TM 170

Manufacturer: Henschel Wehrtechnik GmbH  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Wheeled armoured personnel carrier  

The now Rheinmetall Landsystems (originally Thyssen Henschel) TM 170 is based on the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG (4 × 4) cross-country vehicle.

The TM 170 was announced for the first time in 1978 and entered production in 1979. It was originally designed primarily for use as an armoured personnel carrier or an internal security vehicle, but could be adapted for a wide range of other roles such as an ambulance, anti-tank vehicle, command post or reconnaissance vehicle.

The TM 170 was selected by the German Border Guard and state police to replace the old MOWAG MR 8 series of APCs, designated the SW1 and SW2. The TM 170 has been designated the SW4, the SW3 being the armoured version of the Mercedes-Benz 4 × 4 light vehicle. The first order for 87 vehicles was placed in July 1982 with deliveries running from 1983 onwards. By mid-2003, 380 had been built for home and export markets. The only known recent sale of the TM 170s is to Kuwait, which took delivery of 15 vehicles in 1993.

The German Border Guard had a total of 121 TM 170, but it is understood that these were handed over to the German Army some years ago.

According to the United Nations, Kuwait took delivery of 15 TM 170 in 1993 and Macedonia took delivery of 115 in 1999 and 105 in 2000. These are referred to as the Hermelin.

Production of the TM 170 APC is complete and it is no longer marketed. The more recent Condor is now being marketed as the replacement for the TM 170. Description

The hull of the TM 170 is of all-welded steel providing protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. The engine is at the front of the hull, with the commander and driver immediately behind the engine and the troop compartment at the rear. The body is attached to the chassis at five points by gimbal mounts and can be removed quickly and lifted for repair or maintenance and overhaul such as changing the engine. The engine is coupled to a manual gearbox and the driver can select either 4 × 4 drive for cross-country use or 4 × 2 drive for roads, with the differential lock. All vehicles have run-flat tyres as standard. The exhaust outlet is on the left side of the hull.

The driver sits on the left with the commander to his right. There is a large windscreen which can be covered in action by two individually operated armoured shutters hinged at the bottom which fold forwards onto the front when not in use. The commander and driver each have three roof-mounted day periscopes for observation to the front and sides of the vehicle when the armoured windscreen shutters are raised. On each side is a window which is covered in action by a shutter hinged at the bottom, while over each of their positions is a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear of the vehicle.

Apart from the driver and commander a maximum of 10 fully equipped troops can be carried seated on individual seats down each side of the hull. There is a door in each side of the hull that opens parallel to the vehicle's body, immediately behind the commander and driver, with a single firing port in each. There is also an entrance hatch at the rear of the hull folding downwards on the outside. In the centre of the hatch is a vision block with a spherical firing port underneath and a small firing port either side. In each side of the hull, to the rear of the side entrance door, is one firing port and one vision block with a spherical firing port underneath. The spherical firing ports enable the crew to use its small arms from within the vehicle in complete safety. A rifle or SMG fitted in one of the spherical firing ports has a traverse of 16 left and right, an elevation of +23 and a depression of -8.

In the centre of the roof is a large circular single-piece hatch where a variety of armament installations can be mounted.

All vehicle types have a fording depth of 1.3 m. As well as the standard version of the TM 170 a fully amphibious version was developed and marketed. This is fitted with a trim vane which moves upwards at the front of the bonnet where it is stowed when travelling on land. When afloat, the TM 170 has a maximum speed of 10 km/h, being propelled and steered by two hydraulically operated propellers which can be turned through a full 360.

The vehicle can be fitted with the following optional equipment: auxiliary heater, fire warning and extinguishing system, hydraulically operated 5,000 kg capacity winch with 40 m of 13 mm diameter cable, public address system, police flashing lights, radio, NBC filtering system and run-flat tyres. A single roof-mounted tear gas/smoke discharger with aiming device can be traversed through a full 360. This can be reloaded from within the vehicle and triggered by remote control. As an alternative, banks of four 76 mm smoke dischargers, each with a fixed direction, can be mounted on the roof. Another option is a hydraulically operated obstacle-removal blade at the front of the hull. When not in use this can be carried at the rear of the vehicle.

