GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle
GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle

Germany Unveils Its GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle

The German Army 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. The Wiesel is a German light air-transportable armoured fighting vehicle, more specifically a lightly armoured weapons carrier. It is quite similar to historical scouting tankettes in size, form and function, and is the only true modern tankette in use in Western Europe. The German Army eventually ordered 343 of Wiesel vehicles in 1985, 210 were armed with Raytheon TOW wire-guided anti-tank guided missile system and 133 have the one-man KUKA turret E6-II-A1 armed with the dual-feed Rheinmetall Mk 20 RH-202 20 mm autocannon.

Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG) commissioned by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr; BAAINBw) as general contractor, presented the complete system demonstrator for an airborne weapon carrier (GSD LuWa) after a project duration of 14 months on June , 2021. Together with the project partners ACS, FFG and Valhalla Turrets, the vehicle, weapon system and interior were presented to a ministerial and official specialist audience at ACS in Derching near Augsburg. With the GSD LuWa, the subsystems that are considered to be particularly risky are to be examined and evaluated by mid-2022.

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GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle
GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle

The new light airborne vehicle is equipped with a Valhalla ASGARD unmanned combat module, armed with a 25-mm or 30-mm automatic cannon and 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. . The crew is two people, sitting one after the other. These types of cannon can fire a wide range of ammunition including the Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS-T) round. The turret is also equipped with 5 smoke grenade launcher tubes. The turret is available in several configurations-depending on the customer’s requirements, from semi-manual to fully remote controlled and stabilizing option.

For the possible successor to the Wiesel 1 MK, technical specifications are being developed that could be incorporated into the performance description for future development. A two-track independent suspension is used as the GSD LuWa chassis, each including three road wheels and one return-roller. The 4 track layout is to improve survivability against mine strikes etc, lose a track and can keep going, each track is individually powered by an electic motor. 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. Other characteristics were not disclosed.

GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle
GSD LuWa Light Air-transportable Armoured Fighting Vehicle
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