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MOWAG Piranha
Irish Army Mowag Piranha.jpg
Irish Army Piranha IIIH APC (armed with 12.7 mm HMG), on the streets of Dublin for the 2006 Easter Military Parade.
Place of origin Switzerland
Service history
Used by see Operators
Production history
Designer MOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
Manufacturer MOWAG
Produced since 1972
Variants Tank Destroyer, C3 Command Vehicle, Medevac, APC, police vehicle, Pioneer & Construction Vehicle
Specifications
Weight From 9,300 kg (20,500 lb)
Length 6.25 to 7.45 m
Width 2.5 to 2.66 m
Height 1.8 to 1.98
Crew 3+5; driver, commander, gunner + 5 passengers[1]

Armor quick-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.
Engine diesel engine
202 kW 275hp
Transmission Allison MT-653 automatic 6-speed planetary gearbox
Suspension hydropneumatic 6x6, 8×8, or 10x10 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Fuel capacity 300 l
Operational
range
780 km (485 mi)
Speed 100 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 Army and the Belgian Army have selected the Piranha IIIC 8x8. Belgium has decided to convert to all wheeled vehicles, simultaneously removing the current main battle armoured transporter TAB and Leopard 1 battle tanks from the inventory. In total 242 vehicles will be delivered, of which 104 are options.[clarification needed]

Piranha derivatives have been manufactured under licence by General Dynamics (Canada), BAE Systems Land Systems (UK), Cardoen and FAMAE (Chile), and in the USA. The 8x8 US Army Stryker vehicle is derived from the Canadian LAV III which in turn is based on the Piranha, as is the LAV-25 family in service with the USMC. The Australian Defence Force also has its own modified version of the Piranha I 8x8 known as the ASLAV (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 to 30 tons, was announced as the provisional winner of the British Army's FRES program on 8 May 2008.[2] 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 struggle with budget constraints.[3]


MOWAG Piranha 4×4 IB[edit]

MOWAG Piranha IB 4×4
MOWAG Piranha 4×4 IB
MOWAG Piranha IB 4×4
Place of origin Switzerland
Production history
Designer MOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
Manufacturer MOWAG
Produced since 1974
Variants Armt, recon
Specifications
Weight 6,300 kg (13,900 lb)
Length 5.40m
Width 2.5m
Height 1.85m /
Crew 7: 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 105mm Canon
Engine Chrysler Chrysler V8 gasoline engine 360-1 Displacement 6,780 cm³
125 kW
Transmission NP 540 Chrysler mechanics transmission, 5 forward gears, 1 reverse gear
Suspension 4×4 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Fuel capacity 200 l
Operational
range
700 km (41l/100km)
Speed 100 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 1 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 origin Switzerland
Service history
Used by Switzerland, Canada, United Nations
Production history
Designer MOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
Manufacturer MOWAG
Produced since 1972
Variants Tank Destroyer, C3 Command Vehicle Medevac, APC, Police vehicle
Specifications
Weight 9,300 kg (20,500 lb)
Length 6.25m
Width 2.66m
Height 1.985m / 2.17m
Crew 7: 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.
Engine Chrysler V8 petrol engine HT 413 Displacement 6,780 cm³
147 kW
Transmission Allison MT-40 Automatic 6-speed planetary gearbox
Suspension 6×6 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Fuel capacity 200 l
Operational
range
500 km (41l/100km)
Speed 100 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 has sold a license to manufacture this machine Pinochet's military junta 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 origin Switzerland
Service history
Used by Sweden
Production history
Designer MOWAG Motor Car Factory, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland
Manufacturer MOWAG
Produced 1994
Variants Tank, C3 Command Vehicle.
Specifications
Weight 18,000 kg (40,000 lb)
Length 7.45m
Width 2.66m
Height 1.98m / 2.17m
Crew 3: driver, commander, gunner

Main
armament
turret Oerlikon GDD BOE with 35mm automatic cannon KDE
Secondary
armament
7.62 mm coaxial MG FN MAG and 6 × Nebelwurfbecher 76mm
Engine Detroit Diesel V6, V6 53TA
350 hp
Transmission Allison MD 3560 P-automatic transmission, 6 forward gears, 1 reverse
Suspension 10×10 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
Speed 100 km/h (62 mph)
Steering
system
1 and 2 axle

The MOWAG Piranha IIIC 10×10 is a MOWAG wheeled tank.

With the continuous evolution of the Piranha family due to increasing demands, and the projected development of the Mowag Shark as 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]

Operators[edit]

Piranha I[edit]

Map of Pirahna 1 operators in blue

Piranha II[edit]

Map of Pirahna 2 operators in blue

Piranha III[edit]

Map of Pirahna 3 operators in blue

Piranha V[edit]

Comparable vehicles[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

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