WiSENT 1 is an adaptable armoured vehicle system developed by Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG), a military vehicle manufacturer based in Germany.
It is designed to provide versatile, cost-efficient and highly effective support to vehicles such as the Leopard 2 main battle tank, used by armies worldwide.
The WiSENT 1 is available in flexible configuration options ranging from the armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) and the armoured engineer vehicle (AEV) to the mine-clearing (MC) tank.
WiSENT 1 armoured vehicle design and features
The WiSENT 1 vehicles are 8.2m long, 3.46m wide and 2.95m high. Weighing 44.5t, the multi-functional platform offers high mobility in every situation with an option to include add-on-armour modules.
It features an advanced hydraulic system offering maximum hydraulic power in any situation. The vehicle can be upgraded with other options such as the hydro gas suspension system and the 960hp power package or air conditioning, based on customer requirements.
WiSENT 1 armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) details
The WiSENT 1 ARV is suitable for executing recovery missions, offering both power and protection. It features a versatile front-mounted specialised dozer blade and an innovative crane with a lifting capacity of 30t. Significant enhancements have been made to the primary winch which has a pulling force of 35t.
Additionally, the ARV is outfitted with an auxiliary winch, which aids in positioning the main 72m-long pulling winch rope and facilitates recovery missions involving smaller vehicles.
Weighing approximately 54t, the WiSENT 1 ARV can conveniently transport a Leopard 2 spare power pack on its top deck. It is powered by a robust 960PS engine, enabling it to achieve speeds of more than 65km/h.
The Combat Recovery System (CRS®) supports recovery operations, allowing the crew to recover vehicles while shielded by the armoured protection of the WiSENT 1. The specialised camera system fitted within the CRS ensures speedy and secure recovery.
WiSENT 1 armoured engineer vehicle (AEV) details
The WiSENT 1 AEV offers superior performance compared to other engineer vehicles based on the Leopard 1 platform. It features a state-of-the-art excavator arm that draws inspiration from civilian excavator systems and provides field performance equivalent to a high-end excavator. It features a digging capacity of more than 300m³/h, together with a 1.3m³ bucket volume.
The vehicle can lift loads of 4.5t and is equipped with an integrated welding and cutting unit that operates on either 230V or 400V, ensuring that pioneer troops have immediate access to full operational capabilities.
It is also equipped with mine and ballistic protection systems, an upgraded power pack, a hydraulic tools interface and a flexible hydro gas suspension system characteristic of the MVP WiSENT 1 system family.
WiSENT 1 mine-clearing (MC) tank details
The WiSENT 1 MC system is based on the WiSENT 1 ARV and has been specifically designed to facilitate the creation of quick and safe routes for advancing troops. It is equipped with a full-width mine-clearing plough, a crane with a 30t lifting capacity and an auxiliary winch.
It also features a magnetic signature duplicator, a front-mounted high lift adapter and a lane marking system to guide troops through the cleared pathways, ensuring their safe passage.
The vehicle meets ballistic protection standards according to the NATO STANAG 4569 Level 5 and Level 3 protection against mines for optimal safety of the crew in high-risk regions. It can also be incorporated with supplementary armour modules, which allow for adaptable safety setups tailored to specific missions.
In addition, the vehicle features a standard fire extinguishing system, which enhances safety during operations, and an overhead weapon station. It can also be equipped with a heat-reflecting camouflage net and available systems, which enhance the defence. A storage box mounted on the roof can transport specialised tools and equipment for immediate access.
Engine and performance
The WiSENT 1 armoured vehicle is equipped with an FFG performance-enhanced engine, which produces a power output of 700kW and a torque of 3,200Nm. It can travel up to a range of 375km at a speed of up to 62km/h.
It features a 60% climbing capacity and a 30% slope crossing ability.
Orders and deliveries
FFG extended its long-existing collaboration with Pearson Engineering, a combat engineering company based in the UK, for a programme to provide specialised mine-clearing equipment to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as part of urgent operational requirements sponsored by the German federal government in January 2023.
The equipment is designed for clearing routes of landmines or explosive devices, which is crucial for military operations and troop movement, especially in conflict zones. The contract outlines the delivery of a significant quantity of NATO-proven full-width mine ploughs from Pearson Engineering that are integrated with WiSENT 1 vehicles. The equipment will be delivered to Ukraine by the end of 2023.
The WiSENT 1 platform is also in service with the Danish Armed Forces. FFG was awarded a contract to undertake mid-life extension (MLE) of the Danish Army’s fleet of WiSENT 1s in 2022.
The MLE programme will add state-of-the-art C4ISR systems, including tactical communication and video camera systems, in addition to an upgraded human-machine interface and other improvements.
The first two upgraded vehicles were delivered to the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) in 2022. The remaining fleet will be upgraded by 2023.