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Reconnaissance tank Luchs
Sphpanzer Luchs

Luchs wheeled combat reconnaissance vehicles (408 of them) were employed for performing reconnaissance inthe FRG Army. They replaced obsolete SPlA tracked APCs. The central position held by the brigade echelon in the Bundeswehr of the late Cold War helps explain why the Germans have built a sizable reconnaissance platoon there and, like the Soviets, have left the scout-type platoon out of the maneuver battalions themselves. This platoon is a 50-man unit consisting of six troops (sections) of two Luchs wheeled armored cars each. The platoon worked directly for thebrigade commander using the principle of secrecy and stealth as its guiding tactic. Although technical reconnaissance resources were gaining more and more in importance, armored reconnaissance units remained an important means available to the leader of a major formation (brigade, division) to obtain information early on about the enemy through scouting and radar reconnaissance. The typical employment of the armored reconnaissance units came about in the form of light (2 LUCHS armored reconnaissance vehicles ), heavy (3 LEOPARD battletanks), or mixed reconnaissance patrols.

The Luchs wheeled (8x8) combat reconnaissance vehicle was created by the ?rm of Thyssen-Henschel in the early l970s. Its feature is the capability of moving forward and backward at the same high speed (90 km/hr), and so the rear part of the hull has a second driving compartment and the radio operator performs the functions of driver. The vehicle hull is welded of rolled steel plate. Frontal armor protects against 20-mm projectiles. The combat reconnaissance vehicle is equipped with an air filtration and ventilation system. The two-place armored turret accommodates the com-mander and gunner. The main armament is a 20-mm automatic gun (unit of ?re of 375 projectiles). A 7.62-mm machinegun is mounted above the commanders hatch. Four-barrel smoke grenade launchers are mounted along the sides of the turret.

The multifuel V-10 engine is made in a common block with the hydromechanical transmission. The engine and transmission compartment is in the hull mid-section and is well insulated. Special sound-absorbing partitions are used on the combat reconnaissance vehicle. It is noted that the moving vehicle is almost inaudible at a distance of 50 m. Before being ejected, exhaust gases are mixed with air to lower their temperature. The running gear has a bogie suspension, with coilsprings and hydraulic shock absorbers. All wheels are driving wheels and steerable. There is a centralized tire inflation system. The vehicle is amphibious, with movement and control aflloat accomplished using two screw propellers accommodated in recesses of the hull stern section. The Luchs combat reconnaissance vehicle is equipped with a navigation system, communications equipment, and automatic ?re?ghting equipment system for the engine and transmission compartment.

By 1990 the German army planned to replace the Luchs reconnaissance vehicle in the mid-1990s, although the exact replacement equipment remained unspecified. This would require a production run of more than 400 armored reconnaissance vehicles.

  • Engine performance: 287 KW (390 HP)
  • Weight: approx. 19.5 t
  • Maximum speed: approx. 90 km/h
  • forward and backwards drivable
  • Buoyantly
  • Operating range: approx. 730 km
  • Crew: 4
  • Armament:
    • 1 mounted automatic cannon 20 mm
    • Rate of fire: 800-1000 firing/min
    • Combat distance: to 2000 m

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Page last modified: 08-02-2013 19:06:23 ZULU