Sauer 4K 4FA

     Notes:  The design work on the 4K 4FA series began in 1956, and was one of Austria’s first post-World War 2 armored vehicle projects.  The first prototype, the 3K 3H, had basically the same shape, but was smaller and had a Sauer 3H 200-horsepower diesel engine.  This prototype, completed 1958, was quickly re-worked into the 4K 3H, which had a better internal layout but was otherwise the same as the 3K 3H.  The next prototype, the 4K 2P, had essentially the same hull layout as the 4K 4FA that eventually resulted, and was powered by a Sauer 2P 250-horsepower diesel engine. A few minor changes resulted in the first production version, the 4K 4F.  The later versions of this series of vehicles differed only in a few minor details and their engines.  The 4K 4FA series was used only by Austria; it was to have been completely replaced by the Ulan (the Austrian version of the ASCOD) between 2002-2004, but budgetary problems reared its ugly head, and the 4K 4FA series will have to soldier on for possibly as long as 2015. Some 445 of all versions of the 4K 4FA were built, with production ending in 1968.

     The 4K 4FA is powered by a Sauer 4FA 250-horsepower engine that is very similar to the 2P engine of the 4K 4F.  (For game purposes, the 4K 4F and 4K 4FA may be considered identical.) A slightly earlier version, the 4K 3FA, differs only in the engine, which is a Sauer 3FA 230-horsepower diesel. The suspension is well-made and gives the crew and passengers a reasonably-smooth ride for an APC of its period, and the good horsepower-to-weight ratio gives the 4K 4FA excellent speed and maneuverability.  The interior is rather cramped, primarily due to the narrow width and short height of the 4K 4FA, as well as the fact that the fuel tanks are inside the walls of the passenger compartment.  That low silhouette helps protect the vehicle to an extent, but also means that the fuel tanks are rather small. The commander, on the other hand, had a roomy position with a large hatch.  The driver’s position is in front of the commander’s position, and for that reason the 4K 4FA was designed to have no commander’s armament, though a pintle mount was later added to many 4K 4FAs, and some also have varying sizes of gun shields. (Such gun shields have AV1 and add $50 per side of the gunner protected by them.)  The rear deck has a large hatchway above the passenger compartment (enough for six troops to stand upright in it); some 4K 4FAs have from 1-4 pintle mounts around that rear deck hatch.  At the rear of the vehicle is a large door for egress and ingress. The 4K 4FA does not have any NBC system, nor does it have radiological shielding.  No night vision is provided; and the 4K 4FA is not amphibious. Frontal armor is fairly heavy, with side and rear armor being relatively thin; however, the sides do have a decent slope to them, which helps with the protection factor. The 4K 4FA is basically a “battlefield bus.”

     The 4K 4FA-G1 is a later development; it differs in the commander’s cupola, which is basically a low turret that is armed with a heavy machinegun.  The 4K 4FA-G2 has the commander’s position moved to the right side of the front deck; this has a small turret armed with an autocannon, giving it a (slight) chance to deal with light armored vehicles and helicopters as well as unarmored vehicles and ground troops.

     Other APC-type versions of the 4K 4FA include the 4K 4FA-San armored ambulance, which has the sort of medical equipment one might expect from an armored ambulance.  Capacity is two stretcher patients plus 4 sitting patients; the crew consists of two medics that double as the driver and commander.  Seated patients are strapped in with seatbelts and shoulder belts, while stretcher patients use straps that are attached to the vehicle’s walls and keep them in their stretchers while the 4K 4FA-San is moving.  Under the bench seat for the seated patients are lockers for medical equipment.  The 4K 4FA-San has no mounts for any weapons.

     The 4K 3FA-Fü1 is a command vehicle, primarily meant for use at brigade level and higher; it is similar to the 4K 3FA, but the passenger compartment has two medium-range and two long-range radios and the equipment for unit commanders to plot battlefield information.  The 4K 3FA-Fü/FIA is essentially the same, but as it is designed for commanders of AAA units, has radios that allow it to communicate with aircraft and FALO teams.  Likewise, the 4K 3FA-FüA is virtually the same, but has equipment for its role as an artillery commander’s vehicle.  The 4K 3FA-FS carries teletype equipment and, as teletype machines are obsolete in modern warfare, have generally been refitted to other roles.  There are also a few other command variants. For game purposes, all of these vehicles may be considered identical, except for the details of the equipment they carry.

