Rheinmetall BRP-1 Biber

     Notes:  This German AVLB is based on the hull of a Leopard 1 tank, topped with a bridge and the equipment to deploy it.  The RFD was issued in 1965, and first issue was 1968. 105 were built, but it is getting long in the tooth, and may be replaced in the near future by the PBS-2. Most of these vehicles are used by Germany, but small numbers are used by Australia, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands.  Some 64 were also were also built by Italy, where they were license-produced.  Unusually, in NATO operations, spare bridges for Danish Bibers are to be carried and delivered by German Army personnel on IVECO Magirus MP-260E37W heavy trucks.

     The driver is in the normal Leopard position at front right of the hull and the commander/bridge operator in the center of the hull.  The bridge can span a gap of 20 meters and has a capacity of 50 tons or 60 tons if the vehicles move across the bridge with care; it is made of aluminum.  It may be deployed or recovered from either end, requiring 3 minutes to deploy and 7 minutes to recover.  It deploys cantilever (slide-out) style instead of the scissors fashion of most AVLBs; the bridge is stacked in two sections, and two sections slide out from each other. The crew can lay the bridge with the crew under armor with hatches closed. The advantage of the cantilever design is that its deployment cannot be seen over a long distance; the disadvantage is that it is mechanically more complex and takes longer to recover. By itself, the bridge weighs 9.94 tons.  The dozer blade on the front of the Biber is deployed before emplacing or recovering the bridge; this can also be used to prepare the bridging site, though this is normally done by other vehicles.  The Biber is not issued with a weapon mount, but many crews have retrofitted their vehicles; in most such cases, the weapon cannot be mounted unless the bridge has been deployed. The crew has an NBC Overpressure system with a vehicular NBC system backup.

     The hull is almost identical to that of a Leopard 1, other than the closing off of the turret mount and lack of the associated hardware, though the commander/bridgelayer does have a manually-operating cupola with all-around vision. Power is provided by an MTU MB-873 Ca-501 multifuel engine developing 830 horsepower, with an automatic transmission.  Suspension is by torsion bar and two sets of hydraulic shocks.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$595,831

D, A

400 kg

45.3 tons

2

31

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor**

145/101

40/28

995

304

CiH

T6

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF38  HS10  HR6

*The "turret" is not a turret as such; it is the carried bridge.  If the bridge is deployed, the Config is Stnd.  No crew casualties are possible on a "turret" hit; treat such results as misses.

**The front dozer blade has an AV of 4Sp.  What in the front it protects depends on how high it is raised.

 

Rheinmetall BPz-3 Büffel

     Notes:  This is a newer armored recovery vehicle based on the Leopard 2 chassis.  The Buffel was designed when the previous recovery vehicle, the BPz-2A2, proved unable to consistently recover the new generation of Leopard 2 tanks. Prototypes appeared in 1988; deliveries began in the early 1990s. The Büffel is used by Germany and the Netherlands; Sweden also had some delivered to them in late 2003.  Greece, Canada, Singapore, and Switzerland also use the Buffel. Deliveries to the German Army began in 1988. Components are the same as on some other countries' vehicles, like the winches, cranes, and dozer blade, which are also used by France on the Leclerc DNG and South Korea on their new K-1-based recovery vehicle.

     The turret is removed, and from the front to the center of the vehicle is a raised superstructure.  The Büffel has a crane on the right side of the superstructure that can traverse through 270 degrees and can lift 30 tons or pull 70 tons.  This crane cannot be overloaded, as it will refuse to function at a higher load.  The crane is powerful enough to lift the turret or powerpack of virtually all current main battle tanks. The vehicle has a main winch with 180 meters of cable and a pulling force of 35 tons, or 70 tons with block and tackle.  This winch is mounted on the front hull and does not require the use of the dozer blade, since it is designed to distribute forces over the entire vehicle. It too cannot be overloaded.  The Büffel also has an auxiliary winch with 280 meters of cable and a 650kg capacity.  The Büffel has two tow bars, including one for quick recoveries that is attached to the dozer blade.  The front-mounted dozer blade is primarily for the bracing of the vehicle, but can be used to dig large fighting positions. Towing capacity is 62 tons at full speed; greater loads may be towed, but at a reduced speed. Cutting and welding gear is carried along with a full set of tool and a power saw.  There is a cradle over the engine compartment to carry large assemblies such as engines.  The Büffel has a crew heater and a bilge pump for deep fording operations (though it is not amphibious).  It can ford up to 4 meter, though all hatches must be closed. The hull mounts 16 smoke grenade launchers on the front fenders and glacis.

