The Schützenpanzer Lang HS.30 (aka “Schützenpanzer 12-3“ aka “HS-30“) was a West German infantry fighting vehicle developed during the 1950‘s. Some publications refer to this vehicle as the first IFV, however it is worth noting that unlike other IFV’s it had half the troop carrying capacity and lacked an anti-tank capability unlike the BMP-1.
To the Germans credit, their doctrine saw the HS.30 as an assault vehicle, rather than just simply an APC hence its 20mm cannon main gun. It was also well armoured compared to other APC’s, with thick steep sloping armour.
Designed by Swiss firm Hispano-Suiza, development started in the early 1950’s and the first vehicles entered service in around 1958. Initially 10,000 were ordered but due to a number of faults, production ended in 1962 with only 1800 to 2000 built.
The vehicle was seen to be unreliable due to problems with the motor, cooling system, transmission, and suspension.
This could be interpreted as a “blessing in disguise” as West Germany went on during the 1960s to design and build the Marder 1 as its successor, which entered service in 1970.
The Marder 1 saw the HS.30 relegated to reserve units until its final withdrawal. Like most former fighting vehicles, some ended up being hard targets on ranges.
Armaments: x1 20mm cannon & x1 7.62mm MG
Armour: 30mm sloped (proof against artillery shell splinters & 7.62mm MG)
Crew: 3 plus 5 Troops
Dimensions: Length 5.56m / Width 2.54m / Height 1.85m
Weight: 14.6 tonne
Engine: Rolls Royce B81 Mk 80F, 8 Cylinder 220hp Petrol
Top Road Speed: 58 km/h
Operational Range: 270 km