UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Condor Radpanzer (RPZ Condor)
4x4 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The Condor has welded hull, a crew of three commander, gunner and driver and landing Department for nine infantrymen who can fire from personal weapons, not leaving the machine. In the middle part of the tower casing is typically installed with machine gun or 20-mm cannon. The UR-416 is a four-wheeled armored personnel carrier developed as a private venture by Rheinstahl Maschinenbau (this company has changed names on numerous occasions, in 2000 becoming Rheinmetall Landsysteme).

This vehicle was developed and was manufactured by Thyssen Maschinenbau AG; Witten-Annen, Federal Republic of Germany. Daimler-Benz did some of the original design work and was the principal subcontractor. In the early 1960s the company proactively began developing an armored personnel carrier on the chassis biaxial truck terrain Unimog for export supplies. In 1965 it created a prototype of a new ew armored vehicle, given the designation UR-416. Some support came from the Federal Republic of Germany's Ministry of Defense and various German internal security and police forces. The first prototype being completed in 1965, production commenced in 1969, and by the time production ended more than a thousand vehicles were delivered to countries of Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. By the time production had been completed, a total of 1,030 UR-416 series armored vehicles had been built, most for the export market. The last production model of the UR-416 was called the UR-416 M.

The UR-416 is essentially the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG (4 4) cross-country vehicle fitted with an armored body.The hull of the UR-416 M is of all-welded steel armor construction which protects the crew against small arms fire, shell splinters and anti-personnel mines. The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle on the left, just behind the engine, with the vehicle commander to his right. Both have a large bulletproof front and side window for improved visibility. Armored flaps covering the commander and driver front windows are lowered by gas pressure. The side windows are protected by swivelling armored flaps. Forward observation is maintained by two single day periscopes in the forward part of the roof.

The Mercedes-Benz OM 352 six-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine develops 120 hp and is coupled to a manual gearbox which has six forward and two reverse gears. For normal road use only the rear axle is engaged but for cross-country travel the front axle is also engaged and when travelling across very rough country the front and rear axle differential locks are engaged.The eight fully equipped troops are seated to the rear of the commander and driver, three down each side of the hull facing outwards and two at the back facing the rear. Each man has an individual seat, which can be folded upwards. This UNIMOG-based APC floats and swims, without much freeboard, and with a PTO prop drive for fishing trips, it seems. Based On a U1700L, the engine is variously listed as the expected OM352A, and the somewhat less believable OM 904.

The vehicle can be equipped as a police vehicle with (e.g. Mine-sweeping shield, search headlight) or more militarily (e.g. Tire pressure adjustment system, NBC protection facility, night-vision devices) additional devices to be modular equipped, and with turrets with machine guns or a 20mm-cannon can be used.

The welded armored body provided protection against small arms bullets, fragments of shells and mines. In front of the machines are the commander and driver, behind which are located behind eight infantrymen. At the sides and stern there are loopholes for firing weapons, which can optionally be replaced with glass for observation. On the roof of the hull there are two hatches, usually installed at the front 7.62mm machine gun, which can be equipped with a shield. As most vehicles of this type, UR-416 can be equipped with different auxiliary equipment, including the turret.

In the wake of the success of UR-416 the manufacturer developed a new machine with enhanced protection, increased speed, power reserve, load capacity, improved amphibious qualities and is able to install the heavier weapons. The first prototype of this APC, known as Condor, was established in 1978, currently about 600 of these vehicles were in service.

The 1993 Bakara Market battle in Mogadishu was highlighted in the Hollywood movide Black Hawk Down, where scores of American soldiers were killed and wounded. This displayed the vulnerabilities of armoured vehicles in modern-day battle. Several Malaysian soldiers were also injured and one was killed in the fight when the Condors were hit with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine gun fire.

In equivalent 1994 United States dollars, the basic vehicle armed with a mounted 7.62 millimeter machinegun had a unit price of $341,300 per unit. The UR-416 has not been traded on the open market by international arms merchants. As of mid-1997, no significant modernization or retrofit programs have been developed for the UR-416 and none were expected.

DRB-HICOM DefTech offered an upgraded version of the Condor APC at the Defence Services Asia 2016 exhibition in Malaysia. The company presented a prototype that had new components to improve the mobility of the ageing 70s vintage 4x4 vehicle and keep it from obsolescence. The old faithful workhorse has proven upgradable and the Malaysian government is expected to save up to RM1.58 billion in defence budget if it agrees with the re-manufacturing program. The upgraded version RPZ Condor prototype is showcased at DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (DEFTECH) pavilion at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2016 exhibition at Putra World Trade Centre from April 18-21. The Armoured Re-manufacturing Programme (ARM) proposed by DEFTECH, which involved refurbishment and upgrade jobs, would cost half compared to buying new APCs.

The UR-416 series is no longer being marketed or manufactured by Rheinmetall Land Systeme (previously Thyssen Henschel), being replaced by the now Rheinmetall Landsysteme TM-170 (4 4) vehicle. The company is now marketing the Condor (4 4) APC for a wide range of roles. The latest version is the Condor 2, which is based on the UNIMOG U-5000 chassis. The first customer was the Kuwait National Guard, which took delivery of seven units in 2004.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 24-09-2017 18:53:26 ZULU