Germany launches the development of new airborne tracked armored vehicle
On June 22, 2021, IABG (Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH) a German analysis and test engineering company based in Ottobrunn near Munich, commissioned by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) of the German army, has presented a demonstrator for new light tracked armored vehicle for German airborne troops, under the program name of GSD LuWa.
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GSD LuWa demonstrator of light airborne tracked armored vehicle for the German army. (Picture source soldat-und-technik.de)
Under the program name of GSD LuWa, the German armed forces have requested a new light airborne vehicle to replace the family of Wiesel vehicles which was developed for the German Army to meet a requirement for an air-transportable light armored vehicle for use by its airborne troops. 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 development of the GSD LuWa vehicle will include different partners including ACS, IABG, FFG and Valhalla turret, and more.
According to the first pictures published on Internet, the GSD LuWa is based on independent twin-tracks suspension, each including three road wheels and one return-roller. The roof of the vehicle seems to be fitted with an unmanned weapon station armed with one 30 mm cannon.
The front of the hull is equipped with two large bullet-proof windows offering 180° view for the operators, as wells as one small window on each side of the hull.
The GSD LuWa demonstrator is equipped with a Valhalla turret that can be armed with a 25mmx137 or 30mmx173 cannon. These types of cannon can fire a wide range of ammunition including the APFSDS-T round (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot), a type of kinetic energy penetrator ammunition used to destroy armored vehicles. The weapon station is equipped with a state-of-the-art electro-optical sensor unit, allowing quick target acquisition and visual identification.