TPz-1 FUCHS gallery

(Daimler TPz-1 prototype image). The Bundeswehr realized the need to have a wide range of armored vehicles with which to carry out various missions and which would be capable of accompanying battle tanks and heavy vehicles. These vehicles should be lighter and it was thought that they were wheeled instead of tracked, in addition, they should share as many mechanical elements as possible in order to facilitate their manufacturing process and maintenance costs.
(TPz-1 prototype image). In January 1978 Thyssen-Henschel was appointed as the prime contractor for a project that involved 280 German firms as direct suppliers and almost 1,700 indirect suppliers. Daimler supplied the engine, axles and steering, the hull was built by Jung Jungenthal and the gearbox supplied by ZF. The TPz-1 Fuchs was exported by the GLS consortium, dependent on Krauss-Maffei, which was in charge of marketing the vehicle abroad.
(TPz-1 image). The hull of the Fuchs was built with welded steel plates, forming a watertight, self-supporting structure, protected against NBC agents. This armour allows the vehicle to resist small fire arms, artillery splinters and damage caused by mines. The internal layout comprises the driving position located in the front, the engine in the center and the cargo compartment located behind. The crew is composed by the driver and an assistant who are seated in the driving position.
(TPz-1 image). Fuchs APC features a bulletproof glass front windshield that can be protected in combat areas by a folding steel plate. The driver has three vision periscopes, with the possibility of installing a night vision device. The cockpit was designed to reduce crew fatigue as much as possible with adjustable seats and reducing noise and vibrations to the maximum. On the roof of the TPz-1 there are two circular hatches, and on one of them it is possible to install a 7.62mm MG-3 or MG-42 light machine gun.
(TPz-1 image). The cargo compartment is accessed through two rear doors and has space for 10 soldiers, who are seated in individual folding seats. The dimensions of this area are: 3.20 long, 1.42 wide and 1.25 meters high. In this compartment are the automatic fire extinguishers, the air filtration and ventilation system, the radio equipment and the vehicle’s batteries. The NBC protection is carried out by means of an air filtering system with a capacity of 3 cubic meters per minute.
(TPz-1 image). The transported soldiers can observe the exterior through three rectangular windows fitted with bulletproof glass. Two of these windows are on the sides of the hull, one on each side, while the third is installed in the right rear access door. All these windows have a sliding armoured plate. It is not possible to shoot from inside the Fuchs as it lacks pistol ports.
(TPz-1A4 image). The driving station and the transport area are connected by a corridor, which allows the crew to be in permanent contact with the soldiers. In the roof of the transport zone there are three hatches, two rectangular 0.8 x 0.6 meters that rise to the sides and a circular one 1.03 meters in diameter. The latter allows the installation of various weapons systems, such as anti-tank missile launchers or the installation of a hydraulic crane.
(TPz-1 image). The central area of the vehicle is occupied by the engine compartment, which is isolated and protected with bulkheads resistant to chemical agents. Here are housed the engine, transmission, parking brake, electric alternator, air filtering devices, cooling system, and pneumatic and hydraulic systems. All these elements form a compact block that can be easily removed in one go by simply disconnecting several elements, greatly reducing repair time. This compartment also has an automatic fire extinguisher system that gives the Fuchs a high degree of survivability on the battlefield.
(TPz-1A4 image). The engine is a V8 Mercedes-Benz OM-402A diesel with a turbocharger driven by exhaust gases. The cooling is done by air by means of a cooling unit installed on the transmission that consists of a hydrostatically driven fan. The power output is 320 hp, with a maximum torque of 1.128 Nm at 1,500 rpm. The transmission consists of a ZF 6HP-500 automatic transmission with 6 forward and 1 reverse gears with planetary type torque converter. The maximum speed reached is 105 km/h, although the maximum sustained is 90 km/h. The TPz-1 has two self-sealing bulletproof tanks with a capacity for 390 liters of diesel, with which it obtains a maximum range of about 800 km, depending on the terrain.
