Mowag Piranha

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MOWAG Piranha P
MOWAG (4120180412).jpg
Irish Army Piranha IIIH MRV armed with a 30 mm autocannon
Place of originSwitzerland
Service history
Used bysee Operators
Production history
DesignerMOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
ManufacturerMOWAG
Produced1972–present
VariantsTank Destroyer, C3 Command Vehicle, Medevac, APC, police vehicle, Pioneer & Construction Vehicle
Specifications
MassFrom 9,300 kg (20,500 lb)
Length6.25 to 7.45 m
Width2.5 to 2.66 m
Height1.8 to 1.98
Crew3+5; driver, commander, gunner + 5 passengers[1]

Armorquick-mount selection, including defense against RPG, IED, NBC
Main
armament
1 × 12.7 mm MG turret, or MOWAG apex mount, grenade launcher, or TOW anti-tank missile.
Enginediesel engine
202 kW 275hp
TransmissionAllison MT-653 automatic 6-speed planetary gearbox
Suspensionhydropneumatic 6×6, 8×8, or 10x10 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Fuel capacity300 l
Operational
range
780 km (485 mi)
Speed100 km/h (62 mph), water 10 km/h (6 mph)
Steering
system
1 and 2 axle

The MOWAG Piranha is a family of armoured fighting vehicles designed by the Swiss company MOWAG (since April 2010 the name has changed to General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag GmbH).

Five generations of vehicles have been produced, manufactured by Mowag or under licence by other companies, and variants are in service with military forces throughout the world.

Variants[edit]

Piranhas are available in 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, and 10×10 wheel versions. There are several variants within these versions, giving different degrees of armour protection and several kinds of turret, for use in a variety of roles. Piranha derivatives have been assigned roles as troop transports, command vehicles, fire support vehicles, tank trainers, and police vehicles.

Piranhas are used by the Swiss Army. Swiss-built Piranha derivatives have been exported to Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Romania, Spain, and Belgium. The Romanian and Belgian Armies have selected the Piranha IIIC 8×8. Belgium converted to an all-wheeled force, and replaced all their M113s, AIFVs and Leopard 1s with 268 Piranha IIIC in 7 variants.[2][3]

Piranha derivatives have been manufactured under license by General Dynamics (Canada), BAE Systems Land Systems (UK), Cardoen and FAMAE (Chile), and in the USA. The 8×8 LAV-25 family in service with the USMC was derived from the AVGP variants of the Piranha 6x6 built by GM Defense (Canada).[4] The Australian Defence Force also had its own modified version of the LAV-25 8×8, known as the ASLAV Type I (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle). The ASLAV is operated by two cavalry regiments (the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment) and is used in the armoured reconnaissance and armoured personnel carrier roles.

Some variants, like the United States Marine Corps's Light Armored Vehicle-25 (LAV-25) and its derivatives, are equipped with propellers for amphibious use, though their swimming capability is restricted to sheltered waters.

A new Piranha V version, weighing in between 25 and 30 tons, was announced as the provisional winner of the British Army's FRES program on 8 May 2008.[5] However, this was withdrawn[clarification needed] seven months later and bidding has started again.[citation needed]

General Dynamics European Land Systems launched their new Piranha Class 5 at EUROSATORY 2010 on 15 June and it is reported that the British MoD are showing renewed interest, but are struggling with budget constraints.[6]

MOWAG Piranha 4×4 IB[edit]

MOWAG Piranha IB 4×4
MOWAG Piranha 4×4 IB
MOWAG Piranha IB 4×4
Place of originSwitzerland
Production history
DesignerMOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
ManufacturerMOWAG
Produced1974–present
VariantsArmt, recon
Specifications
Mass6,300 kg (13,900 lb)
Length5.40m
Width2.5m
Height1.85m /
Crew7: driver, commander, gunner + 4 more people

Main
armament
1× 12.7 mm MG in the turret or wildcat AAA with 2×30mm gun, or TSE 5000 Crotale, or ADATS, or Rheinmetal 105 mm Canon
EngineChrysler Chrysler V8 gasoline engine 360-1 Displacement 6,780 cm³
125 kW
TransmissionNP 540 Chrysler mechanics transmission, 5 forward gears, 1 reverse gear
Suspension4×4 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Fuel capacity200 l
Operational
range
700 km (41l/100km)
Speed100 km/h (62 mph), water 10 km/h (6 mph)
Steering
system
1 axle

The MOWAG Piranha 4×4 IB was an armored personnel carrier.

