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Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug AG (STEYR) of Austria, a privately owned shareholding company of which General Dynamics owned 25%, developed the Pandur family of combat vehicles. In 1979 Steyr-Daimler-Puch began developing the Pandur wheeled (6x6) APC as a private venture by Steyr-Daimler-Puch and was unveiled late in 1985, by which time two prototypes had been built. Production began in 1986. General Dynamics was the United States licensee, and the whole enterprise evetually came under General Dynamics European Land Systems Group. STEYR owns the full industrial and intellectual property rights. About 2,500 STEYR Pandur 6x6 wheeled armored vehicles are in service world wide, more than 700 in NATO countries.

The basic Pandur 6 6 vehicle has the so-called Type 330 hull and has an overall length of 5.697 m, but there is also a longer hull called the Type 332 with an overall length of 6.172 m (+500 mm). The latter version has a longer wheelbase between the second and third axles. The APC hull is welded from steel armor plates. The engine-transmission compartment is in its right front section and the driving compartment is on the left. The commander is accommodated behind the driver. The assault compartment is accessed through armored doors in the rear of the vehicle.

A six-cylinder diesel engine connected with an Allison automatic transmission is used as the power plant on the APC. The vehicle has spring suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers. There is a centralized tire inflation system. This APC has high road speed (maximum 105 km/hr) and a large range (up to 650 km).

The Pandurs three, equally spaced axles effectively spread its ground pressure, and the two pairs of front wheels are steerable, to permit tighter turns while allowing the driver to continue steering even if one of the front wheels is damaged. The independent wheel suspension results in extremely good cross-country mobility and allows a low silhouette, with the top of the hull reaching only 1.81 m with a road clearance of 42 cm.

A built-in control unit allows adjustment of tire pressure, even during action, to permit selection of the optimum ground pressure in any type of terrain. All wheels are provided with run-flat tires which permit continuation of the mission for another 50 km, even if the tires are damaged. Extremely good springs and shock absorbers allow high speed both on the road (100 km/h) and across rough terrain. The armor protects against armor-piercing ammunition of 7.62mm caliber, as well as against fragments of 155mm shells. Protection can be increased across the frontal arc against 12.7mm and 14.5mm ammunition.

The 6X6 Pandur is a six-wheeled, multi-functional vehicle capable of operating on road, off road, in hilly terrain, cross-country, night or day. It can carry up to 12 soldiers with equipment in the armored personnel carrier variant. The use of a unique Land System applique armor package, seat shock-mitigation attachments and armor enclose power pack, provide superior protection for the crew against mines and armor-piercing projectiles. Other design features include steerable front axle sets, central tire inflation system and a thermally isolated exhaust system.

The base version of the Pandur APC is armed with a 12.7-mm machinegun. A prototype was created with a two-place armored turret in which an Oerlikon 25-mm automatic gun was mounted. It was planned to create a family of armored vehicles for various purposes on the basis of the Pandur APC. Its inherent design, size and characteristics permit customization into more than 12 configurations. These include: a 25mm reconnaissance variant, medical ambulance, command and control, anti-tank guided missile carrier, twin 20-mm self-propelled anti-aircraft mount, 81-mm self-propelled mortar, as well as a fire support vehicle armed with a 90-mm cannon.

The vehicle was released for marketing in its present configuration in 1994. The same year the first contract with the Austrian Army was signed for 68 vehicles. As a first installment for hardening the rifle brigades, an order was placed for 68 wheeled armored personnel carriers. These Pandur APCs, which will be used by Austrias UN peacekeeping forces, are being built by the Austrian Steyr company. When the delivery of this Pandur lot was completed, production began on the 269 Pandurs of the Armys armored vehicle upgrade package. The 269 Austrian Pandurs were in several variants, 224 armored personnel carriers equipped with 12.7mm machine guns, and 45 armored reconnaissance vehicles with two-man turrets carrying 30mm Mauser machine cannons with dual-belt feeding. Later additions included carriers for battlefield surveillance and between 30 and 40 vehicles armed with HOT 4000 missiles as tank destroyers.

In October 1996, the first export order was achieved for 70 Pandur 6x6 vehicles with the Kuwait National Guard. Kuwait decided to purchase the Pandur after testing it in the desert, but the provisions of Austrian law did not permit the delivery of war materiel to areas of tension, so these APCs were to be assembled by a U.S. subsidiary of the Austrian Steyr company and were armed with 30mm Bushmaster machine cannons. Moreover, by 1990 the Belgian Army ordered 54 Pandurs by the Armed Forces of Belgium, and Slovenia was also to build them under license for her army.

In 1998, after more than two years of evaluation by the U.S. Army, AV Technology was awarded a contact with options for up to 50 Pandur 6x6 armored ground mobility systems. Delivery of four Pandurs, produced in parallel with STEYR, was complete. An option for eight vehicles was executed in the 2nd Quarter of 2000.

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Page last modified: 21-02-2019 18:44:25 ZULU