Military Review

Panzerspähwagen "Zobel" (Lightly armored reconnaissance vehicle Sable)


History create

By the middle of the 1980-ies, the Bundeswehr declared the need for a new armored reconnaissance vehicle. This vehicle was to be the successor of the Scout Lynx reconnaissance vehicle and replace it as a reconnaissance vehicle in armored and mechanized infantry battalions. The following basic requirements were put forward to the future car:
-Wheel versatile vehicle with a low silhouette and a crew of three
- Autonomy up to seven days;
-Large power reserve;
-The ability to conduct surveillance at night and in conditions of limited visibility (out of the car and dismounting);
- Weapons for self-defense against non-armored targets;
- anti-tank weapons;
-Ballistic defense capable of withstanding a shot from a 7.62 caliber sniper rifle from a distance of 30 m;
-Defence from weapons mass destruction by creating excess pressure;
-Presentor smoke screens;
-The ability to transfer the received intelligence information.

Panzerspähwagen "Zobel" (Lightly armored reconnaissance vehicle Sable)

Initial plans implied the acquisition of 1714 machines (well, I like German punctuality in everything, not 1700, but 1714). In order to save budgetary funds and reduce design time, it was decided to consider existing cars on the market as a base for a new combat reconnaissance vehicle. For example, in the 1986 year, the French company Panhard presented the Vééule Blindé Légère (VBL) at the technical center of the Bundesfera in Trier. However, VBL did not meet all the requirements for a new car. In parallel with the market research, a specification was issued for a car designed to replace the Scout. The terms of reference were developed jointly by a consortium comprising Gesellschaft für Systemtechnik (GST), Daimler Benz (DB), Thyssen-Henschel (THK) and MaK.

As a result of a preliminary analysis of the technical specifications, the consortium concluded:
-In the market there are various vehicles suitable for reconnaissance vehicles, but they all need significant adaptation to meet the stated requirements.
-The concept of a reconnaissance vehicle provided by GST Zobel best meets the requirements.

The requirements of the military were clarified and were additionally installed on the machine:
-Built-in navigation system;
- Large-caliber machine gun;
-Thermal imager;
- Sensors to detect min.

According to the new Army 2000 program, the number of reconnaissance vehicles needed was reduced to 800, since it was intended to equip only armored forces with new cars, and the reconnaissance vehicle itself had to be integrated into the Army Intelligence system. The technical task was approved on October 10 of the 1988 year. The next stage of the military-technical and economic requirements (Military Technical Economical Requirement) was planned for 1989 year, and the first deliveries - for 1994 year.

The prototype of the machine was built by the German company GST (Gesellschaft fur Systemtechnik mbH) in the 1989 year. By the middle of the 1989, the Sable was compared to the Panhard VBL on the market. Sable came out a clear winner. The company Mak, which collaborated with Panhard at that time, provided an improved version of VBL. Despite this, Sable won with the same result. Comparative evaluations were completed by the end of January 1990. An armored reconnaissance vehicle. The sable of the GST company surpassed VBL in almost all parameters.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and other 1989-1990 political upheavals led to a fundamental revision of the armored reconnaissance vehicle program. In the 1991 year, in order to reduce costs, but at the same time maintaining German-French cooperation, it was decided to purchase the original batch of 336 vehicles during the planning period for the 2001 year, with the possibility of purchasing the second batch of 380 vehicles in 2001. and also to hold a tender on the choice of an enterprise for mass production of a car.

As a result of some revision of the concept of Zobel application, military-technical and economic requirements (MTWF 7 / 92) were put forward with regard to possible new vehicle tasks:

- Buoyancy, high throughput, air transportability, autonomy up to seven days;
-Ability to conduct surveillance at night and in conditions of limited visibility;
-The ability to fire from light weapons under the cover of armor protection, as well as equipping 40-mm grenade launcher and RPG Panzerfaust 3;
-Means of communication allowing the exchange of data between reconnaissance vehicles and the command post, including the ability to transfer and receive data using transmissions for an extremely short period of time;
-Ballistic protection capable of withstanding a 7.62 caliber sniper rifle shot from a distance of 30 m.

It was assumed that the first 4 test specimens will be obtained in the 1993 and 1994 years. About 18 million German Marks have been allocated for this purpose. In October 1992, the final decision was made to continue the project based on Zobel. Companies wishing to mass-produce a car were: DAF SP / Wegmann, Industriewerke Saar, Kraus-Maffei / Mercedes, MaK / Panhard and Thyssen-Henschel.

At this stage, the Netherlands became interested in the car and offered to take part in its development and production. As a result of bilateral discussions, it turned out that there are disagreements on the following basic requirements: buoyancy, protection against weapons of mass destruction by creating excessive pressure and the level of ballistic protection. According to the Dutch side, there was no need for the first two requirements for their vehicle, and they are interested in lower ballistic protection. In the middle of 1993, a compromise was reached, the Netherlands insisted on its requirements for ballistic protection and protection against weapons of mass destruction, Germany, in turn, insisted on maintaining buoyancy. Due to the changing requirements, the need for a new tender arose. It should have been conducted on the basis of the German proposal from 1993, but with the difference that only the first two applicants will submit their applications. By the end of March, DAF / Wegmann and Krauss-Maffei / Mercedes submitted their offers to 1994 of the year. The winner was the company Wegmann. It is important to note that Kraus-Maffei / Mercedes proposed two vehicle concepts. They were called K2 and K1. K1 is based on the developments of 1993, while K2 turned out to be a completely new development based on Unimog. Thus, we can assume that K2 has become the prototype for the car Dingo.

