Armored recovery vehicle / armored engineer vehicle
The Wisent 1 is a multi-purpose vehicle, that can be reconfigured from ARV to AEV
- Entered service 2008 (?)
- Crew 3 men
- Dimensions and weight
- Weight 47 t
- Length 8.2 m
- Width 3.5 m
- Height ~ 3 m
- Bucket capacity 1.3 m³
- Dig depth ~ 4.4 m
- Lifting capacity 30 t
- Winch capacity 35 t
- Towed load ~ 50 t
- Earth working capacity (dozer) ~ 300 m³/h
- Earth working capacity (excavator arm) 300 m³/h
- Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm (optional)
- Engine MTU MB 838 Ca M500 diesel
- Engine power 960 hp
- Maximum road speed 65 km/h
- Range ~ 600 km
- Gradient 60%
- Side slope 30%
- Vertical step 0.7 m
- Trench 2.5 m
- Fording 1.2 m
- Fording (with preparation) ?
The Wisent 1 or Bergepanzer Wisent was developed by a German FFG company as a private venture. It is intended mainly for export. It is worth noting that FFG company has considerable experience in the upgrade and overhaul of various armored vehicles. The Wisent 1 evolved from a vehicle, known as the Armored Recovery Vehicle 2000 or ARV 2000. Essentially it is an upgraded version of the Leopard 1 armored recovery vehicle. The ARV 2000 has been exported to Belgium (20) and Chile (7). Later the ARV 2000 evolved into a more capable Wisent, that can be used for various roles. The Wisent 1 is in service with Denmark (5 units), and possibly some other countries. Danish vehicles entered service in 2008 and have seen action during combat operations in Afghanistan.
The Wisent 1 is based on the Leopard 1 tank chassis. Basically it is identical to the original Leopard 1 ARV, which was developed in the 1960s. It is worth noting that the German Army operated both Leopard 1 armored recovery vehicle and Leopard 1 armored engineer vehicle. Both of these vehicles have much in common. The Wisent 1 combines features of both. The whole concept behind this multi-purpose vehicle is a modular platform, that can be fitted with various add-on and interchangeable equipment. The Wisent 1 can be reconfigured from armored recovery vehicle to armored engineer vehicle in less than 5 hours in field conditions. A single vehicle can be used for various missions. It is intended to support Leopard 2 tanks. Yet it is a cheaper alternative to the Bergepanzer 3 Bufffel, based on the Leopard 2.
The Wisent 1 has a number of the older subsystems removed and replaced by commercially available systems. It has new hydraulic components. The whole hydraulic system has been upgraded. As a result the Wisent 1 is much more capable vehicle than its predecessor.
In the ARV role the Wisent 1 can recover damaged, stuck, swamped or overturned combat vehicles on the battlefield. It also tows them to the nearest shelter, or maintenance unit. Vehicle can also provide maintenance service in the field. Crew of the Wisent 1 operate from under armor protection.
Vehicle is fitted with a crane and can lift loads with a maximum weight of up to 30 t. The crane is used to lift turrets or powerpacks of main battle tanks, or for other load-lifting work. If repairs are required to a vehicle's suspension, the crane raises the front of back of the vehicle to allow access to the damaged system. When not required the crane lays along the right side of the hull.
Vehicle also has a 35 t capacity main winch with 90 meters of cable. It is used for recovery of damaged, stuck, sunken and overturned vehicles. There is also an auxiliary winch.
This vehicle has a front-mounted dozer blade. It can be used to clear obstacles and for earthmowing operations. It is also used as an earth anchor to stabilize the vehicle during craning, winching and excavating operations.
The Wisent 1 has a cargo platform over the engine compartment. It can carry a spare powerpack for field replacement. It can be a Leopard 1, Leopard 2, or other unit. Vehicle is fitted with integrated welding and cutting equipment for field repairs.
Once configured as an armored engineer vehicle the Wisent 1 can build and remove obstacles on the battlefield. It can also prepare firing positions, cover up ditches and so on.
For the armored engineer vehicle role the Wisent 1 is fitted with a newly developed excavator arm. It is based on commercial high-end excavator system. It is fitted with a 1.3 m³ capacity bucket. Earthmoving capacity is up to 300 m³/h. The excavator arm can also lift loads with a maximum weight of about 4.5 t.
The Wisent 1 can be also reconfigured for mine clearing role. It can clear pathways through minefields, allowing assault units to pass, before enemy establishes defenses. For this role it can be fitted with a full-width mine plough and a safe lane marking system.
This multi-purpose combat vehicle has a level of protection, similar to that of the Leopard 1 main battle tank. Add-on passive, or reactive explosive armor can be fitted for even higher level of protection. Vehicle withstands blasts equivalent to 8 kg of TNT anywhere under the hull or under any track location. Interior is lined with a spall liner. Vehicle is also fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
For self-defense the Wisent 1 can be armed with remotely-controlled 12.7-mm machine gun.
Powerpack has been upgraded. Vehicle is powered by an MTU MB 838 Ca M500 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 960 hp. It is worth noting that Leopard 1 tank is powered by an engine, developing 830 hp. Vehicle also has a flexible hydropneumatic suspension. It seems that the Wisent 1 can be fitted with a deep wading kit and ford water obstacles about 2 m deep.
Later the FFG company developed a Wisent 2, based on the Leopard 2 main battle tank. It is also a multi-purpose vehicle, that can be reconfigured from AEV to ARV. Canadian armed forces ordered 12 of these combat machines with an option for five more.