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Tank destroyer Jaguar 1 with guided missile HOT
Jagdpanzer Jaguar 1 mit Lenkflugkörper HOT

In the early l960’s the West German firms of Hanomag and Henschel created the Jagdpanzer 90-mm SP anti-tank gun and the Raketenjagdpanzer SP launcher with SS-ll ATGM (manual guidance system) based on the standardized tracked chassis. There were 770 and 370 such pieces of combat equipment respectively delivered to Army antitank subunits. After several years of operation a decision was made to refit these mounts as SP antitank missile systems to improve their combat capabilities.

In the mid-1970's, the bulk of the self-propelled ATMs in NATO armies comprised launchers mounted on light military vehicles without any protection for the combat crew from enemy fire. Examples are—the American self-propelled TOW (on the 1/4 ton M151A2 jeep and the 1/2 ton M274 mechanical mule), the British Vigilant and Swingfire (on variously modified Landrovers), the West German Cobra 81 OB (on a 1/4 ton jeep), the French ENTAC (on the M201) and others. Combat experience in the Middle East showed that the effectiveness of unprotected launchers under enemy fire is significantly reduced. Their survivability on the battlefield was also lower, which required that these weapons be employed primarily from ambush.

The self-propelled ATMs, mounted on armored vehicles available in the U.S. and West Germany, did not fully satisfy the apparent requirements. For example, the self-propelled TOW fielded in the U.S. Army (mounted on the M113 APC, did not provide sufficient armor protection for the combat crew, while the West German Jagdpanzer Rakete was armed with an obsolescent French SS-11 ATGM, with a manual fire control system. Therefore, in the 70»s in the leading NATO countries, work was begun to develop self-propelled ATMs with better armor protection, greater mobility and combat readiness, operating with high effectivness directly in combat units both in the defense and offense. By the beginning of the 80s, fielding in the armies of these countries had already begun.

This SP antitank missile system was designated the Jaguar-1. Its carried unit of fire consisted of 20 HOT missiles (range of 4,000 m), which subsequently began to be replaced by the improved version, the HOT-2. The West German Self-Propelled Jaguar-1 ATM, with which the anti-tank companies of mechanized infantry brigades are equipped (12 launchers), was in service in the Bundeswehr since 1978 (316 assigned in all). Thyssen-Henschel began on this from 1978 through 1983, 316 Raketen-jagdpanzer mounts were re-armed with the more modern HOT antitank missile systems with a semi-automatic guidance system.

It constituted a self-propelled Jagdpanzer Rakete launcher, but besides the SS-11 ATGM, there is also a launcher for the HOT ATGM. The frontal area of the vehicle's hull is reinforced with armor plates. There are also side shields. The aiming-launching assembly includes a single unit containing an optical sight with x4 and x12 magnification and an aiming apparatus, as well as a compact turret containing a mechanized ready service magazine for eight HOT ATGMs, the advancing-guiding mechanism with an ejector for emptied transportlaunch containers, and an automatic loader. The remainder of the basic load (12 missiles) is located in the fighting compartment. As a result of the automatic loading, the rate of fire is as high as 3 rounds/minute. The selfpropelled Jaguar-1 ATM is also armed with two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is located in the spherical cupola next to the driver, and the other on the gun ring of the commander's cupola. The vehicle is also armed with grenade launchers for laying a smoke screen and an air filtering system for protection in contaminated areas.

The armor protection of both SP antitank missile systems was reinforced by attaching additional steel plates to the frontal part and sides of the hull. There were 7.62-mm machineguns installed as additional armament. The systems are outfitted with air filtration and ventilation systems and have radio communications equipment. Maximum highway speed is 70 km/hr and they have a range up to 400 km.

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Page last modified: 14-02-2013 18:23:55 ZULU