The Wiesel Tankette – Overview

The Wiesel Armoured Weapons Carrier (AWC) is a German light air-transportable armoured fighting vehicle, more specifically a lightly armoured weapons carrier. It is quite similar to historical scouting tankettes in size, form and function, and is the only true modern tankette in use in Western Europe.

The Wiesel was developed for the German Army to meet a requirement for an air-transportable light armored vehicle for use by its airborne troops, as the infantry of the German Bundeswehr, especially airborne infantry, were considered unprepared to successfully fight enemy main battle tanks (MBT) in the 1970s. The requirements were that the vehicle should fit in common NATO transport planes and could eventually be air-dropped. It should be able to fight infantry as well as enemy tanks or aircraft. Porsche produced some prototypes of the future fighting vehicle for the Bundeswehr in 1975, but the Bundeswehr stopped the project in 1978 due to lack of funds. Nevertheless, Porsche continued development, because of interest from other countries.

The Bundeswehr eventually ordered 343 of the vehicles in 1985. The Wiesel was introduced as new weapon system for the Bundeswehr with deliveries beginning in the late 1980s. The vehicle was named Wiesel (“weasel”) because of its small size and agility, which make it very difficult to detect on the battlefield. Production of the Wiesel 1 ended in 1993. Of 343 Wiesel 1 vehicles, 210 were armed with Raytheon Company’s TOW anti-tank guided missile system and 133 have the one-man KUKA turret E6-II-A1 armed with the dual-feed Rheinmetall 20 mm autocannon. Germany deployed both types to Somalia in 1993 as part of the United Nations forces.

The Wiesel 2 is an enlarged and extended version of the Wiesel 1 with five road wheels instead of four, and a more powerful engine. The Bundeswehr ordered 178 of the new vehicle in various types, including air defense, radar, and anti-aircraft missile launcher, 120 mm mortar carrier, command and fire control, and ambulance variants. The Wiesel 2 entered service in 2001.

Hope you enjoy!

Wiesel 1
Type Tankette
Place of origin West Germany
Production history
Produced 1979-1993
No. built 343
Specifications (Wiesel 1)
Mass 2.75 t to 4.78 t
Length 3.55 metres (11 ft 8 in)
Width 1.82 metres (6 ft 0 in)
Height 1.82 metres (6 ft 0 in)
Crew 2 or 3

Armor Protection against small arms only
Main
armament
Varies
Secondary
armament
Varies
Engine Audi 2.1 L 5-cylinder in-line turbodiesel
64 kilowatts (86 hp)
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range
200 kilometres (120 mi)
Speed 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph

Ozelot.jpg

Wiesel 2
Type Tankette
Place of origin Germany
Production history
No. built 178
Specifications
Mass 2.75 t to 4.78 t
Length 4.78 metres (15 ft 8 in)
Width 1.87 metres (6 ft 2 in)
Height 2.17 metres (7 ft 1 in)
Crew 2 or 3

Armor Protection against small arms only
Main
armament
Varies
Secondary
armament
Varies
Engine Volkswagen 1.9 L Straight-4 turbo-diesel
109 kilowatts (146 hp)
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range
200 kilometres (120 mi)
Speed 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph

Source

The Wiesel Tracked Vehicle – Firepower For Paratroopers

The weapon carrier Wiesel is a small track vehicle of the Bundeswehr. Visually, it looks like a toy tank, but it’s packed with firepower and power. The 20mm machine gun and the anti-tank guided missile TOW are dangerous weapons. The weasel was designed to be extra small and light so that it can be quickly brought into its field of application by helicopter and transport aircraft. It is probably the most diverse armored vehicle in the Bundeswehr.

WELT Documentary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s