(TPz-1A4 image). The six 14.00×20 steering wheels are mounted on three Mercedes-Benz series 7 axles with planetary reducers. The suspension is based on double action hydraulic shock absorbers and coil springs with a maximum stroke of 290mm. The steering is a hydraulically assisted Mercedes-Benz LS.7 that acts on the two front axles, whose wheels articulate 42º, allowing turns with a radius of only 8.50 meters. The steering has a secondary air pump for emergencies, which also works during navigation. The brakes are hydraulic double-circuit assisted by compressed air.
(TPz-1A4 image). Fuchs is completely amphibious and can circulate through water courses powered by two Schottel rudder propellers capable of rotating 360º in the horizontal plane. The position and speed of the propellers are independent of the wheels and have an electrohydraulic directional control. Top speed in the water is 10 km/h, as the wheels add extra momentum. To enter the water the vehicle climbs a folding breakwater plate installed in the nose. The amphibious equipment is completed with three bilge pumps with a capacity of 180 liters per minute each and three drain valves.
(TPz-1 Hummel image). Amphibious equipment was offered as an option for export Fuchs. The variant for electronic warfare, called “Hummel”, does not have this equipment either, but it is driven in the water by its wheels. The Bundeswehr’s Fuchs carried a Teldix FNA 4-15 navigation system and six electrically fired smoke grenade dischargers as standard items.
(TPz-1A4 image). The Bundeswehr has operated four main variants of the TPz-1 Fuchs, subdivided into ten different configurations. The variants have been: the basic model or “Grundmodell”, the special variant for communications or “Funk”, the variant for electronic warfare designated as “Eloka” and the variant for NBC reconnaissance (ABC-spürpanzer). 564 vehicles of the Grundmodell variant were built that were configured as troop transport (mannschaftstransport fur panzergrenadier), health care (krankentransport), as transports of a squad of engineers (panzerpionergruppe) and as a command vehicles (FüFu and FüFu HF 400W).
(TPz-1A2 PARA RASIT image). Of the Funk variant, 265 vehicles were manufactured in two configurations, one as a command and communications vehicle (führung und funk or “FüFu” HFla) and the other as an infantry radar (panzeraufklärungsradar or “PARA”). Of the Eloka variant, 87 vehicles were built in three configurations, one called the “Störsender 33 Hummel“, the “VHF-peilanlage” and the one known as “HELAS”. Finally, of the NBQ Spürpanzer reconnaissance variant, 140 units were built in a single configuration.
(TPz-1 Pioneer image). In the basic configuration of transport of panzergrenadiers the Fuchs carried a squad of 10 soldiers, some equipped with MILAN anti-tank missile launchers. As an ambulance, it could carry a health attendant along with four stretchers or two stretchers and four sitting wounded. In the configuration for engineers it carried eight soldiers and various specific equipment for their missions. The command and communication versions had radio equipment of different power together with three operators and an additional 5 kW generator located in the left rear door.
(TPz-1A5 Fu-Fu image). The communications variant was designated TPz-1 Fuchs A2 Funk. There were two configurations, one with equipment to act as a command post for Roland antiaircraft missile batteries and Gepard cannon antiaircraft vehicles, and another to carry out night reconnaissance and battlefield observation missions equipped with a TPS-33 or RASIT radar. These configurations also had an additional 5 kW generator for servicing the electronic equipment. The radar antenna could be raised 1.80 meters above the roof and could work while underway, it could also be removed from the vehicle and operated by a 30 meter long connection cable.
(TPz-1 HELAS prototype image). The electronic warfare variant (Eloka) was designated as TPz-1 Fuchs A1 and three different configurations were made. One designated as Störsender 33 Hummel, (better known simply as Hummel), with an EK-33 interference-emitting equipment in HF, UHF and VHF bands. Another configuration designated as VHF-Peilanlage operated mainly in the frecuency spectrum located between 10 kHz and 40 Ghz. Finally, the third configuration was called HELAS (Heeres Elektronisches Aufklärungs System) and had passive equipment for the detection and classification of enemy radar signals. All these vehicles had a SEA 15 kW generator housed next to the engine and additional air conditioning and ventilation equipment.
