Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) unveiled a concept demonstrator for its self-funded Amphibious Protected Vehicle Tracked (APVT) programme. This amphibious vehicle is not intended to be a ship-to-shore connector but rather a well protected amphibious all-terrain vehicle capable of amphibious operations, mostly in riverine scenarios. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s concept demonstrator has been designed to drive in one way and navigate the other one, each side having been designed to best operate in its environment – land or water. The first example is configured as an armoured personnel carrier (APC), which is operated by a two-person crew and carries eight dismounts. The hull is of welded steel with additional buoyancy aids fitted to either side.
The Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KWN) Amphibious Protected Vehicle Tracked (APVT) is 9.46 m long, 3.0 m wide, and 2.7 m tall with a gross vehicle weight of 30 tonnes. Troops embark and leave the vehicle via a clamshell door in the bow section, the vehicle climbing on the beach thanks to the thrust of the water jet and the traction of tracks. It carries a five-tonne payload capacity for the weapon station, ammunition, fuel, and crew. The vehicle is fitted with a hydropneumatic decoupled suspension system, which enables it to cross a 2.5 m trench and climb a vertical obstacle of up to 0.8 m. The road wheels are adapted from the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, which is already in service with the German Army. The APVT also features Defense Service Tracks (DST) composite rubber tracks, which are lighter, quieter, and generate less rolling resistance and vibration compared with conventional steel tracks, which reduces fuel consumption.
It is powered by a 816-hp MTU diesel engine coupled to an ZF automatic transmission, which gives a maximum road speed of up to 70 km/h with a range of up to 550 km. During waterborne operations it is propelled by a waterjet, which provides a maximum speed of up to 13.2 km/h with a range of up to 54 km. Preparation for amphibious operation includes activating the bilge pumps and erecting screens at the front and the rear. Endurance is estimated at 550 km on land and over 29 NM (54 km) in water. A nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) system and an air conditioning system have also been installed to improve crew survivability and comfort.
KMW of Germany, part of KNDS, started working on this recipe in 2013 and at Eurosatory 2018 unveiled the concept study of this vehicle, capable of all-terrain and water operations. Its peculiarity being that on land it drives with its front ahead, the front being optimised for land operations, while when afloat. APVT drives with its tail ahead, as this is designed to minimise flow resistance in water. Financed at 100% by KMW, the vehicle is definitely an eye-catcher amphibious protected Vehicle, although exhibited in a quite peripheral position, due to its definitely unconventional shape. The KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) is a European defence industry holding company, which is result for merger between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Systems under KANT project.