Piranha III 8x8
|Manufacturer:||General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag GmbH|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Wheeled armoured personnel carrier|
The PIRANHA III has set forth the true tradition of the proven PIRANHA vehicle concept, whereby the key design features have again been retained. These include the modular family approach; power pack on the front, right-hand side; central driveline system; independent wheel suspension; amphibious capabilities and large useable volume at the rear for weapons stations, equipment and troops. These features are identical throughout all vehicle versions.
PIRANHA III offers a payload versus GVW which is unrivalled on today's vehicle market when comparing the protection levels, internal volume and constant excellent mobility.
Whilst retaining the original PIRANHA concept, the PIRANHA III family incorporates a whole pallet of state-of-the-art features designed to counter threats and meet requirements well into the next century. Such features include:
A new, basic light-weight hull design, which provides an increased variable ballistic protection concept with the use of add-on armour packages including enhanced mine protection;
Higher payload versus Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and increased useable internal volume;
A hydropneumatic suspension system at all wheel stations in combination with an optional suspension height adjustment system;
A new wheels system with provision for an integral Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) and Anti-locking Brake System (ABS);
Choice of a number of fast-remove/-replace high-performance power packs in conjunction with a Single- or 2-speed transfer case assembly for enhanced off-road mobility;
A new high-torque driveline for commonality between all versions of PIRANHA III vehicles.
The most significant feature of the PIRANHA III family obtained through innovative design has been the payload versus GVW or combat weight. The new PIRANHA III design provides the customer with flexibility in the choice of protection levels and equipment/weapons integration and personnel transport. Through the modular concept, the question is how much payload/volume is required and not the number of axles/wheels; because the front section of the vehicle, including the two front steered axles, is identical on the 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 versions of the PIRANHA III vehicles, it is just matter of how many rear axles are required, thus ensuring logistics commonality on all versions.
An important part of the modular design approach has been the power pack. Currently, MOWAG offers the choice of high-performance engines and torque-matching automatic transmissions, namely:
the German MTU 6V183 TE22 engine, developing 400 HP at 2300 rpm, with a growth potential of 450 HP, in combination with the ZF Ecomat 6HP 600 automatic transmission;
the U.S. Caterpillar C9 engine, developing 400 HP at 2500 rpm in combination with the ZF 7HP 602 automatic transmission.
The PIRANHA III family of vehicles offers the features and performances required of a modern, multi-role vehicle, which is wellsuited to practically any battlefield or peace-keeping/peace-enforcing role anywhere in the world, either as a best possibly protected APC or an ideal platform for a complete range of weapons systems from small calibre turrets up to the high firepower of a 105 mm gun.
The use of PIRANHA-family vehicles by peace-keeping forces has proven the inherent protection of the vehicle design, especially against mines. The knowledge gained through the experiences of the peace-keeping missions, as for example in former Yugoslavia and Somalia, has been implemented in the variable protection concept of the PIRANHA III, which allows the ballistic protection to be tailored to meet the expected threat in each mission scenario through the application of replaceable quick-mount add-on armour packages.
Another area which has been given due consideration has been mobility. A hydropneumatic system with a MOWAG-designed height adjustment system at all wheel stations in combination with the new wheels system with CTIS and ABS and the choice of tire sizes to suit any type of terrain, as well as high power-to-weight ratio power packs have resulted in a class of wheeled vehicles with a mobility comparable to tracked vehicles, whilst still retaining its air-transportability feature in a C-130 aircraft.