 

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

4K 3FA

$16,981

D, A

1.4 tons

12.5 tons

2+8

8

Headlights

Enclosed

4K 4FA

$17,381

D, A

1.4 tons

12.5 tons

2+8

8

Headlights

Enclosed

4K 4FA-G1

$17,871

D, A

1.4 tons

13.1 tons

2+8

9

Headlights

Enclosed

4K 4FA-G2

$22,970

D, A

1.4 tons

15 tons

2+8

9

Headlights

Enclosed

4K 4FA-San

$12,352

D, A

2 tons

12 tons

2+6*

9

Headlights

Enclosed

4K 3FA-Fü1

$17,689

D, A

1.2 tons

12.6 tons

2+4

9

Headlights

Enclosed

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

4K 3FA/3FA- Fü1

145/102

35/21

184

102

Stnd

T3

HF8  HS4  HR3

4K 4FA/4FA-San

154/108

37/22

184

110

Stnd

T3

HF8  HS4  HR3

4K 4FA-G1

149/104

36/21

184

115

CiH

T3

TF2  TS2  TR2  HF8  HS4  HR3

4K 4FA-G2

135/95

33/19

184

132

CiH

T3

TF5  TS4  TR3  HF8  HS4  HR3

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

4K 3FA/4FA

None

None

M-2HB (C)

800x.50

4K 4FA-G1

None

None

M-2HB

600x.50

4K 4FA-G2

+1

Basic

20mm Oerlikon G01

600x20mm

*Two stretcher-borne and four seated patients.

 

Steyr 4K 7FA

     Notes:  Steyr Daimler-Puch purchased the rights for the production and sale of the Sauer 4K 4FA in 1970, shortly after production ended in 1968.  Steyr, however, decided not to produce the 4K 4FA, electing to modify and improve the design first. Many modifications were made, so many that the first prototype was not completed until 1976, with full-scale production beginning in 1977. In addition to Austrian Army use, the 4K 7FA was produced in Greece under license (and called the Leonidas by the Greek Army), and exported to Nigeria and Cyprus, with an additional six 4K 7FAs being bought by Bolivia and ten by Macedonia.  A command post version is also used by Botswana. As with the 4K 4FA, the 4K 7FA was to have been almost totally been replaced in the Austrian Army by the Ulan in the 2002-2004 time period, but budget problems got in the way.  New vehicles of this series have not been produced since the late 1980s.

     The 4K 7FA is a little bit longer then the 4K 4FA, but the same width and height; in many ways the 4K 7FA is simply an updated 4K 4FA.  Some of the first modifications that Steyr made to the vehicle was replacement of the power pack; the engine and transmission were replaced by those used in the SK-105 light tank, giving the 4K 7FA a 320-horsepower diesel engine and a transmission with better gear ratios, as well as being a semiautomatic transmission rather than the manual transmission of the 4K 4FA. The tracks are a bit wider than those of the 4K 4FA, and are fitted with rubber track pads.  These track pads can be replaced with pads that incorporate steel claws for use in icy weather.  The shock absorbers have been improved, further smoothing out the ride. The engine compartment has an automatic fire extinguishing system, as does the crew and passenger compartments.

     The base version, the 4K 7FA G-127, is armed identically to the base 4K 4FA – a commander’s position behind the driver with an M-2HB, which may or may not be provided with gun shields around the commander’s position.  As the shields used on the 4K 7FA are generally heavier than those of the 4K 4FA, they provide an AV of 2 and cost $100 per face covered.  The commander’s cupola has two hatches which open to the left and right; these can also be locked open, giving the commander additional protection for his torso. At the rear of the vehicle, above the passenger compartment, is a hatch for up to six troops to stand in; there are four pintle mounts around the hatch, though normally only two of them are occupied.  (The stats below include all four.) To the rear of the commander’s hatch four smoke grenade launchers can be mounted.

     The driver is in the front left of the vehicle with the engine to his right; his forward vision block can be removed and replaced with an IR vision block.  At the rear are the passengers; in addition to the hatchway mentioned above, there is a double-door in the rear of the vehicle.  The front-most seat on the right side is generally reserved for the squad leader; he has a rotating periscope (with no magnification) to observe outside from under armor. Steyr would fit the 4K 7FA with up to three firing ports per side, depending upon the customer.  Austrian, Greek, and Cypriot 4K 7FAs generally have two firing ports on each side, while Nigerian and Bolivian 4K 7FAs have none. Options include a collective NBC system and air conditioning, but a heater is standard.

