The German Wiesel 1 Light Armoured air portable weapons vehicle was a successful design for Porsche in the 1980’s, which was manufactured by MaK (now by Rheinmetall Landsysteme) and purchased by the German Army as a Lighted Armoured air portable weapons vehicle.
345 vehicles were delivered by 1989 in two variants:
The German Wiesel 1 TOW A1 –
210 vehicles were delivered mounting a single TOW launcher on the roof, which the gunner has to stand and use (its not operated under armour). 7 spare wire guided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles are stored in the vehicle. Launcher traverses 45 degree’s either left or right. Crew is Driver, Commander and Gunner.
The German Wiesel 1 MK 20 A1 –
Vehicle is crewed by only two and the principal weapon is the Rheinmetall 20mm Mk20 Rh 202 cannon in a small KUKA turret, which can traverse 110 degree’s either left or right. 160 rounds are stored as ready-to-use.
The German Wiesel 1 Upgrades:
Some of the TOW A1’s have been converted in to in Reconnaissance vehicles, whilst some of the MK20’s have been upgraded with new day/night sights.
The German Wiesel 1 Commonalties:
The vehicle is a steel construction and its unknown what level of protection this offers and lacks an NBC system. The engine is a Volkswagen 5-cylinder turbocharged diesel, which generates a whopping 86hp!
The vehicle is in service with the German Army only and has been further developed into the Wiesel 2, which has a number of other variants. The Wiesel 2 has a total of 6 wheels, where as the Wiesel 1 has 5.