The Pandur II is an amphibious armoured personnel carrier manufactured by Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch, which is part of American aerospace and defence company General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems.
The Pandur II 6×6 and 8×8 family of light armoured vehicles is a variant of the successful Pandur armoured personnel carrier. The vehicles have proven off-road capabilities and excellent manoeuvrability and can be used for crossing water gap, water reservoir or coastal waters.
In November 2003, General Dynamics took over Steyr-Daimler-Puch along with Swiss armoured vehicles manufacturer MOWAG and Spanish firm General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDSBS).
The baseline version of the Pandur II is an infantry 6×6 armoured personnel carrier configured to carry a driver, gunner, and commander with six fully equipped troops. Other versions in the Pandur II family are in 6×6 and 8×8 configurations and include a platoon command vehicle, company or battalion command vehicle, fully amphibious armoured vehicle, an anti-tank guided weapon carrier, forward observer vehicle, battlefield ambulance and a driver training vehicle.
GDELS is currently, responsible for the maintenance of more than 3,000 Pandur vehicles, of which 1,000 vehicles are in service with NATO member nations.
Pandur II light armoured vehicle development
An industrial partnership between Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Austria and OBRUM based in Poland offered the 6×6 and 8×8 Pandur II vehicles for consideration by the Polish Army to meet the requirement for a new family of armoured personnel carriers.
Poland, which fields the BMP-1, BRM-1 and OT-64 SKOT infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, reviewed a six-year modernisation and reorganisation programme for the Armed Forces from 2001 to 2006. The Austrian Army, which already operates 68 Pandur 6×6, placed a requirement for up to 129 Pandur II vehicles for international missions of two armoured infantry battalions. The Austrian Army also outlined an additional requirement for specialised mission variants of the Pandur II
6×6, for a transport and cargo carrier version, reconnaissance, NBC detection and an anti-tank guided weapon carrier.
Pandur II design and features
The Pandur II has a longer wheel base and modified hull compared to the Pandur I. The Pandur II has high off-road mobility owing to heavy duty chassis. The vehicle has a length of 7.38m, width is 2.67m, and height of 3.987m.
The vehicle provides protection against 7.62mm armour piercing rounds. Add-on armour protects against 14.5mm armour piercing shells at 100m. Spall liners and additional armour protection against landmines can be fitted as an option.
The vehicle has an intermediate floor and the seats along the sides of the cabin are suspended from wall and ceiling mounts rather than floor mounted. It is equipped with STANAG 4569 level 1-4 grade ballistic and anti-mine protection.
The 6×6 Pandur II carries up to 12 crew and the 8×8 carries up to 14 crew. The crew compartment can be fitted with air circulation, an NBC protection system and fire detection and suppression. The troops are able to rapidly embark or disembark through two doors in the rear of the vehicle. A rear power-operated ramp can be fitted.
Pandur II weapons systems
The Pandur II 6×6 can be armed with weapons up to 90mm calibre. The Pandur II 8×8 can be fitted with a two-person 105mm low-profile turret system supplied by General Dynamics Land Systems. Other weapons up to 105mm calibre can be fitted to suit the operational requirements. Optional weapon fits include a two-man turret with automatic tracking, a day and night fire control system, stabilised 30mm Mauser cannon and 7.62mm co-axial general purpose machine gun as fitted on the Ulan IFV deployed by the Austrian Army.
Engine and mobility
The power pack is installed at the front right of the vehicle and the driver’s station at the front right. The common power pack on the 6×6 and 8×8 variants of Pandur II can be removed and replaced in the field in 30 minutes.
The Pandur II is equipped with a Cummins Diesel ISLe T450 HPCR engine rated at 450hp. The engine is fitted with an electronic engine management system. A water heater provides engine preheating for cold starting and for heating the crew compartment.
The vehicle is equipped with a ZF 6HP 602C fully automatic transmission. An automatic drive train management system (ADM) provides sensor controlled automatic engagement of all wheel drive and differential locking to suit the terrain surface and driving conditions. The ADM gives a very high standard of off-road mobility as well as reduced wear on the driveline and reduced training requirements in all terrain driving. The driver can engage a mechanical override on the ADM.
All wheels are fitted with independent suspension. The driveline and steering links are armour protected within the hull. Steering is by power-assisted recirculating ball on the two front axles. Central tyre inflation and run flat capability is installed as standard. The centrally located tyre inflation system and automatic driveline management system help for smooth operation of the vehicle. The wheels are fitted with dual circuit hydraulically operated disc brakes and anti-skid braking. A self-recovery winch is also fitted as standard.
The vehicle can manoeuvre in confined spaces. The turning radius of the 6×6 and 8×8 vehicles is 9m and 10m respectively.
The Pandur II has demonstrated a maximum road speed of 105km per hour and excellent mobility in environmental conditions from -35°C to +50°C. The maximum off-road speed of the vehicle is 32km/h.
The vehicle can ford to a depth of 1.5m. A fully amphibious Pandur II is fitted with two mechanically driven water jets and a hydraulically operated trim vane mounted at the front of the chassis. The driver operates the controls to erect the trim vane from his position at the driver’s station. The vehicle achieves a speed of 10km/h in water. It can be transported in roll on/roll off mode by Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130 aircraft.
Pandur II orders and deliveries
In February 2004, the government of Portugal signed a contract for 260 Pandur II vehicles. 240 for the Army and 20 for the Marines, in 15 variants. Except for the first vehicle of each variant (which were built by Steyr), the vehicles were manufactured by Fabrequipa in Portugal. In February 2006, Elbit was awarded the contract for the unmanned turret system for the vehicles. Fabrequipa began production of the vehicle in January 2007 and the first batch was delivered in January 2008.
In June 2006, the Czech Republic ordered the Pandur II, with a requirement for 199 (plus 35 options) vehicles to be delivered between 2007 and 2012, including 63 infantry fighting vehicles. The IFV vehicles are fitted with the Rafael Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS-30). RCWS-30 includes a 30mm mk44 automatic cannon from ATK and twin launcher for the Rafael Spike-LR anti-armour missile system.
In November 2007, Steyr announced that the first 17 vehicles were ready for delivery. The Czech government subsequently cancelled the contract for the vehicles in December 2007. However, in January 2008, the Czech government stated that the contract may be renegotiated, possibly for a smaller number of vehicles. In March 2008, it was announced that 107 vehicles would be procured.
In January 2015, Czech company Excalibur Army signed an agreement with GDELS-Steyr for the licence to exclusively market, sell and service the Pandur II 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle family in Czech Republic and other select locations in Eastern Europe and Asia. The companies partnered to compete for the programme to build 20 Pandur II 8×8 vehicles for the Czech Ministry of Defence.
The Austrian Ministry of Defense ordered for 30 Pandur Evolution wheeled armoured vehicles in October 2020. The Pandur Evolution vehicle is an enhanced version of the existing Pandur vehicle in terms of mission capabilities and flexibility.
The Austrian Ministry of Defense will induct a fleet of 64 new Pandur Evo vehicles with deliveries expected between 2022 and 2023.