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.
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. However, this was withdrawn [clarification needed] seven months later and bidding has started again.
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.
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.
1× 12.7 mm MG turret or MOWAG apex mount, or grenade launcher, TOW anti-tank missile, or Mephisto ATM.
Chrysler V8 petrol engine HT 413 Displacement 6,780 cm³
Allison MT-40 Automatic 6-speed planetary gearbox
6×6 wheeled, tyres 13.00 × 20 run-flat (insert)
500 km (41l/100km)
100 km/h (62 mph), water 10 km/h (6 mph)
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.
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.