Nevertheless, despite the outstanding characteristics, the Sobol remained in a single copy as an experimental vehicle.

Technical features
Zobel has an all-welded armored steel case providing protection from small arms fire and shell fragments. The location of the crew members is traditional, the driver is to the left in front, the commander and his observer are to his right. The windows of the commander and driver are bulletproof. Each of them has openable doors with bullet-proof small windows in its upper part. In the aft part of the hull there is a large door opening to the left, also equipped with a bulletproof window and a loophole for firing from a light weapon. In addition, there are two hatches in the roof of the car, one for the commander of the car, the other for the observer.

Zobel is made according to the scheme 4 × 4 with steering gear on all four wheels. Thanks to the hydropneumatic suspension, independent adjustment of each wheel and changing ground clearance is possible.

The car is floating and driven by water with two screws installed in the front of the hull, one on each side. Control of the water occurs due to the rotation of these screws. The uniqueness of this car is that it moves astern across the water!

Standard vehicle equipment includes a full range of communications equipment, protection against OMP, a front-mounted winch for self-pulling and a central tire pressure regulation system allowing the driver to adjust the tire pressure on the go. As the reconnaissance equipment was supposed to equip the machine retractable mast with a television camera, thermal imager, radar and laser rangefinder.

Performance characteristics:
Model: Zobel (Sable)
Type: Experienced light armored reconnaissance vehicle
Developer: Gesellschaft für Systemtechnik mbH, Essen (GST)
Manufacturer: Industriewerke Saar (IWS)
Year Built: 1989
Maximum length, mm: 4690
Maximum width, mm: 2300
Maximum height, mm: 1830
Curb weight, kg: 5310
Engine: four-stroke 6-cylinder turbo diesel Daimler-Benz OM 603A
Engine displacement, cc: 2996
Diameter per piston stroke, mm: 87na84
Speed, rpm: 4600
Maximum torque, Nm @ 2400 rpm: 265
Maximum power, hp: 143 (105 kW)
Transmission: ZF 4 HP 22, hydrodynamic planetary with permanent all-wheel drive, 4 front and one rear gear
Coupling: the hydrotransformer with the blocking coupling
Suspension: hydropneumatic, independent
Maximum speed on the highway, km / h: 125
Maximum speed over rough terrain, km / h: 45 km
Steering: power steering to the front wheels
Turning radius, m: 12 (9.5 with all four wheels)
Brakes: disc, pneumatic
Ground clearance min / max, mm: 250 / 600
Tires: Michelin 12.5 R 20 XL or Conti 305 / 55 R 675
Fuel tank capacity, l: 125
Fuel consumption on the highway, l / 100 km: 15.6
Cruising on the highway, km: 800
Gradient to overcome,%: 100
The height of the obstacle, mm: 400
Speed ​​on the water, km / h: 10
Crew: 3
Ballistic protection: the ability to withstand a shot from a 7.62 caliber sniper rifle from a distance of 30 m
Main armament: large-caliber machine gun, 40-mm automatic grenade launcher, RPG
Additional armament: at the request of the customer
Number produced: 1
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  1. Akim
    Akim 18 July 2013 10: 13
    I liked the photo where the car lifted the rear wheel when the dog was about to write. laughing
    Prof, what is autonomy up to seven days; at the car. This is not a ship.
    1. Professor
      18 July 2013 10: 17
      Quote: Akim
      Prof. what autonomy is up to seven days; at the car. This is not a ship.

      To have a place for beer for 7 days. drinks Do you see special fasteners for canisters in the stern? wink

      But seriously:
      This is a scout and must be able to act in isolation from the main forces, supply bases and MTS.
      1. Geisenberg
        Geisenberg 18 July 2013 12: 55
        Quote: Professor
        This is a scout and must be able to act in isolation from the main forces, supply bases and MTS.

        My kopeidos falls under such a definition - I can load up heifers, dry rations, water and gasoline for a week and that's enough for everyone.
        1. Professor
          18 July 2013 13: 44
          Quote: Geisenberg
          Under this definition, my kopeidos falls

          So he is also a scout ... laughing
  2. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 18 July 2013 12: 13
    Very interesting and entertaining "little animal". The hydropneumatics on the suspension were of course impressive, but I personally found the placement of the propellers under the front wheel arches especially interesting. A very unusual decision, but in this case it is certainly justified ...
  3. 0255
    0255 18 July 2013 17: 44
    Something reminiscent of German armored personnel carriers of the 2nd World War
  4. Simple
    Simple 18 July 2013 17: 50
    On the basis of "Zobel" later, together with the Netherlands, they developed "Fennec".
    The only example of the "Zobel" is at the WTS (Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung) in Koblenz.
    1. Professor
      18 July 2013 20: 23
      Quote: Simple
      The only example of the "Zobel" is at the WTS (Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung) in Koblenz.

      So it is, here it is:
  5. azov
    azov 18 July 2013 20: 11
    yes interesting BRDMk, more interesting HMMWV will be. but dear hefty for the army $ 9 million. for 4 cars.
  6. bublic82009
    bublic82009 18 July 2013 22: 40
    not a bad German car. capable of much
  7. Seraph
    Seraph 19 July 2013 00: 39
    I have almost all German armored vehicles associated with coffins. This, of course, is subjective, but, probably, their "gloomy genius" is still fixated on the topic of death: Valgal, Valkyries and all that ...
  8. Alexanderlaskov
    Alexanderlaskov 19 July 2013 18: 44
    Beautiful car. The Germans are able to do. A painted cross on the door evokes thoughts of the Second World War.