To complete the Piranha I Family of 1974, the Piranha 4×4 IB was designed as a light vehicle with the purpose of a rapid reconnaissance and attack vehicle. It could take part in amphibious operations thanks to twin propellers and could operate in NBC contaminated areas. The Piranha 4×4 was also designed to meet police needs. In addition, the MOWAG Grenadier and Mowag Spy sub-versions were also developed. The prototype of the Piranha 4×4 IB went through numerous tests and received different equipment and different engines. Due to the rapid technological developments and adjustments to requirements for military vehicles, no Piranha with gasoline engine was sold. The prototype is now in the Full Military Museum.

MOWAG Piranha IB 6×6[edit]

MOWAG Piranha IB 6×6
San Piranha.jpg
MOWAG Piranha IB 6×6 Swiss Army
Place of originSwitzerland
Service history
Used bySwitzerland, Canada, United Nations
Production history
DesignerMOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
ManufacturerMOWAG
Produced1972–present
VariantsTank Destroyer, C3 Command Vehicle Medevac, APC, Police vehicle
Specifications
Mass9,300 kg (20,500 lb)
Length6.25m
Width2.66m
Height1.985m / 2.17m
Crew7: driver, commander, gunner + 4 more people

Main
armament
1× 12.7 mm MG turret or MOWAG apex mount, or grenade launcher, TOW anti-tank missile, or Mephisto ATM.
EngineChrysler V8 petrol engine HT 413 Displacement 6,780 cm³
147 kW
TransmissionAllison MT-40 Automatic 6-speed planetary gearbox
Suspension6×6 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Fuel capacity200 l
Operational
range
500 km (41l/100km)
Speed100 km/h (62 mph), water 10 km/h (6 mph)
Steering
system
1 axle or 1 and 2 axle

The first Piranha prototype ever built was the 6×6 IB in 1972. It can be seen as a milestone for the Piranha series due to various technical innovation like (at the time) modern designed drive with independent suspension, compact power unit in the right front and (as an amphibian drive) being powered by two propellers. This prototype was demonstrated with different engines and features for potential customers such as the Canadian Army who locally produced them as the AVGP. Switzerland sold a license to manufacture this machine to Chile in 1983. In the Swiss Army, the Piranha 6×6 is used as an ambulance, C3 command vehicle and, together with the BGM-71 TOW, as a Tank Destroyer. The prototype is along with an ambulance Piranha 6×6 on display in the Full Military Museum.

MOWAG Piranha IIIC 10×10[edit]

MOWAG Piranha IIIC 10×10
MOWAG Piranha IIIC 10x10
MOWAG Piranha IIIC 10×10 at Military Museum Full
Place of originSwitzerland
Service history
Used bySweden
Production history
DesignerMOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
ManufacturerMOWAG
Produced1994
VariantsTank, C3 Command Vehicle.
Specifications
Mass18,000 kg (40,000 lb)
Length7.45m
Width2.66m
Height1.98m / 2.17m
Crew3: driver, commander, gunner

Main
armament
turret Oerlikon GDD BOE with 35 mm automatic cannon KDE
Secondary
armament
7.62 mm coaxial MG FN MAG and 6 × Nebelwurfbecher 76mm
EngineDetroit Diesel V6, V6 53TA
350 hp
TransmissionAllison MD 3560 P-automatic transmission, 6 forward gears, 1 reverse
Suspension10×10 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Steering
system
1 and 2 axle

With the continuous evolution of the Piranha family due to increasing demands, and the projected development of the Mowag Shark as a heavy weapons carrier, the Piranha design reached the limit of its payload capacity. The Piranha 10×10 (built in 1994), was an attempt to expand the payload, using a 5th axle of the same type as used in the smaller Piranha models. The Piranha 10×10 was designed as a heavy weapons carrier, but only a small number were built for Sweden as the LIRKA command tank and Kapris radar carrier. The Piranha IIIC 10×10 marked an important development from the Piranha IIIC 8×8. The Piranha IIIC 10×10 prototype was used in various tests, including in Sweden, and now stands in the Schweizerisches Militärmuseum Full.