The following armament installations are available for the TM 170: pintle- or ring-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun, turret armed with twin 7.62 mm machine guns, Rheinmetall Landsysteme (previously KUKA) turret armed with 20 mm cannon which can be aimed and fired from within the vehicle, turret armed with four Euromissile HOT or MILAN ATGWs in the ready to launch position. A surveillance cupola is also available. Variants

A low-priced version of the TM 170 is known as the Armoured Special Vehicle TM 170 Hardliner which has a number of features comparable to those of the original TM 170 BGS version.

The two front and two side windows for the driver and commander are fitted with bulletproof glass. When in a combat area, the front windows are covered by armoured shutters hinged at the top which are manually lowered. The windows either side of the commander and driver are in the upper parts of low doors which open forwards, and can be covered by swivel-type armoured plates. When the windows are covered by bulletproof shutters, a set of three day periscopes each for the commander and driver provide forward observation. Above their seats are two rear-opening circular roof hatch covers.

Either side of the vehicle are four firing ports and the crew enters via a large ramp in the hull rear which is provided with one firing port.

A turret armed with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine guns or a 20 mm or 25 mm cannon can be mounted on the roof of the troop compartment. To the rear of this is a single-piece circular hatch cover that opens towards the front. The TM 170 Hardliner has a fording depth of 1.3 m.

The TM 170 Hardliner Patrol is a pick-up-type vehicle but with a fully enclosed cab for the commander and driver and an open troop compartment at the rear with bench seats down either side.

For riot control the TM 170 can be fitted with a 1,000 litre water tank plus a CN/CS gas tank. The single CN/water cannon (monitor) ejects intermittent water/gas mixture shots up to 50 m through 360.

TM 170 A8 airport surveillance

This version of the TM 170 has been developed for the surveillance of high-value strategic areas such as airports, public and government buildings.

Special equipment fitted includes video-recording units for day and night observation, radio sets and an information decoder. The day/night camera is mounted on a telescopic arm, which can be elevated to a height of 6 m above the ground.

TM 170 M3

This was the final production model of the TM 170 which was announced in 1993 and has a number of improvements including the installation of a Mercedes-Benz OM 366 LA EURO 1 turbocharged 6-cylinder in-line diesel with direct injection developing 214 hp which gives the vehicle a maximum road speed of 100 km/h. The fuel tank holds 170 litres of fuel which gives an operational range of about 680 km. Overall specifications are very similar to the earlier TM 170 vehicle.

Optional equipment includes:

  • Wheels with run-flat tyres

  • Air conditioning system

  • Additional engine independent heater for the crew compartment

  • Automatic fire warning and extinguishing system

  • Public address system with siren and blue flashing light

  • NBC ventilation system

  • Hydraulic system for winch and front-mounted dozer blade

  • Winch

  • Dozer blade

  • Protection grids

  • Searchlight

  • Spherical gun mount with vision block

  • Tear gas/smoke grenade launchers

  • Special device for lifting the superstructure clear of the hull for maintenance purposes

Barracuda APC

Daewoo Heavy Industries & Machinery Ltd of the Republic of Korea make a very similar vehicle called the Barracuda. Full details of this are given in a separate entry. This has been produced for home and export markets.

Property Value
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Has folowing part:
Total Amount
MK 20 RH 202 (Gun)
RLS 605 (Turret)

TM 170 quantities:
Country Qnt

Last Contracts:
Qnt Customer Value Add Date
(Close Date)
Unit cost
Mar 1999
(Oct 2000)
Average Unit Cost:

All contracts...

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TM 170
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TM 170