M93A1 / M93A1P1 Fox NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle, United States of America

M93 Fox NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle

The M93A1 / M93A1P1 Fox is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicle developed by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) and Germany-based Henschel Wehrtechnik for the US Army. The system is also known as the Fox NBC Reconnaissance System.

The vehicle can detect, identify and mark the areas of nuclear and chemical contamination. It can take samples of soil, water and vegetation to provide accurate information to commanders.

M93A1 / M93A1P1 NBC vehicle original development

The Fox NBCRS was originally developed for the German Army. The US Army requested the sale of Fox system in the late 1980s for US forces in Europe. Germany initially delivered 48 working XM93 vehicles. It supplied another 50 working XM93s for Operation Desert Storm.

The US Army and the US Marine Corps own more than 120 Fox NBCRS.

M93 upgraded to M93A1 configuration by GDLS

"The Fox NBCRS was originally developed for the German Army. The US Army requested the sale of the Fox system in the late 1980s to its forces in Europe."

In 1996, the US Army awarded a contract to GDLS to upgrade 62 Fox NBCRS vehicles to the M93A1 Block 1 configuration. The contract included three options.

The production qualification trials of the modified vehicles were concluded by July 1998. The first batch of vehicles was upgraded to Fox NBCRS Block 1 system (M93A1) by October 1998.

In August 2007, the US Army placed a $56m modification contract with GDLS to upgrade 14 M93 and four M93A1 Fox vehicles to M93A1P1 configuration.

The upgraded M93A1P1 includes slat armour and provision for the common remotely operated weapon station (CROWS). It offers armour protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In February 2008, General Dynamics was awarded a contract to update technical manuals of the Fox.

All the three options of the original base contract have been exercised, adding 24 upgraded Fox NBRCS vehicles to the fleet.

M93A1 / M93A1P1 Fox design features

Based on the German TPz1 Fuchs, M93A1 incorporates an armoured hull attached with angled armour plates. The six x six all-wheel-drive armoured vehicle integrates an NBC reconnaissance system including NBC detection, warning and sampling equipment.

The automated systems onboard the M93A1 allow the operation of the vehicle by just three crew members.

The vehicle has a length of 7.3m, width of 2.9m and a height of 2.7m. The maximum combat weight of the vehicle is 19.4t.

NBC reconnaissance equipment on the US Army vehicle

The M93A1 NBC sensor suite integrates the M21 remote sensing chemical agent alarm (RSCAAL), MM1 mobile mass spectrometer, chemical agent monitor (CAM) or improved chemical agent monitor (ICAM), AN/VDR-2 Beta Radiac and M22 automatic chemical agent detector / alarm (ACADA).

"In August 2007, the US Army placed a $56m modification contract with GDLS to upgrade 14 M93 and four M93A1 Fox vehicles to M93A1P1 configuration."

The sensor suite is digitally connected with the communications and navigation subsystems by a dual-purpose central processing system, referred to as the multipurpose integrated chemical agent detector (MICAD). The NBC warning and reporting functions are fully automated by the MICAD system. It delivers full situational awareness of the onboard NBC sensors, navigation and communications systems to the commander.

The global positioning system (GPS) and the autonomous navigation system (ANAV) help in locating and reporting the contamination accurately. The over-pressure filtration system aboard the Fox protects the crew from the effects of NBC agents and contamination in the external environment.

The M93A1 can discover chemical contamination in its surroundings using point detection and at a distance through the M21 RSCAAL. The system automatically receives contamination data from sensors with inputs from onboard navigation and meteorological systems. The information is rapidly transferred via SINCGARS radios and digital NBC warning messages to alert the follow-on forces. Two Fox vehicles are normally deployed as a team to lead the movement of troops to identify contaminated areas.

Propulsion of the Fox CBRN reconnaissance vehicle

The M93A1 is powered by Mercedes-Benz OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel engine coupled to the ZF 6HP 500 six-speed automatic transmission.

The engine delivers a power output of 320hp. The fully amphibious vehicle can swim at a speed of up to 9.6km/h. The maximum on-road speed of the vehicle is 100km/h.

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