     The Austrians were for a while considering upgrading the 4K 7FA with an upgrade package that Steyr devised; this package is still being offered for sale to countries who use the 4K 7FA. The upgrade package includes many of the components of the SK-105/A1 upgrade.  The package includes appliqué armor to the front and sides, a small turret similar to that on the 4K 4FA-G1 that also includes night vision and a laser rangefinder for the commander, a fully automatic transmission, hydraulic bump stops to improve cross-country mobility, improved batteries, an improved fire extinguishing system, improved cooling system for the engine, sand shields for desert use, and NBC sealing.  The front pintle mount is deleted from the mounts that are around the rear deck passenger hatch. The passenger space is a bit more cramped, but can still carry the same amount of troops. Though it is available, no known customers for the package exist.

     The 4K 7FA-KSPz is a 4K 7FA G-127 with a rearranged interior.  Hinged passenger seats are mounted in the middle, with the troops facing towards the hull; this allows them to better use the firing ports.  Two firing ports are also added in the rear doors; twin hinged, swiveling seats are found facing towards the rear for use with those firing ports.  Towards the front of the passenger compartment, on the right side, is a hinged, swiveling single seat for the squad leader; he has a periscope at this position that can be turned 360 degrees, but has no magnification. The Greeks and Austrians use relatively small amounts of this version.  For game purposes, this version is (except what was just mentioned) identical to the 4K 7FA G-127.

     Steyr also designed a more heavily-armed version of the 4K 7FA, called the 4K 7FA MICV 30/1.  This version has a turret with a 30mm Rarden autocannon, a coaxial machinegun, and a commander’s cupola with a pintle mount.  Night vision for the three crewmembers is provided, and the gunner has a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer, as well as a fully stabilized autocannon and coax.  The pintle mounts around the rear deck hatch are deleted. The Greeks and Austrians both seriously considered production of this version, but both dropped the idea and the 4K 7FA MICV 30/1 has found no customers.  Steyr does not offer it for sale anymore, but it is an interesting variant, so I included it below.

     The 4K 7FA-Fü is a command version of the 4K 7FA-KSPz.  It is just like the standard 4K 7FA-KSPz, but has three radios, a battle management computer, a loudspeaker, and less passenger space; it also has only two pintle mounts on the rear deck (on the left and right sides), and the rearmost firing ports on each side are closed off.  A hand-held image Intensifier, a thermal imager, and a laser designator are also part of the vehicle’s equipment.  (These are included in the price below, but not reflected in the stats.)

     The 4K 7FA-San is a 4K 7FA-KSPz modified for use as an armored ambulance.  In this role, the vehicle carries medical supplies, stretchers, and oxygen equipment, as well as a refrigerator for blood products and medicines, and a defibrillator.  It is unarmed. The 4K 7FA-San can carry 8 sitting casualties or 4 sitting and 2 stretcher casualties.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The 4K 7FA MICV 30/1 was just entering production for Swiss and Greek forces at the Twilight War's outset and is rather rare.

     Merc 2000 Notes: The 4K 7FA MICV 30/1 does not exist in the Merc 2000 timeline.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

4K 7FA G-127/KSPz

$57,178

D, A

1.7 tons

14.8 tons

2+8

8

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

4K 7FA Upgrade

$121,714

D, A

1.4 tons

15.3 tons

2+8

9

Passive IR (D), Image Intensifier (C), Thermal Imaging (C)

Shielded

4K 7FA MICV 30/1

$144,545

D, A

800 kg

16.3 tons

3+6

10

Passive IR (D, G, C), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

4K 7FA-Fü

$278,721

D, A

800 kg

15.2 tons

2+5

10

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

4K 7FA-San

$78,009

D, A

1.1 tons

14.6 tons

*

9

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

4K 7FA G-127/KSPz/San

151/106

36/22

360

178

Stnd

T3

HF8  HS6  HR4

4K 7FA Upgrade

146/103

35/21

360

184

CiH

T3

TF5  TS6  TR4  HF11  HS8  HR4

4K 7FA MICV 30/1

137/96

33/20

360

196

Trtd

T3

TF5  TS4  TR4  HF8  HS6  HR4

4K 7FA-Fü

147/103

35/21

360

183

Stnd

T3

HF8  HS6  HR4

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

4K 7FA G-127/KSPz

None

None

M-2HB (C), 4xMAG (L, R, RF, RR)

500x.50, 2000x7.62mm

4K 7FA Upgrade

+2

Fair

M-2HB, 3xMAG (L, R, RR)

500x.50, 2000x7.62mm

4K 7FA MICV 30/1

+3

Good

30mm Rarden autocannon, MAG, MAG (C)

475x30mm, 1600x7.62mm

4K 7FA-Fü

None

None

M-2HB (C), 2xMAG (L, R)

500x.50, 1600x7.62mm

*See Notes above.