     It is often found towing a trailer specially designed for it, carrying spare parts and more tools.  This trailer is four-wheeled, partially powered, weighs 3 tons, can carry 7.5 tons, and does not affect the Büffel's mobility.

     Power is provided by an MTU MB-837 Ka-501 developing 1500 horsepower, along with an automatic transmission.  The commander has a manually-operated cupola with all-around vision in the center top behind the driver's position; slightly to the rear and the right is the crane operator has a hatch on the left rear deck in front of the engine.  The crew has an NBC Overpressure System and has a vehicular NBC backup. Primary access to the vehicle is by three large doors on the hull roof. The BPz-3 has a small computer with recovery and repair solutions.

     In 2011, four German BPz-3A1s were modified to the BRP-3A1 for operations in Afghanistan.  They were designed to operate alongside the new Leopard 2A6M tanks. Canadian BRP-3A1 were actually deployed first, in 2007, in Afghanistan; later, German BRp-3A1s were deployed. Modifications included an increase in armor through MEXAS appliqué, a titanium plate of spaced armor on the floor, sides with armored skirts, The BPz-3A1 has a radio jammer, which prevents phone, opposition radios, and items like walkie-talkies and electrical detonation systems from detonating (two levels more difficult). These jammers are optimized for civilian frequencies, including TV signals, though some intervehicular radios are also affected at higher frequencies. Available machinegun ammunition was increased dramatically.  The commander's position was ringed with AV2 gun shields.  The BPz-3A1 is usually supplemented with cage armor which covers the glacis, sides, and rear, this is covered on the sides with armor plate.

     The BPz-3A1 uses the same engine and transmission, as well as power train, and suspension, as the BPz-3.  The crew has the same amenities as the BPz-3, with the addition of a 50-liter drinking water tank and an air conditioner. The BPz-3 has GPS and a BMS. Like the BZp-3, the Buffel can ford a body of water 4 meter deep.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

BPz-3

$1,431,432

D, G, A

4.1 tons

54.3 tons

3

46

Active/Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

BPz-3A1

$1,859,566

D, G, A

4.1 tons

59 tons

3

51

Active/Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor*

BPz-3

185/129

51/36

1620

454

Stnd

T6

HF193  HS25  HR15

BPz-3A1

172/121

48/34

1620

554

Stnd

T6

HF203Cp  HS35Cp  HR25Sp**

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

BPz-3

None

None

MG-3 (C)

2375x7.62mm

BPz-3A1

None

None

MG-3 (C)

4750x7.62mm

*The addition of bar/slat armor means that 5 of the AV is the cage. The cage is not like normal spaced armor; it stops only 1d6 armor instead of 2d6.  For the front and sides, the GM should assess the damage reduction from the cage, then the composite armor. Before that, on the vehicle sides, the GM should assess the armor plate over the cage armor.

**Floor Armor is 14Sp.

 

Krauss-Maffei Pionierpanzer PiPz

 

PIPz-1 Pionierpanzer

     Notes:  This is an armored engineer vehicle developed from the Bergepanzer.  The crane is retained but has special attachments to allow work with mines, demolition charges, and special tools to build and destroy fortifications.  The Pionierpanzer has no generator or fuel pump, but has a 700mm auger able to dig to 3.75 meters, a dozer blade, a 70-ton winch, and a digging bucket that can lift 2 tons.  On the right side of the upper hull is a hoisting winch that has 100 meters of cable and a capacity of 20 tons. The Pionierpanzer typically carries a wide variety of excavation tools and attachments for its crane, as well as a welding set, a 5-meter ladder, 117kg of plastic explosives, 10 engineer demolitions sets, and a variety of mines (up to 50). The plow can have a set of ripping teeth attached to it.

     The vehicle has no turret but has a raised superstructure, topped with a commander/crane operator's manually-rotating turret with all-around vision blocks. Power is provided by an MTU MB-873 Ca-501 multifuel engine developing 830 horsepower, with an automatic transmission.  Suspension is by torsion bar and two sets of hydraulic shocks. The Pionierpanzer has a secondary role as an ARV, primarily vehicle recovery.  The dozer blade can excavate 200 cubic meters per hour, with a maximum width of 3.75 meters. The ripping teeth can rip up roads or pull up train tracks, of pull down electrical of communications poles; four such attachments may rip to 50mm, eight may rip to 400mm. The crane has a ladder on it to assist in attaching tools. The crew is protected by an NBC Overpressure system and personal gas masks.

