Piranha 8x8D

Manufacturer: FAMAE  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  

Factories & Metalworks of the Army (FAMAE) today holds the licence for the local manufacture of the Swiss MOWAG (which is now owned by General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada) Piranha range of armoured vehicles in Chile; previous production of this vehicle was undertaken by Cardoen and is covered in detail in a separate entry.

In early 1993, FAMAE commenced production of the 8 × 8D (with the D standing for diesel) APC for the Chilean Army. The first production lot was delivered in December 1994. The vehicle became operational with the Chilean Army in 1995.

This is similar in appearance to the original Swiss MOWAG version but, as the Chilean Army did not require an amphibious capability, the propellers at the rear of the hull have been removed and their space taken by stowage boxes. If required, the Piranha 8 × 8D could be supplied in the amphibious configuration fitted with propellers, trim vane and bilge pumps.

The infantry sits back-to-back down the centre of the vehicle and enters and leaves via the large power-operated ramp in the hull rear that is provided with an emergency door in the left side.

The troop compartment is provided with four firing ports and day vision devices in either side, with roof hatches above. When fitted with a machine gun installation, the troop compartment is normally fitted with four roof hatches but, when fitted with a 90 mm turret system, only two roof hatches are normally fitted.

Mounted above the commander's hatch to the rear of the driver's position is a cupola with an externally mounted 12.7 mm M2 machine gun which can be used for local and anti-aircraft defence.

In 1992, examples were shown fitted with a turret armed with a 90 mm gun (on 8 × 8 chassis), an Israel Military Industries 60 mm Hypervelocity Medium Support Weapon (on 6 × 6 chassis) and a RAFAEL Overhead Weapon Station (OWS) (on 6 × 6 chassis).

Other versions that were marketed by FAMAE include a standard 8 × 8 APC with a 12.7 mm machine gun, an 8 × 8 APC with a turret-mounted 25 mm cannon, a 6 × 6 anti-aircraft with twin 20 mm cannon, a 6 × 6 command post vehicle with additional communications equipment and a 6 × 6 81 mm mortar carrier. A 120 mm model mortar is also marketed by FAMAE.

More recently an 8 × 8 armoured logistics carrier and an 8 × 8 internal security vehicle have been developed. The latter is fitted with a barricade and wall remover, fire suppression devices, gun ports for individual use of personnel weapons, tear gas dischargers, a machine gun assembly and a protection device for operations in areas contaminated by toxic gases.

For trials purposes, at least one example of the FAMAE Piranha 8 × 8D has been fitted with the Belgian CMI Defence CSE two-person 90 mm turret.

As far as is known, all production 8 × 8 vehicles built in Chile are fitted with a roof-mounted 12.7 mm M2 machine gun.

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Piranha 8x8D quantities:
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Piranha 8x8D
Piranha 8x8D