The Pandur 6×6 wheeled armoured vehicle.
The Pandur 6×6 family of wheeled armoured vehicles has been developed by Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria and is manufactured by AV Technology International (a General Dynamics company) of Chesterfield, Michigan, USA. In November 2003, General Dynamics took over Steyr-Daimler-Puch, which is now part of General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems (ELCS), along with MOWAG of Switzerland and General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDSBS) of Spain.
The Pandur has been operational with the Austrian Army since 1996 (68 vehicles) and is in service with the Kuwait National Guard (70 vehicles), the Belgian Army (60 vehicles) and the Slovenian Army (36 vehicles). The US Army awarded a contract for up to 50 Pandur vehicles to form the basis of the Armoured Ground Mobility System.
In May 2003, the Slovenian Army ordered a further 36 Pandur vehicles. The vehicles were manufactured by Sistemska Tehnika under licence. In May 2004, Gabon purchased one Pandur APC of a requirement for up to 20 vehicles.
All variants use the same chassis configured in one of two basic models, “A” Model with an extended centre roof or “B” Model with a flat roof design. The various configurations include: Armoured Personnel Carriers fitted with light and heavy machine-gun cupolas and turrets including the AV-30 and USMC Upgunned Weapon Station; Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Reconnaissance Vehicles, including the MultiGun Turreted System mounting 25mm, 30mm or 35mm cannons; Combat Support Vehicles including 9Omm, anti-tank, and mortar systems; and Service Support Vehicles including ambulance, engineer, logistics and command and control.
For the reconnaissance and fire support role the vehicle is equipped with a Cockerill 90mm LCTS turret with a Mark 8 gun, coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and 7.62mm cupola machine gun. Four smoke grenade launchers are fitted on either side of the turret.
The turret weapon control system is electro-mechanically powered with digital control and manual backup. Elevation is -9 to +20° with full 360° traverse. The gunner’s station is fitted with a combined day and thermal imaging sight with a stabilised head mirror and an integrated laser rangefinder. The commander has a panoramic day sight featuring gyro-stabilised line of sight. A monitor displays the gunner’s thermal channel.
The armoured personnel carrier’s is armed with a 11.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun and a 7.62m MG3 general purpose machine gun. The main gun is mounted on a shielded traverse ring which can travel through 360°. The driver has three episcopic sights and the commander’s observation cupola has five episcopes. Six smoke grenade launchers are fitted on either side of the turret. A long bodied variant accommodates the driver and commander and ten fully equipped troops.
The amphibious version of the Pandur, requiring no stopping time for preparation, has a combat weight of 13.5t. The exhaust pipe is extended and water jets on the back of the hull provide a maximum speed in water of 11km/h. The vehicle can pivot through 180° in 8s.
Armour protection against 12.7mm weapon systems is provided in the frontal 30° arc and against 7.62mm calibre all round. A spall liner and mine protection carpet are installed to minimise the secondary effects of armour penetration and mines. The drivetrain and steering linkages are protected within the armoured hull.
Design features to reduce the thermal signature of the vehicle include a thermally insulated exhaust system and the use of infra-red absorbing paint. The design of vehicle surfaces has been computer optimised to minimise the radar cross section of the vehicle. The noise signature has been reduced with engine and exhaust silencing systems.
The Pandur vehicle is powered by a Steyr WD 612 diesel engine, rated at 195kW (265hp). The hydraulically controlled automatic Allison transmission has torque converter and lockup clutch. The vehicle’s computer system gives electronic control of systems such as gear locks and clutches, maintenance and repair diagnostic system, with visual and acoustic warnings. The two steered axles allow manoeuvrability after damage to the first axle. A tire inflation system gives optimised traction on all terrain due to continuously adjustable tire pressure.
Maximum speed is 110km/h and cruising range is 650km.
Steyr-Daimler Puch has developed the Pandur II, which began trials in September 2001. Pandur II is available in 6×6 and 8×8 versions. It is powered by a more powerful 355hp Cummins ISC 350 diesel engine and has an extended wheelbase and modified hull. The first 8×8 prototype is an IFV armed with a 30mm cannon. Standard equipment includes central tyre inflation system and automatic drive train management.
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