The German M48A2 Keiler Engineering Vehicle

The German M48A2 Keiler Engineering Vehicle serves to clear paths through mine fields by operating a forward mounted flail.

A flail is a rapidly rotating cylinder mounted between two arms in front of an AFV. Attached to the cylinder a number chains which have large metal ball on the end of each chain.

As the cylinder spins, it swings the chains around bring the balls, under some force into contact with the ground, thus simulating the force exerted by an AFV as it goes over a mine. The simulated force is enough to fool the mine and it detonates, preventing the lose of either an AFV or person.

The Keiler development started way back in 1973 when the Federal German Defence Ministry and the Procurement Office issued a request for proposals for a rapid land mine clearance system. The former  Krupp MaK, which now forms part of Rheinmetall developed two prototypes in 1985.

A contract award for the manufacture of 24 units was awarded during the second half of 1993. The first production example was handed over in March 1997 while delivery of the last unit took place in early 1998. The Keiler is based on a modified US M48A2 tank hull.

The vehicle has a crew of two (commander and driver) and uses an improved MTU MB 871 KA-501 diesel engine and a Renk HSWL 284 M transmission. The vehicle has been deployed in Bosnia and Croatia.

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