The Bergepanzer 3 Buffel (BPz3) armored recovery vehicle was developed by Rheinmetall. It is based on the Leopard 2 chassis and is fitted with powerful recovery system. The Bergepanzer 3 Buffel armoured recovery vehicle includes both a bulldozer and a crane with integral winch, allowing it to approach damaged vehicles, even over rough and fought-over terrain, and tow them to safety. In service with Germany (where it is also designated BÃ¼ffel or Bergepanzer 3 for Salvage Tank 3), the Netherlands (who co-developed it and call it Buffel), Austria, Canada, Greece, Indonesia, Singapore, Spain (where it is called Leopard 2ER BÃºfalo), Sweden (in modified form as the Bgbv 120), and Switzerland (BPz3)
A large crane, with a lifting capacity of 30,000 kg. is installed at the right forward of the vehicle, the jib can be traversed 270 degrees. The crane has an electronic momentum limiter, which constantly calculates jib elevation, vehicle tilt, and load mass to prevent overloading. The Bergepanzer 3 carries a spare powerpack at the rear of the hull. It can replace the powerpack of the Leopard 2 within 25-35 minutes, depending on the version of the tank. When not required the crane lays along the right side of the hull.
Combat weight is 54,000 kg and the Bueffel has a towing capacity of 62,000 kg (MLC 70). The main mechanical winch is installed at the front of the hull. It is provided with 180 m of cable and has a traction force of 35,000 kg. The main winch of the Bergepanzer 3 is used for recovery of damaged, stuck, sunken and overturned vehicles. Maximum achievable speed is 68 km/h, and 30 km/h in 2nd reverse gear. The Buffel is powered by MTU MB 837 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 500 hp. With a fuel capacity of 1,629 litres, the Bueffel has a maximum range of 650 km on roads and 325 km on across country.
The Buffel carries a single a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun, primarily used for air defense, and 16 70 mm smoke mortars, with eight fitted in two groups of four at the front and eight in a row at the rear of the vehicle. This armored recovery vehicle has a crew of three, including commander, driver and handler. During peacetime the Buffel is operated by a crew of two. Access to the inside of the vehicle is provided by three large doors. A fire extinguishing and suppression system, an NBC protection system, and deep fording equipment with bilge pumps are provided.