 

PIPz-2 Dachs

     The PiPz 2 Dachs (Badger) is an upgrade of the PiPz-1, with conversions being done by MaK in the 1990s, and continuing production done by Rheinmetall.  In addition to vehicles being sold, a kit was sold for upgrade purposes to countries wishing to do their own upgrades or do them on retiring Leopard 1s. Most conversions, however, were done by MaK, or MaK teams sent to the receiving countries.  They were first brought up to like-new status.  A new dozer blade (similar to the old one in concept, but stronger and more effective) and a new hydraulic system was fitted.  The excavator/tool arm is able to rotate 360 degrees, but for practical purposes, is limited to 270 degrees. The driver has upgraded night vision; the commander/arm operator also have night vision. The commander is shifted to behind the driver, and has a manually-operated cupola with all-around vision blocks and a front block with a night channel.  Six grenade launchers, three on each side, equip the vehicle.  So does an automatic fire detection and suppression system, and an NBC Overpressure system.  The arm can extend 8 meters and the bucket can lift 5 tons.  The vehicle is otherwise similar to the PiPz-1, though updated in form and working methods, can lift 20 tons and has 100m of cable.  The crane can be equipped is equipped with a ½-meter-wide auger, a tow bar, internal welding tools; tools and the crane and dozer blade can be operated by a 10Kw generator.  The driver’s hatch is on the front left deck.  The turret is replaced by a raised superstructure upon which are two hatches.  An MG3 is located on a weapons mount next to the commander’s hatch; another is next to the driver. A small laptop computer contains the tech manuals for the Dachs and for its equipment, as well as some engineering solutions. The PiPz-2 is used by Germany, Canada, and Chile.

 

PIPz-2A2 Dachs    

     Canadian Dachs' have MEXAS composite appliqué armor applied for use in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as a floor plate. It has GPS and a BMS. The commander may aim and fire his weapon from inside the vehicle. This is the PiPz-2A2.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

PiPz-1

$1,441,713

D, G, AvG, A

3 tons

40.8 tons

4

21

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

PiPz-2 Dachs

$1,454,913

D, G, AvG, A

3 tons

43 tons

3

22

Passive IR (D), Image Intensification (C)

Shielded

PiPz-2A2 Dachs

$2,459,547

D, G, AvG, A

3 tons

47 tons

3

37

Passive IR (D), Image Intensification (C)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor

PiPz-1

157/110

43/30

1410

308

Stnd

T6

HF38  HS10  HR6

PiPz-2 Dachs

139/97

39/27

1410

325

Stnd

T6

HF38  HS10  HR6

PiPz-2A2 Dachs

129/91

36/25

1410

340

Stnd

T6

HF46Cp  HS12Cp  HR6**

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

PiPz-1/2

None

None

MG-3 (Bow), MG-3 (C)

4250x7.62mm, Engineer Demo Chest, 20 kg C4

PiPz-2A2 Dachs

+1

Basic

MG-3 (C)

4250x7.62mm, Engineer Demo Chest, 20 kg C4

*Gun hits are hits on the various cranes, winches, and tools on the vehicle.  Ammunition hits are on the machinegun ammunition, the plastic explosive or engineer demo chests, or the mines.  The GM will choose what it hit in such a case. 

**Floor AV is 5Sp.

 

MaK BPz-2 Bergepanzer

     Notes:  This is an armored recovery vehicle based on the Leopard 1 chassis.  About 700 BPz-2s have been built or modified from Leopard 1 tanks, and are or were used by Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Italy (built under license by OTO Melera) Norway, Turkey, Turkey, and Greece. The BPz-2 replaced the M-48-based ARVs.  The RFD was issued in 1961, and first deliveries took place in 1966. The BPz-2 is known as the Taurus in Canadian service.

    The turret of the Leopard 1 is removed and replaced with a raised superstructure.  The Bergepanzer is equipped with a crane on the front right side that can traverse 270º and lift 20 tons.  The winch can pull a 35-ton vehicle with 90m of cable, or double that with block and tackle, or 100 tons with a 3-1 mechanical advantage.  The forward winch can pull 2.5 tons.  The Bergepanzer is usually equipped with a wide variety of tools, spare parts, and has an integral fuel pump, 10Kw generator, and a dozer blade.  The dozer blade is primarily for bracing during winching or crane operation, but can also be used for obstacle clearance and digging major fighting positions. The Bergepanzer has a driver’s hatch on the front center deck, a commander’s hatch on the front left deck, and two hatches on the left hull side.  Passenger spaces are provided for an entire tank crew or additional repair personnel.  The BPz-2 can carry an entire Leopard power pack on it's rear deck. The BPz-2 also has a fuel pump, so it can refuel vehicles from a containerized source fuel, a trailer, or a truck.

