The German Spähpanzer Luchs Development & Production
In the mid 1960’s the former West Germany issued a requirement for a wheeled reconnaissance vehicle. Two prototypes were developed, one each from two manufacturers, with Daimler-Benz’s prototype being selected and entered production with Rheinstahl Wehrtechnik who delivered the first of 408 vehicles to the German Army in 1975 under the designation Spähpanzer Luchs (German for Lynx). RW (who are now known as Rheinmetall Landsysteme) completed deliveries in 1978.
The German Spähpanzer Luchs Description
The main gun is the same 20mm as used in the Marder IFV with an elevation of -15 to +69 degree‘s. A 7.62mm is mounted on a ring mount above the commanders hatch on the left. The vehicle can store 375 x 20mm and 100 x 7.62mm rounds.
The vehicle used a Daimler-Benz OM 403A 10-cylinder 90 degree V-4 multi-fuel (diesel) 390hp engine. This provided for a top road speed of 90 km/h and range of 730km. The vehicle was fully amphibious and propelled to a top speed of 10km/h by two rear propellers. The steering is power assisted to all 8×8.
The vehicle is an all steel construction, which should provide protection up to 12.7mm and the vehicle is equipped with an NBC protection system for the 4 man crew.
In 1986 the original passive night vision was replaced with a thermal imaging system. These vehicles were designated the Luchs A1.
The Luchs A2 upgrade was the introduction of the new SEM 80/90 radio system. The vehicle was replaced by the 4×4 Fennek from 2001 onwards.