The German 4×4 FENNEK vehicle family

The manufacturer “Krauss-Maffei Wegmann” describe the vehicle as –

The German 4×4 FENNEK vehicle family is the answer to various requirement profiles: FENNEK is characterized by outstanding and almost noiseless mobility in any terrain, modern sensor systems, extensive protection, self-defence capabilities and a high level of autonomy.

The three-man crew – driver, commander and radio operator/observer – can operate autonomously for up to five days. Equipment, operating materials, drinking water and food are carried in the vehicle. Air transportable in the C130, the FENNEK can be moved quickly and easily, even to distant areas of deployment.

Mobility

With a driving range of almost 1000 kilometers and an outstanding on- and off-road mobility, the FENNEK relies on its ultramodern engine technology. The engine is supplemented by a fully automatic conventional transmission and transfer box gearing. The on-demand all-wheel drive with an H-drive train, allows for a low building design. Moreover, due to a low centroid and a large track width, it ensures a high off-road mobility.

With a total weight of up to eleven tons, the FENNEK easily masters inclinations of 60 per cent and banking of up to 35 per cent. Its turn radius is below 13 meters, with a fording ability in waters over one meter. Through an automatic tire pressure adjustment system, the vehicle can be adapted at any time to the terrain situation. Additionally, the FENNEK has been fitted with a cable winch with a traction force of ten tons in order to quickly rescue itself or other vehicles.

Reconnaissance vehicle: Seeing without being seen

The basic variant of the FENNEK family of vehicles is the reconnaissance vehicle. Outstandingly well camouflaged thanks to its low height, the limited IR and radar signature and its low-noise engine, as well as through its state-of-the-art reconnaissance equipment, this variant of the FENNEK optimally satisfies the requirements for reconnaissance missions, even far behind enemy lines. In modern operation scenarios of the 21st century its missions involves not only the observation of enemy troop movements, but especially the monitoring of embattled localities or terrains in order to observe, report and check any suspicious activities immediately after they occur.

The high reconnaissance ability is guaranteed by the vehicle’s reconnaissance and observation system, known as “Beobachtungs- und Aufklärungsausstattung” (BAA).  The sensor head can be controlled in azimuth and elevation and be used remotely on a tripod up to 40m from the vehicle, while controlled from inside the vehicle.  The BAA system allows for detecting and identifying targets at long distances during day and night operations.

Command and Control Vehicle

The command and control vehicle variant, which is known within the Dutch Army as “Allgemeine Dienste” (AD), can be employed universally. Instead of the monitoring and reconnaissance equipment, it features equipment storage space for use in a variety of missions. The engineers of the German and Dutch Armies operated the first vehicles of this configuration beginning in 2005.

Artillery Observer

Being the first vehicle of the FENNEK family, the Artillery Observer has already proven its mission performance. Since 2004 it has been deployed with great success with the Bundeswehr in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. Its distinguishing characteristic is its improved navigation system, which provides an extraordinarily high precision for target locations in terms of elevation and distance and can be used in a dismounted mode. The acquired target information, as well as the target assignment, are transferred by the ADLER II artillery control system to the Fire Support Officer (FSO). Strike monitoring and possibly required corrections are carried out by the FENNEK’s ADLER II weapon and fire control system. Furthermore, the Artillery Observer is equipped with a map-based positioning module.

Medium-Range Anti Tank

In the case of the Dutch MRAT (Medium-Range Anti Tank) configuration, this space is designed to transport three guided missiles. Two additional guided missiles and the launch ramp can be transported in the soldiers’ section for rapid deployment.

Joint Fire Support Team

A Joint Fire Support Team (JFST) configuration is currently being developed for the German Armed Forces. Each Team consists of an Artillery Observer and a Forward Air Controller (FAC) or a Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) as planned for the Netherlands. The JFST includes an exceptionally powerful long-range BAA. The additional connection to the voice and data radio communication of the German Air Force and Navy make the FENNEK a unique asset within the JFST. Moreover, a laser designator, which can be adapted to the observation equipment, can designate targets for the Air Force and guide laser-guided munitions to their targets.

Stinger weapon platform

For the Dutch armed forces, the FENNEK is equipped with a Stinger Weapon Platform (SWP), a launch unit with four Stinger missiles for mid-range air defence. Operation is both autonomous from onboard the vehicle as well as remote-controlled as part of the ground-supported air defence system.

The German 4×4 FENNEK vehicle family Specifications

Length 5.58m
Width 2.55m
Height 1.79m
Combat weight 11 tonne
Armament 40mm grenade launcher / MG 7.62mm or .50cal
Engine power 177 kW
Maximum speed 100 km/h
Crew 3
Protection  Ballistics, Mines, IEDs

The German 4×4 FENNEK vehicle family Operators

German Army – 222 were ordered in December 2001 comprising of, 178 reconnaissance, 24 combat engineer and 20 joint fire support teams. All delivered between December 2003 and 2011.

Royal Netherlands Army – 410 were ordered in December 2001 comprising of, 202 reconnaissance, 130 MRAT and 78 general purpose versions. All delivered between July 2003 and 2011.

The German 4×4 FENNEK vehicle Combat History

Both Germany and the Netherlands had deployed Fennek reconnaissance vehicles to Afghanistan in support of ISAF. On 3 November 2007 a Dutch Fennek was hit by an improvised explosive device killing one and wounding two other occupants.


The Fennek 2

The manufacturer “Krauss-Maffei Wegmann” describe the vehicle as –

“Operations in asymmetric scenarios call for vehicles with excellent mobility and outstanding protection. The FENNEK 2 vehicle family meets this requirement with a revolutionary drive concept. The front and rear axles are powered by two electronically coupled, independent drives. This not only offers additional protection for vital components, but also the makes the space between the engines scalable, so it can be utilised by a variety of safety cell.

From the 4×4 variant with a 3 man crew to the 6×6 variants with different mission-specific cells, the FENNEK 2 vehicle family has a high number of identical components, hence reducing the logistics burden. The large usable volume of the FENNEK 2 variants permits the integration of various equipment. The result is a vehicle family with a multirole capability that can react to a host of different situations”.

The German 4×4 FENNEK vehicle family Specifications

Weight 7.5 – 24 tonne
Length 5.0 – 6.4m
Width 2.5m
Height 2.1m
Engine power 2 x 150 kW
Maximum speed >100 km/h
Crew 3 – 6
Protection Ballistic, mines, IED, RPG

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