 

BPz-2A2

     The BPz-2A2 is an upgraded form of the BPz-2.  It has a jack carried on the rear face, a small hatch in the rear, a crane boom able to reach 7.68 meters, and can lift 32 tons, and it is strengthened. The jack is used to reduce the pressure on the dozer blade when working with the crane. The winch can pay out cable at 74 meters per second (as opposed to 22 meters per second). The BPz-2A2 has double-vane pumps for the hydraulic system. It has mechanical dozer blade locking. The BPz-2A2 has a small computer with a database of recovery and repair solutions. The armor suite is slightly upgraded with passive and spaced armor. The BPz-2A2 is sometimes called the Buffel, though it is not to be confused with the BPz-3.

 

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

BPz-2

$343,920

D, G, AvG, A

4 tons

39.8 tons

4+4

21

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

BPz-2A2

$840,773

D, G, AvG, A

4 tons

40.6 tons

4+4

22

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

Leopard 1 QRF

$858,892

D, G, AvG, A

4 tons

45.53 tons

4+4

25

Passive IR (D, C)

Shielded

Leopard 1 Wisent

$1,866,390

D, A

4 tons

47 tons

3

26

Image Intensification (D, C), WL Spotlight, CCTV (Corners)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor**

BPz-2

159/112

40/31

1410

308

Stnd

T6

HF38  HS10  HR6

BPz-2A2

155/109

37/26

1410

314

Stnd

T6

HF40Sp  HS12Sp  HR6

Leopard 1 QRF

143/100

36/25

1410

333

Stnd

T6

HF46Sp  HS15Sp  HR8***

Leopard 1 Wisent

162/113

45/31

1410

371

Stnd

T6

HF76Cp  HS22Sp  HR8***

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

BPz-2/2A2

None

None

MG-3 (Bow), MG-3 (C)

4250x7.62mm

Leopard 1 QRF/Wisent

None

None

M-2HB (C)

2600x.50

*Gun hits are hits on the various cranes, winches, and tools on the vehicle. The GM will choose what it hit in such a case. 

**The dozer AV is 6Sp.  What will be protected on the front depends on how high the dozer is raised.

***The QRF and Wisent have a floor AV of 12Sp and a roof AV of 4Sp.

 

MaK M-47 BGs

     Notes:  As with the M-48 ARV (see below), this vehicle was originally produced by Germany for export and as kits for those retiring their M-47 main battle tanks.  Another major seller of this vehicle was Spain, and the designs of the two countries are similar.  The basic design is similar to the M-48 ARV, with the turret being replaced with a raised superstructure, crane, winch, fuel pump, and dozer blade.  The M-47 ARV was used to recover both lighter tanks and armored vehicles and armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.  Slightly smaller than the M-48 ARV, it also is somewhat less capable than that vehicle in towing capacity.  The crane is capable of lifting 18.7 tons at a reach of 5.3 meters, and unlike the M-48 ARV, can turn a full 360 degrees.  The main winch of the M-47 ARV can pull 35 tons, or 70 tons with block and tackle.  A secondary winch can pull 6.5 tons, or 13 tons with block and tackle.  The dozer blade can excavate 190 cubic meters per hour, but is mainly used to brace the vehicle during heavy lifting or winching operations.  The M-47 carries basic tools, wheeled vehicle tools, tracked vehicle tools, a welding and cutting set, an air compressor, small arms and heavy ordinance tools, a tow bar, several coils or rope and cable, and pulleys and snatch blocks for heavy winching operations.  The engine remains a Continental AV-1790-5B gasoline engine developing 810 horsepower. The M-47 ARV was developed for the Turkish, but has also been trialed in Pakistan.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$868,724

D, A

1.4 tons

44.9 tons

4

24

WL Spotlight (C)

Enclosed

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

144/101

40/28

875

361

Stnd

T5

HF50  HS14  HR8

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

MG-3 (C) or MAG (C) or M-2HB (C)

2000x7.62mm or 1200x.50

 

MaK M-48 BGs

     Notes:  This is a recovery vehicle based on the chassis of the M-48A3 or A5 main battle tank.  These vehicles were first produced by Germany for export and as kits to be sold to countries retiring their M-48 tanks; however, M-48 ARV began to be used in front-line service by many countries as damaged vehicles became more common.  As such, they can be found in many of the countries that once used the M-48A3 or A5.  In this role, the M-48 chassis has its turret removed, and a raised superstructure, along with a crane, winch, fuel pump, and dozer blade are added.  The crane is mounted on the front right side and can lift 20 tons (enough for most tank turrets) at a reach of 6 meters.  The winch has a pulling strength of 35 tons without bracing and 70 tons with bracing, and has 90 meters of cable.  There is a secondary winch with a capacity of 6.5 tons, or 13 tons with bracing, and 100 meters of cable.  The dozer blade can excavate 200 cubic meters per hour and is also used to brace the vehicle during heavy lifting or winching operations.  The M-48 ARV is equipped with a welding and cutting set, an air compressor, tracked and wheeled vehicle tools, basic tools, small arms tools, heavy ordinance tools, a tow bar, several coils of rope and cable, and items such as pulleys and snatch blocks. 

