Outstanding levels of tactical, operational and strategic mobility, compelling combat effectiveness and maximum survivability are key requirements imposed on modern military vehicles today – whether they are designed primarily for combat, command and control, mission-specific roles or transport.
In contemporary conflicts, where the threat is often asymmetric yet deadly, protecting troops deployed in harm’s way from hostile fire, IED attacks, CBRN agents and even extreme climates conditions has become a top priority for commanders worldwide: around the clock and in every branch of every service.
This is reflected in the current procurement plans of the armed forces of many nations, including the Bundeswehr’s GFF/GTF project to develop protected C4I and mission-specific vehicles as well as protected transport capacity.
Under this programme, Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) of Germany have joined forces to develop a highly protected family of armoured multipurpose vehicles (AMPV) in the weight class up to 9 ton. Their design and layout take full account of operational experience accumulated by the German armed forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Engineered exclusively to meet the needs of the modern military, the AMPV family consists of two separate branches.
The AMPV,a prototype version of which is currently undergoing qualification by the German armed forces, is slightly over five metres long, two metres wide and two metres high. Empty, it weighs 7.3 tons and can carry a two-ton payload. The highly protected vehicle cell consists of a self-supporting steel hull with composite armour. Spall liners, reinforced flooring and cellular design offer excellent protection against mines and IEDs; while add-on armour modules supply extra ballistic protection.
High mobility likewise contributes to a vehicle’s overall battlefield survivability, and the AMPV design reflects this. The vehicle’s robust chassis, featuring independent wheel suspension, is engineered to withstand maximum punishment. An automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, automatic differential locking management and combat wheels with a central tyre inflation system combine to assure superb mobility even in the toughest terrain.
A patrol version of AMPV (with an unprotected load space) will be available, as well as mission module carriers with a safety cell extending all the way back to the rear of the vehicle. For enhanced lethality, a remote control weapon station up to calibre .50 can be mounted on any AMPV vehicle.
Extremely compact, all members of the AMPV family largely consist of identical components, especially the logistically relevant parts of the vehicle. Moreover, their essentially uniform, highly ergonomic design makes all AMPV vehicles easy to operate as well as facilitating logistics and training.