Family tree[edit]

MOWAG Piranha IIIC ambulance of the Spanish Marines

Operators[edit]

Piranha I[edit]

Piranha II[edit]

Piranha III[edit]

Piranha V[edit]

  • Denmark Danish Army – In the process of acquiring 309 units. The first were delivered in May 2017, with all expected to be in use by 2023.[25][26]
  • Monaco Monégasque Carabiniers – Two Piranha V units.[27]
  • Romania Romanian Land Forces – 30 units will be produced at GDELS-Mowag's facilities in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland and delivered in 2018. Another 197 units will be produced in Romania, at Uzina Mecanica Bucharest.[28]
  • Spain Spanish Army – Five units were acquired in 2015 as prototypes for the VBMR program.
  • Spain Spanish Navy Marines – An undetermined number of Piranha V with 120 mm guns will replace the M60A3 in service.[29]

Former operators[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Christopher Chant. Compendium of Armaments and Military Hardware.
  2. ^ "Voertuigen". mil.be. Archived from the original on 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  3. ^ "Belgium Selects Piranha IIIs $850M APC Contract, Controversies Ensue". archive.org. 10 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-07-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Drayson: New vehicles will have "vital part to play in the Army of the future"". United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. June 8, 2007. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007.
  6. ^ "GD Rolls Out Piranha 5 Once Slated for Britain – Eurosatory 2010 – Defense News Show Scout". defensenews.com.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "UN Register of Conventional Arms – UNODA". disarmament.un.org. Archived from the original on 2008-12-14. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  8. ^ Ghana Armed Forces Archived 2008-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b c "The Wheeled Piranha Fighting Vehicle Family - TankNutDave.com". tanknutdave.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  10. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French)Véhicule sanitaire Piranha I, 6×6 (transformation du chasseur de chars) Archived 2019-02-13 at the Wayback Machine, Message concernant l’acquisition de matériel d’armement – Programme d’armement 2005, p.26, 2005.
  11. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French)Véhicule de commandement/transformation de chasseurs de chars auxquels il est renoncé Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, Message concernant l’acquisition de matériel d’armement – Programme d’armement 2006, p.21, 2006.
  12. ^ Mowag Piranha Archived 2016-03-07 at the Wayback Machine, tanks-encyclopedia.com
  13. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (February 2016). The Military Balance 2016. 116. Routlegde. p. 315. ISBN 9781857438352.
  14. ^ https://www.tdg.ch/geneve/actu-genevoise/geneve-police-extreme/story/13962803
  15. ^ "PIRANHA FUS". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  16. ^ "PIRANHA DF30". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  17. ^ "PIRANHA DF90". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  18. ^ "PIRANHA CP". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  19. ^ "PIRANHA Ambulance". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2018-09-09. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  20. ^ "PIRANHA Recovery". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  21. ^ "PIRANHA GENIE". www.mil.be. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  22. ^ General Dynamics awarded Order for 18 PIRANHA IIIC 8x8 Vehicles from Brazilian Marines Archived 2011-09-25 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ 28 January 2008. "ROMARM Zimbru 2006 Saur Armoured Infantry Vehicle (Romania)". www.janes.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2008.
  24. ^ "Suche nach «» | militärfahrzeuge.ch". www.militaerfahrzeuge.ch. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  25. ^ "309 New Armored Vehicles". Forsvaret.dk (in Danish). Archived from the original on 14 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  26. ^ Tomkins, Richard (19 May 2017). "First Piranhas delivered to Danish military". United Press International. Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  27. ^ Giletta, Jacques (2005). Les Gardes Personnelles des Princes de Monaco (1st ed.). Taurus Editions. ISBN 2 912976-04-9.
  28. ^ Adamowski, Jaroslaw (13 October 2017). "Romania-General Dynamics agree to locally manufacture Piranha armored vehicle". Defense News. Warsaw. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  29. ^ "La Infantería de Marina apostará por el VCR 8 x 8 para sustitución del M60 A3 TTS". Ejércitos. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Trade Registers". Armstrade.sipri.org. Archived from the original on 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  31. ^ "Fighting in northern Liberia". 6 March 2001. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014 – via news.bbc.co.uk.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Chilean built 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 in different configurations for the Chilean Army.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]