, tracking them on the battlefield.
Another model was self-propelled mortar, developed by “Rheinmetall”. Aft of the chassis “Wiesel-2” openly placed a 120 mm smoothbore mortar cannon loaded with hill-start assist devices. On the March his trunk was put on the roof of the car in a horizontal position.
When firing from the stern equipped with two folding support Jack to ensure reliable stabilization.
Preparation of data for firing was carried out by means of the improved fire control system, the targeting was done only a few keyboard buttons; there was the on-Board computer, navigation equipment.
The mortar in the vertical plane was sought in the range of +40°+ – 85°, horizontally – in the sector of + – 25°. The firing range was dependent on the charge shot and amounted to 6.3 km in normal mode and up to 8.5 km when zoomed in. The production of the first three shots took 20 s. the Ammunition was 20 min (according to other sources – 30 min).
The calculation of the self-propelled mortar – three men: driver, commander, loader.
“Ocelot” – self-propelled anti-aircraft missile system (ADMS) short-range on the basis of “Wiesel-2” – was on the roof of the rotary launcher is controlled remotely from the casing in elevation and azimuth of the target. It fit four controlled anti-aircraft missile complex FIM-92 stinger missile in transport-launch containers. These missiles, with a length of 1.52 m, the caliber of 70 mm and a weight of 10.1 kg, was carrying a three-kilogram fragmentation warhead. They can hit air targets at ranges of 200 – 4500 m flying at a speed of 720 m/s (2.2 M) and at altitudes up to 3800 m. the guidance System: passive infrared – was located in the homing head of the missile. On the launcher were also opto-electronic device of tracking of targets and missiles, laser rangefinder, control equipment.
Crew carried out the attack on a target while in the cab. The speed of rotation of the platform when the search target was 56 degrees./C. Reload installation after the launch of four rockets was done manually.
The total mass of the complex is about 4 t
“Ocelot” was to be used to cover the units of the army on the March, on the battlefield and in the concentration areas – command posts, communication centers from air attacks by airplanes and helicopters of the enemy.
To ensure the operation of anti-aircraft missile system is intended self-propelled radar station reconnaissance and provide target detection to fire control, also mounted on the chassis “Wiesel-2”. It was equipped with three-coordinate radar “Hard” (RLS) in the centimeter range.
Radar “Hard” could simultaneously track up to 20 airborne targets at a distance of 20 km it had three modes of operation depending on the type of target: the mode for detection and tracking purposes at a great speed, the detection mode and the helicopter mode of action is not manoeuvring targets, providing automatic tracking of all types of targets under conditions of electronic countermeasures.
A self-propelled station was able to provide radar information to eight combat vehicles SAM in the transmission of data through radio stations. The crew of such a machine was made by two people.
The following version of “Wiesel-2” – sanitary recovery vehicle. In this embodiment, its case extended to the possibility of placing in the rear compartment of the two lying wounded or four sessile. In the stern sheets set wide input output door. The machine was supplied with medical equipment for first aid directly on the battlefield, a water heater, filter-ventilation system, air conditioning.
Small conveyor on the chassis “Wiesel-2” with carrying capacity of about 1 t can serve as a carrier of ammunition for mortars and artillery guns, tanker, cargo carrier.
Listing diverse possibilities “Wiesel-2” could continue. It is reported that the family will be supplemented by other samples. For example, assume a transformation in the artillery towing light field guns, transport-loading machine engineering reconnaissance equipment reconnaissance of mine fields and water obstacles.
All machines “Wiesel-2” is an air transportable tank – the possible transfer of the same helicopters and planes, and “Wiesel”, and just take them on Board is one less. So, in the cargo C-130 “Hercules” fit two cars instead of three, in-160 “Transall” three instead of four, the helicopter CH-53G – only one.
Combat weight, kg………………………4,1
Crew………….up to 6 troops
Length, mm………………………………..4,2
Width, mm…………………………..1852
The height of the roof, mm…………….1562
Ground clearance, mm……………………………300
Track width, mm…………………1620
Engine……………..”VW – Audi – TDI” turbo 109 HP
Suspension…………….individual torsion-bar
Caterpillar style…………………rubber reinforced, track width 200 mm
Maximum speed, km/h……70
The reserve km…………………………550
Specific pressure, kg/cm2………0,41
Overcoming obstacles in m:
the height of the wall……………………….0,4
the width of the pit…………………………..1,5
fording depth………………………0,5
ascent, hail………………………….31
roll angle, deg……………………..18

It is also possible the landing of a plane on a 4-ton parachute platform. However, still prefer the military command gives the so-called landing landing – the landing of the helicopter during tactical landing or aircraft at the rapid transfer of troops.
Family car “Wiesel-2” began to arrive in the part of the Bundeswehr since 2001, Then received an order for the first 67 units. Required to produce 50 air defense systems, 10 reconnaissance vehicles, seven command staff.
German BDM “Wiesel” took part in overseas operations the army of Germany. In 1993 they were used in Somalia as part of the German contingent of the UN force during the peacekeeping operation UNOSOM-II. Then, in 1999 – in Kosovo as part of KFOR international forces under NATO leadership. Their main task in both cases was patrolling the roads and conducting reconnaissance. In Afghanistan from the outset of arrival in the country German units cars were permanently in their composition.
Modernize BMD, “Wiesel” continues. It is not excluded that after a while we’ll see fielded airborne units and unmanned robotic machines controlled by video cameras and laser scanners.

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