Kodiak Armoured Engineer Vehicle (AEV3), Switzerland

Armoured vehicle

The AEV3 Kodiak, launched by Geniepanzer in Switzerland, is an armoured engineering and mine clearance tank that can meet the technical and tactical needs of modern day armed forces.

It is based on a modified Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT) chassis and provides heavy duty engineering required in a combat environment.

Mine and obstacle clearance capabilities

"The MBT was developed in 2002 to meet the operational requirements of the Swiss Army."

Enhanced effectiveness and functionality of the tank enable the combat engineers to build and demolish obstacles in combat, including minefield breaching.

The tank boasts the characteristics of an MBT and an engineering vehicle. It is provided with high level of protection against ballistic and landmine threats. It can be used for civil purposes, such as disaster relief missions and peace enforcement apart from military missions.

Germany-based Rheinmetall, the co-producer of the Leopard tanks, had teamed up with RUAG of Switzerland to develop, manufacture and market the Kodiak tanks.

The MBT was developed in 2002 to meet the operational requirements of the Swiss Army. The countries using Leopard 2 are expected to be the potential buyers of the Kodiak.

A number of countries have already expressed interest in buying the MBT. Contracts for 42 vehicles had been signed by the end of 2010.

Development of the AEV3 Kodiak

The Kodiak development project started taking shape in 1999, when the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, was asked to secure an armoured engineer vehicle. The Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Switzerland were seen as the potential partners for the collaboration.

"The tank boasts the characteristics of an MBT and an engineering vehicle. It is provided with high level of protection."

Collaboration between Switzerland and Sweden reached a phase where an offer could be made for production. Negotiations between the two countries, however, broke down in December 2001 because of the latter's inability to pay the required additional funding.

A fresh collaboration was started between Switzerland and Denmark in 2002 and a prototype was developed by Switzerland and Rheinmetall Landsysteme in 2003. Denmark pulled out of the project before the final negotiations.

The Netherlands later expressed interest and the go-ahead was given by the government in December 2007. The two countries concluded a contract with Rheinmetall Landsysteme in January 2008.

Construction of the mine clearance tank

Kodiak was initially considered to be based on the Leopard 1 MBT but, after in-depth study, the Leopard 2 was found to be more suitable to be converted into an AEV. The surplus Leopard 2 MBTs supplied by the Swiss Army are rebuilt and given the shape of multifunction armoured engineer vehicle.

The Leopard 2 MBT chassis is stripped in the workshops in Skovde, Sweden. The stripped vehicle is then sent to the RUAG facility in Switzerland, where the front portion is removed to obtain crew modules and fixtures for the hinged excavator arm and other equipment.

High temperature climatic testing of the vehicle was undertaken in Zaragossa, Spain, and low temperature testing was carried out in Boden, Spain.

Orders and deliveries of the AEV3 Kodiak

"The vehicle is armed with a remote control weapon station that can be outfitted with a 12.7mm machine gun."

The Swiss Army ordered 12 Kodiak tanks worth CHF 95m ($117m) in 2007. The delivery was scheduled to take place in 2009, but has been delayed. RUAG Defence delivered the first five of the 12 Kodiak tanks to the Swiss Army in December 2011.

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence and FMV jointly placed an order worth €100m for the procurement of Kodiak vehicles in January 2008. The Netherlands Army has purchased ten vehicles and the Swedish Army six. Rheinmetall delivered the first Kodiak AEV 3 S to the Swedish Army in November 2011.

Akers Krutbruk was contracted by Rheinmetall in January 2009 to supply a protection solution for the Kodiak tanks.

Armoured engineer vehicle features

The vehicle is equipped with a hinged arm excavator with a quick-change tool system for fixing other tools, such as a universal gripper, a hydraulic hammer and a concrete crusher. There is also an expandable bulldozer blade that can be substituted with a mine-clearing device when required. Bulldozing capacity of the vehicle is 350m3/h.

The mine breaching system includes Pearson Engineer Mine Plough (EMP), Lane Marking System (LMS) and Demeter magnetic signature device. Ploughing can be done up to a depth of 30cm. Winch system features two 9t Rotzler capstan winches, each provided with a 200m long cable.

Armament, self-protection and engine details

The vehicle is armed with a remote control weapon station that can be outfitted with a 12.7mm machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL). The weapon station can be mounted with an IR camera, daylight camera and laser range-finder. A smoke grenade launcher is also fitted.

The AEV3 Kodiak is equipped with a nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) suite for protection against direct contact with and contamination by radioactive, biological or chemical substances.

It is also equipped with an integrated mine protection system and the crew compartment features a heating and cooling system. It can be incorporated with a battlefield management system or a radio and intercom system as required by the customers.

Bomblet protection will be provided for the Dutch version.

The AEV3 Kodiak is powered by 1,500HP MTU turbocharged diesel engine. The engine is identical to that used in the Leopard 2 tanks.

Global Armoured Vehicles and Counter-IED Vehicles Market 2011-2021

This project forms part of our recent analysis and forecasts of the global armoured vehicles and counter-IED vehicles market available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence. For more information click here or contact us: EMEA: +44 20 7936 6783; Americas: +1 415 439 4914; Asia Pacific: +61 2 9947 9709 or via email.

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