MOWAG (now General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag GmbH) originally developed the Eagle reconnaissance vehicle to meet the operational requirements of the Swiss Army.
It is based on the US AM General High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) chassis, which has been fitted with a new armoured body developed by MOWAG. This provides the occupants with protection against small-arms fire, shell splinters and anti-personnel mines.
The baseline Eagle reconnaissance vehicle has a one-person MOWAG MBK 2 armoured observation cupola armed with a 7.62mm machine gun and a day/thermal-imaging device, which is mounted on top of the vehicle.
The first batch of 154 Swiss Army vehicles are called the Eagle I and the second batch of 175 the Eagle II. The latter is based on the more recent Enhanced Capacity Vehicle with increased carrying capacity and enhanced performance.
The latest vehicle is the Eagle III: some 120 have been delivered to the Swiss Army for use in the forward-observation role. It is fitted with a retractable mast on top of which is mounted a day/night sensor package that also includes a laser rangefinder. This is used in conjunction with a land navigation system and extensive communications equipment.
Standard equipment includes powered steering, smoke grenade launchers, a nuclear, biological and chemical defensive system, run-flat tyres and communications equipment.
Optional equipment includes air conditioning, a central tyre-pressure regulation system, a self-recovery winch and an add-on mine-protection system.
More recently, MOWAG developed the Eagle IV, based on its Duro II 4x4 chassis. This has a significant increase in payload and is therefore able to undertake a much wider range of battlefield roles. The gross vehicle weight of the Eagle IV is 7,600kg; its curb weight with Level III protection is 6,000kg. The first prototype of the Eagle IV was completed late last year and is now undergoing extensive trials.