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WIESEL weapons carrier prototype

The picture shows a WIESEL weapons carrier prototype.

In 1973 several companies presented project studies for an air-droppable tank as successor for the Kraka 0.75 ton truck. The objective was to provide the airborne forces with a fast, easily transportable combat vehicle that, in contrast to the Kraka, provided some protection to the crew. Its size and weight had to be based on existing air transport assets.

In 1977 the chosen contractor Porsche produced six prototypes as carriers for various weapon systems. After the completion of trials the project was stopped for financial reasons in 1979.
Subsequently, some of those prototypes were acquired by the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung (Scientific Collection of Defense Engineering Specimens) for its exhibition. The companies Porsche and MAK, however, continued the development on a private enterprise basis, and in 1984 the project was officially resumed by BWB because of the still existing demand.

The WIESEL in its present form - ca. 350 vehicles having been fielded since 1985 - has a VW diesel engine and can be equipped with a TOW launcher or a Rh 202 automatic cannon. The vehicular armor provides protection against grenade fragments and infantry ammunition. The quiet continuous rubber-tread tracks that were originally mounted to the high mobility vehicle are replaced by special double pin tracks in extreme climate zones for reasons of fatigue resistance.

The WIESEL weapons carrier was further developed into the larger WIESEL 2, is equipped with an NBC protective system and is used in different variants.

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