KMW Throws a Grizzly into the MPV Bear Pit
Countries like the USA and Britain are racing to field mine-protected vehicles, but some countries have been building them for a number of years now. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s (KMW) Dingo 2, with its v-hull capsule plus composite blast pan design, is a case in point. At 12.5t/ 30,000 pounds gross vehicle, weight, however, the Dingo is lighter than most of the American MRAP competition’s Class II JERRV squad vehicle offerings; it’s even lighter than a couple of the Class I MRUV patrol vehicle offerings. While the Dingo has been exported, North American marketing license holder Textron Land & Marine Systems chose to offer its own M1117 ICV vehicle for the USA’s MRAP program instead.
Now KMW has received an order from Germany’s BWB (Bundesamt fur Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung – Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement) defense procurement office to design and deliver a new, larger mine-resistant vehicle for the German Army as a complement to the Dingo. The first vehicle will be delivered as early as November 2007, and looks likely to strengthen KMW’s positioning within the growing global market for blast-resistant vehicles…
The German Army’s requirement involves a “Class 4 protected command and role-specific vehicle” with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) fully loaded of of 25 tonnes/ 55,000 pounds, placing it between the DINGO 2 (12.5 tons) and the 33-tonne KMW/ARTEC BOXER MRAV wheeled armored personnel carrier. The 43 tonne KMW/Rheinmetall GVW Puma tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle would sit at the highest end of the spectrum.
As a quick comparison, the popular Cougar 6×6 MRAP-JERRV vehicle has a base “curb weight” of 38,000 pounds and a GVW of 52,000 pounds. Note that the Germans don’t use the C-130 Hercules, however, which means the more relaxed requirement of transportability on the larger Airbus A400M has been substituted instead.
KMW’s “Grizzly” 6×6 blast-resistant vehicle will be tested as part of a current German Army procurement project. It offers space for 10 fully equipped soldiers, including driver and front seat. Its 5-tonne payload the 3 tonnes required in the RFP. The 6×6 Takker chassis from IVECO forms the base vehicle, with a mine-protected driver’s station and crew compartment that sits on top and forms an integral safety cell, with special stiffening elements for crew protection in rollovers and ballistic protection for the engine and transmission. The engine output of 331 kW accelerates the Grizzly up to 90 kph/ 54 mph, with a radius of action of more than 700 km/ 420 miles.
Among other accouterments, Grizzly will be equipped with an electrical generator for electrical power of more than 20kW, which assures engine-independent operation of the NBC ventilation and air-conditioning systems. This helps lower its noise level when used on urban battlefields, improves fuel efficiency, and adds an extra margin of crew safety if the vehicle were to hit a mine that damages the engine while driving on a remote road in high temperatures.
In addition to the contracted transport versions, KMW is also planning ambulance and command post variants. In addition the vehicle concept of the GRIZZLY is based on the which was specially adapted to meet the needs of the German Army. Its design also allows construction of a smaller 4×4 model, as well as a larger 8×8 wheeled type.
Additional Readings & Sources
- Defense Technology International (Sept 7/07) – IEDs Trigger Vehicle Procurement Rush. Talks about European programs, with a strong focus on Germany.
- KMW (June 21/07) – GRIZZLY offers crews best possible protection
- PSM (KMW-rheinmetall JV) – Puma web site
- DID (July 11/06) – Another 149 Dingo Vehicles for the Bundeswehr