Germany considers the supply of Wiesel tracked airborne armored vehicles to Ukraine


After the announcement by the German company Rheinmetall to supply Leopard 1A5 main battle tank to Ukraine, the newspaper website "Focus.de" has published information that Germany might consider the supply of Wiesel 1 and Wiesel 2 tracked airborne armored vehicles to Ukraine.
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Germany considers an option to supply Wiesel 1 and 2 airborne tracked armored vehicles to Ukraine. (Picture source Army Recognition)


A few days ago and after the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group that was held in Germany, the German government has agreed to provide more military aid to Ukraine. Indeed, Germany has now approved the delivery of Gepard's self-propelled anti-aircraft gun systems to Ukraine.

Germany has already provided a military aid of around €186 million including 2,500 man-portable air defense missile systems, 900 Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons and 3,000 rockets, 100 machine guns, 100,000 hand grenades, 2,000 mines, 5,300 explosive charges, and 16 million rounds of ammunition.

The Wiesel 1 is a family of airborne tracked armored vehicles that were developed to meet the requirements of the German Army. Between 1989 and 1992, the German Army took delivery of a total of 345 Wiesel 1 vehicles armed with a Raytheon Systems Company TOW ATGW launcher or a Rheinmetall 20 mm cannon.

The Wiesel 2 is an improved version of the Wiesel 1 that was developed by the German company Rheinmetall. The new version of the Wiesel with an increased volume and payload enables it to carry out a wide range of additional missions on the battlefield, including the support of the existing Wiesel 1.


Germany considers the supply of Wiesel airborne tracked armored vehicles to Ukraine Wiesel 1 20mm 925 001
German army Wiesel 1 armed with one 20mm automatic cannon. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Wiesel 1 is based on a tracked chassis and uses a unique design offering a light armored with a weight of less than 3 tons, a length of 3,54m, a width of 1.82 m, and a height of 1.82m. The hull of the vehicle is of all-welded steel construction providing the crew with protection against the firing of small arms of 7.62mm caliber and artillery shell splinters.

The Wiesel 1 was delivered to the German army in two variants, the Wiesel 1 armed with one 20mm automatic cannon and the Wiesel 1 anti-tank armed with one launcher tube for the anti-tank guided missile TOW. The Wiesel 1 with the 20mm cannon has a crew of two including a driver and gunner.

The Wiesel 1 cannon is fitted with a one-man Rheinmetall turret E6-II-A1 armed with a 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 dual-feed cannon with 160 rounds of ready use ammunition, 60 rounds on the left side and 100 rounds on the right side, allowing the gunner to select the type of ammunition required to engage different targets. The weapon can be elevated from -10 to +45º and traversed 55º left and right. Elevation and traverse are manual and the gunner aims the weapon via a Zeiss PERI-Z-16 periscopic sight; a passive night sight is also available.


Germany considers the supply of Wiesel airborne tracked armored vehicles to Ukraine Wiesel 1 TOW 925 001
£German army Wiesel 1 armed with TOW anti-tank missile weapon station. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Wiesel 1 TOW variant, is fitted with a Raytheon Systems Company TOW ATGW launcher on an elevating pedestal with a traverse of 45º left and right and an elevation and depression of 10º. Seven TOW missiles are carried of which two are for ready use. This model has a crew of three; driver, gunner, and loader. The TOW is an American anti-tank missile that has a maximum firing range of 3,000 m and can penetrate 430mm of steel armor.


Germany considers the supply of Wiesel airborne tracked armored vehicles to Ukraine Wiesel 2 925 001
German army Wiesel 2 armed with an air defense missile system weapon station. (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Wiesel 2 was the next generation of tracked airborne armored vehicles in the Wiesel family. The layout of the Wiesel 2 is similar to the Wiesel 1, with the engine compartment front left, the driver front right, and the remainder of the vehicle for the troop compartment. It has a combat weight of 4,100 kg, an overall length of 4.2 m, a width of 1.85m, and a height of 2.11 depending on the version.

The Wiesel 2 has twice the internal volume of the earlier Wiesel 1 and is able to accommodate up to six military personnel. It shares a number of common components with the earlier Wiesel 1 but has a new Diehl Type 622 track and a new power pack. the vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 550 km.

The Wiesel 2 was developed with the goal to propose a wide range of versions including a command post, medical evacuation vehicle, radar carrier, reconnaissance vehicle, NBC vehicle, and a weapons platform.


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