Fennek Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle
Fennek Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle, Germany
The Fennek Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle, produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) of Kassel, Germany and SP Aerospace and Vehicle Systems BV of The Netherlands (the ARGE Fennek consortium), has been developed for the Dutch and German Armies. The prototype vehicle completed field trials in April 2000. In December 2001, a contract was signed for the combined procurement of 612 Fennek vehicles: 202 reconnaissance, 130 MRAT (medium range antitank) and 78 general purpose versions for the Royal Netherlands Army; 178 reconnaissance, 24 combat engineer and four artillery observer versions for the German Army. The vehicle is in production and the first vehicle was delivered to the Netherlands in July 2003 and to Germany in December 2003. Deliveries will continue to 2008. The vehicles will replace M113 vehicles in the Dutch Army and Luchs ARVs in the German Army.
SP Aerospace was declared bankrupt in August 2004 and a new company, Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems (DDVS), has been set up by KMW to maintain the workshare in the Netherlands.
The Fennek is a light armoured 4WD reconnaissance vehicle, operated by a three-man crew and deployed in units of two vehicles. A scout party equipped with this vehicle is able to operate independently for a period of up to five days.
The Dutch reconnaissance vehicles are armed with a 12.7mm machine gun, German vehicles with a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The Dutch MRAT versions are fitted with the Rafael Spike MR (Gill) anti-tank missile. The gun mount is electrically controlled. The sighting system consists of a periscope derived from the PERI Z l7, which is currently in service. As an option the periscope can be upgraded with an image intensifier or other plug-in modules.
In September 2005, the Royal Netherlands Army placed an order with Aselsan of Turkey for 18 launcher systems for the Raytheon Stinger surface-to-air missile system, to be mounted on Fennek vehicles. The vehicles will replace the Gepard self-propelled air defence guns. The launchers will be based on the Aselsan Pedestal Mounted Air Defence System (PMADS) in production for the Turkish armed forces. PMADS is a remotely controlled mount with a sensor package including infrared camera, TV camera and laser rangefinder.
The vehicle has add-on all-round protection against 7.62mm AP rounds. Add-on armour protection can be selected to suit mission requirements. The crew compartment is protected against anti-personnel mines. Nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare protection is integrated in the crew compartment air-conditioning system. The infrared signature is minimised through special exhaust ducting. The powerpack compartment is fitted with a fire extinguishing and warning system, which can be automatically or manually triggered.
The 179kW Deutz diesel engine provides a range of 860km and maximum speed of 115km/h. The automatic transmission and transfer unit provides selectable 4WD and limited slip differential. The H-layout of the driveline allows a very low height, with the power being transmitted to the wheels via angular and wheel gears. The vehicle is able to negotiate 60% forward and 35% side slopes. The turning radius is 6.3m and the fording depth is 1m. A central tyre inflation system enables the driver to adjust tire pressure on the move to suit terrain conditions.