     Many other improvements of the M-48 over the years, including a wider driver’s hatch, the commander’s machinegun is on a pintle mount rather than an enclosed cupola, larger dust shields, side shirts, larger fuel tanks, better sand filters, and numerous automotive, hydraulic and electrical improvements.

     These vehicles were built primarily for use by Germany herself, but The Turks have 4 and the Greeks have 3. The vehicles have been upgraded with a Continental AVDS-1790-21 turbocharged diesel engine developing 908 horsepower with an automatic transmission.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$437,517

D, A

1 ton

50.1 tons

4

24

Passive IR (D), WL Spotlight (C)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

130/91

26/25

1420

265

Stnd

T6

HF51  HS16  HR8

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

MG-3 (C) or MAG (C) or M-2HB (C)

5000x7.62mm or 3000x.50

 

Wiesel 2 Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle

     Notes:  This is a Wiesel 2 APC fitted out for the engineer reconnaissance role.  It is designed for use by German Airborne use and so far is not used by any other country; I have not been able to determine if any other countries use it, though the US Army’s Ranger Battalions have been testing it along with other variants of the Wiesel 2. So far, four have been ordered by the Germans.

     In this role, the Wiesel 2 carries a remote mine detector, an engineer demolitions chest, several kilograms of plastic explosive, mines, an optical chemical sniffer, a Geiger counter, and radiation shielding.  Other equipment carried includes an inertial navigation set, GPS, a BMS system, a rubber raft for water inspections of bridges and suchlike, a computer to compile the results of their investigations with a wireless modem to upload it to higher headquarters, and at least two long-range. Several different modular kits have been developed for the ERV, including a blockade kit, basically by blowing down trees with C4), demolition of bridges and strongpoints. The vehicle is fully digitized, and has a BMS and GPS.  The ERV can be operated by a remove cable and interface up to 60 meters away.

     The engine is a turbocharged diesel which develops 110 horsepower and has an automatic transmission.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$3,540,615

D, A

300 kg

7.25 tons

3

10

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

104/73

26/18

450

41

Stnd

T3

HF4  HS2  HR2

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

MG-3 (C)

750x7.62mm, Engineer Demo Chest, 20 kg C4

 

Krauss-Maffei PSB-2

     Notes: The PSB-2 (Panzerschenellbrucke 2) is based on the Leopard 2 chassis (new build versions of it).  Currently, Germany and Netherlands will be its customers.

     The hull is essentially unchanged from the Leopard 2 hull, with it's strong armor, automotive, and powerpack abilities, but the vehicle is greatly otherwise modified to serve the role of an AVLB.  The bridge has center, front, and back sections, and can be laid and recovered from either direction.  The bridge is deployed and recovered cantilever style, which cannot be seen from as great a distance as AVLB which employ V-employment.  The vehicle can take a load of 70 tons has a matter of course; with care, vehicles of up to 100 tons can be accommodated. The bridge consists of aluminum modules, strengthened in strategic placed with steel.  Two stabilizers must be lowered to the ground before deployment or recovery; in addition, there are stabilizers on both the front and rear of the center section. The bridge weighs 9.7 tons, takes 3 minutes to deploy, and five to recover.

     Power is by an MTU MB-837 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine with an automatic transmission.  The powerpack, automotive trains, and electrical and fuel systems are identical to the Leopard 2.  The crew is protected by an NBC Overpressure system, an air conditioner and heater, and a small drinking water tank of 20 liters.  Normal crew is two; however, the PSB-2 can carry an additional crewmember as a bridge deployment specialist.  The driver is on the front left, the commander in the center, and the additional crewmember further back in the fuselage; he has vision blocks and a periscope, but no hatch, and has four-way rotatable day/night CCTVs (these can alkso be controlled from the commander’s position. Ancillary equipment includes a number of cables, supports, blocks and tackles, ropes, etc. The PSB-2 has a GPS and BMS system.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$2,359,899

D, A

400 kg

55 tons

2+1

31

Passive IR (D, C, BO)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor

194/136

54/38

1200

552

CiH

T6

TF6  TS6  TR6  HF200Cp  HS28Cp  HR16