(TPz-1A3 Fox image). The most successful and well-known of the Fuchs’s variants is the one designated as TPz-1 A3 ABC or Spürpanzer Fuchs. These vehicles have been exported to different countries, including the United States, which designates them as M-93 Fox. They have different elements to collect and analyze samples in contaminated environments with total safety for their crew. They also carry equipment for signaling contaminated areas and probes for collecting samples from inside the vehicle.
(US Marine’s TPz-1 M-93 Fox image). Production of the TPz-1 Fuchs ranged from December 1979 to 1986. The 996 contracted vehicles were delivered at a rate of 160 units per year and an additional 45 were ordered by Germany in 1991. During the 1991 Gulf War the Bundeswehr transferred many NBC reconnaissance Spürpanzers to different countries. Turkey received 4, Israel 8, 11 went to the Royal Army and 60 were transferred to the US Army, which later designated them as M-93 NBCRS.
(TPz-1A4 image). In 1998, 55 Fuchs were modified to be sent with SFOR to Yugoslavia. Additional protection was installed to resist impacts from 14.5mm caliber weapons and damage caused by mines. A modernized prototype designated as “Fuchs KRK”, intended for the German rapid reaction forces, had been unveiled the previous year, but the program was eventually canceled. New SEM 80/90 radios were installed in the 90s in all TPz-1s, receiving the designation “TPz-1 Fuchs A4” for personnel carriers vehicles, “TPz-1 A5” for command and communications vehicles and as “TPz-1 ABC Fuchs A6” those of the NBC reconnaissance variant.
(TPz-1A7 image). Between 2004 and 2007, 123 Fuchs APCs were modernized with the installation of supplementary protection, similar to that installed years before in the TPz-1s sent to Bosnia. An add-on armor mounted externally on the sides of the hull and internal spall liners were installed that improve protection against IED artifacts. The floor of the vehicle was also reinforced against mines, as were the windows. The modernized vehicles received the designation TPz-1 Fuchs A7.
(TPz-1A8 image). In 2008 the first TPz-1 Fuchs A8s were delivered to the German Army. This is the latest modernization devised for these vehicles, and again their protection against IED devices and against mines is increased. Different modular kits have been prepared to be installed according to the desired degree of protection. The first vehicles were sent to the German Forces deployed in Afghanistan, but it is planned to modernize the complete fleet of more than 700 vehicles.
(TPz-1A3 Fox image). Several configurations have been offered on the international market with different weapon systems such as turrets armed with 20 and 25mm guns, anti-tank missiles or 81 or 120mm mortars. Despite being an excellent vehicle, the truth is that it was not very successful in sales, since only Venezuela ordered 10 units in 1983. However, when the 1991 Gulf War broke out it was the only vehicle specialized in NBC reconnaissance in the world, and Fearing an Iraqi attack with this type of weapon, several countries received this type of vehicle, first transferred from the German Army, and later bought new ones.
(TPz-1A4 image). According to the Military Balance at the end of 2019, there are 11 countries with TPz-1 Fuchs in their armies. From variant A1 Eloka EW: Netherlands (18). From the A2 Funk variant: Germany (61 RASIT). Of the A3 NBC reconnaissance variant, the following are in service: Germany (42), Israel (8), Netherlands (6), Norway (6), Saudi Arabia (10), UK (11) and USA (123 Fox with the US Marines). From the basic Grundmodell APC variant: Germany (525 troop carriers + 22 ambulances), Kuwait (11 Fuchs 2 troop carriers) and Venezuela (10 troop carriers). In addition to the above, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also appear with 32 Fuchs in service, (without specifying the variants), although it seems that they are all of the A3 NBC reconnaissance variant in different configurations. The last country indicated is Algeria with 980 Fuchs in service, without specifying the variants.
(Algerian TPz Fuchs 2 image). Algeria will be the largest user of the TPz Fuchs when all the contracted vehicles are in service. In 2014 Germany approved the transfer of the necessary equipment for Algeria to build the vehicle in its own country. These vehicles are of the variant designated TPz Fuchs 2, fully updated and improved. A first batch of 54 Fuch 2 was purchased directly in Germany, but the rest are progressively manufactured in Algeria, although certain mechanical components such as power packs and steering elements are still provided by Germany.

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