Armor: November 6, 2001


: The German Army is testing three new variants of the Wiesel-2 airborne tracked armored vehicle: an ambulance, battalion command post, and engineer recon vehicle. Twenty ambulances are already on order; the Germans plan to buy 41 command post vehicles and five of the engineer variants. The Germans have already ordered 50 Wiesel-2s fitted with air-defense weapons, 10 with radars, and seven air defense command post vehicles. Rheinmetall is trying to sell the German Army 63 of its new Wiesel-2 fitted with a 120mm mortar and 13 ammunition resupply vehicles. The Army wants them but hasn't gotten the money from the parliament. The engineer vehicle has a command & control system, nuclear-biological-chemical defense system, 7.62mm machinegun (mounted on the roof), and a full range of specialized tools. Wiesel-2 can fit inside a CH-47 or CH-53, and three of them will fit into a C-130. The German Army has 343 Wiesel-1s (the Wiesel-2 is a larger, more capable, variant) of which 200 are TOW missile carriers, 133 have 20mm cannons, and 10 are being converted into recon vehicles.--Stephen V Cole


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