Military Review

Mexican armored personnel carriers

Mexican armored personnel carriers

Mexican armored personnel carrier DN-IV Caballo, equipped with a single turret armed with a machine gun and an additional machine gun mounted on the rear of the hull roof

Since 80, Mexico has been involved in the development and production of light-weight armored wheels for its armed forces.

Initially it was thought that they were based on foreign platforms, mainly from the United States, but recent information indicates that they were all designed, developed, and manufactured in Mexico.

The confusion was mainly caused by the use of the DN plus the numerical index for numerous members of the light wheeled armored combat vehicles family.

These machines have been developed since 1967 under the leadership of the Mexican department of national industry. In the designation DN stands for Defense Nacional.

The first two light armored vehicles received the designations DN-I and DN-II, but, apparently, they did not progress further than the prototype stage.

These locally developed wheeled vehicles were supplemented by a large number of tracked and wheeled vehicles manufactured by the Belgian company SABIEX. Further their number will be given below.

The newest machine in this family is the DN-XI model, which is described in the corresponding section.


The DN-II variant was followed in 1979 by the DN-III variant, which in appearance is similar to the light armored personnel carrier V-100 4x4 (later renamed LAV-100) from Cadillac Gage (now Textron Marine & Land Systems).

At the start of the 80, a total of 24 machines were manufactured under the designation DN-III or SEDENA 1000. It is believed that they were based on the American truck Dodge 4x4 with rear mounted diesel engine.

A turret with an 7,62-mm external machine gun was installed on the roof of the car, which is very similar to the turret mounted on the MOWAG Roland 4xXNNMX armored personnel carrier. Production of the car was completed many years ago. It is assumed that Mexico is armed with 4 Roland armored personnel carriers.


The DN-III variant was followed by the DN-IV variant, based on a 6,5 tonne chassis with a diesel engine installed at the rear. These armored vehicles received the designation Caballo (horse). It is assumed that in service remains from 25 to 30 of such vehicles.

At least two versions were developed: one with a single turret armed with an 20-mm cannon, and the second with a turret similar to the DN-III BTR turret with an externally mounted 7,62-mm machine gun. An 7,62-mm machine gun can also be mounted in the rear of the hull. In the troop compartment there are loopholes for shooting and the corresponding viewing devices.

At the beginning of the 60-s, these Caballo machines were overhauled and upgraded. Some of them were equipped with single turrets from the French company SAMM (currently TRW Aeronautical Systems), armed with 7,62-mm and 12,7-mm machine guns M2 HB. The Caballo is equipped with an eight-cylinder diesel engine DINA Cummins V8-504.


Following the Mexican tradition in the designation of machines, the DN-V was followed by the DN-V variant, in at least two versions: reconnaissance Toron and fire support Buffalo. Both cars are to some extent similar to the LAV-150 armored personnel carrier (in the past it had the designation Commando). According to estimates, 70 of such vehicles remains in service.

The standard Toro armored personnel carrier is equipped with the FVT900 series single-seat turret manufactured by the British company Thales UK with the Oerlikon 20-mm cannon and the 7,62-mm machine gun paired with it, as well as four-barrel smoke grenade launchers mounted on the sides of the tower. It is assumed that X-NUMX DN-V machines are currently being operated in Mexico.

The Buffalo version, apparently, installed a tower from the old American tracked 75-mm M8 self-propelled howitzer, which fought in World War II. For anti-aircraft tasks installed on the tower 12,7-mm machine gun M2 HB.

It is assumed that there are five such vehicles in service with Mexico. This is the only self-propelled artillery in the Mexican army.

It is believed that there are at least two mortar options. On one, the 81-mm mortar is installed, and the second can tow the French 120-mm TDA mortar.

Mexican armored personnel carrier DN-IV Caballo

DN-V Buffalo

DN-V Toro


The DN-VI 4x4 armored personnel carrier is in some ways similar to the VAB 4x4 and 6x6 series vehicles of Renault Trucks Defense, a French company, which were manufactured in large quantities for local and overseas markets.

This variant is also sometimes referred to as Ocelote and it is clear that it was based on a Dodge truck of American design.

Later cars, however, are based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG 4x4 U1300L or U1600L 4x4 trucks. It should be noted that these chassis are no longer produced.

This car is equipped with a six-cylinder diesel engine Mercedes-Benz, which allows you to develop a maximum speed of 100 km / h and have a maximum cruising range of 1000 km. Armament consists of two installed outside the 7,62-mm machine guns HK21A1.

Several other options have been developed, including intelligence, control, cargo, and sanitary. A fire support vehicle with an 90-mm turret was proposed, but did not enter service.

The DN-VI 4x4 armored personnel carrier is similar to the French VAB series 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles


The latest machine, entered service with the Mexican army, was the reconnaissance armored car DN-VII Lince. It is very similar to the Renault Trucks Defense VBL (4 x 4) light armored vehicle, which was developed before the prototype stage for the French army, but did not enter production. The crew consists of the commander of the gunner and the driver, the machine is armed with one 7,62-mm machine gun HK21A1.

Mexican armored personnel carrier DN-VII


Several experimental machines were manufactured in this variant, after which the development was stopped and, as a result, the DN-X variant did not go into mass production.

Tactical armored car DN-XI

In the middle of 2012, it was announced that Mexico had built an assembly plant to manufacture the new tactical armored car DN-XI. First, an initial pre-production batch of 10 machines was made, after which the first batch of 100 machines was made. It was announced that the plant will manufacture DN-XI tactical machines per year for 100 for 10 years.

The DN-XI option is based on the Ford Super Duty 4x4 chassis, which is fitted with an armored corps that meets the requirements of the Mexican army.

In addition, this plant has already assembled Oshkosh Defense Sandcat 250x4 tactical patrol vehicles 4.

Tactical armored car DN-XI

Mexico purchases combat vehicles

According to the UN arms transfer lists, from 1992 to 2010, Belgium delivered the following number of armored combat vehicles to Mexico:
1993 year: BDX 4x4 (95 pieces); AMX VCI (168)
1994 year: BDX 4x4 (70); AMX VCI (268)
1995 year: AMX VCI (97)
1996 year: AMX VCI (136)

Here are such tracked armored AMX VCI Mexico received as many 669 units

In the Mexican army, AMX-VTT is known as DNC-1, while the BDX 4x4 armored personnel carrier is known as the DNC-2.

Some semi-tracked vehicles of American origin were upgraded using kits supplied by NAPCO from the USA. Also all German half-tracked armored personnel carriers HWK10, supplied by Henschel Wehrtechnik (in 2000 entered into Rheinmetall Landsysteme) were upgraded, for which Mexico became the only buyer. These works were carried out by the Israeli company NIMDA.

Mexican armored personnel carrier DN-III Sedena 1000

Specifications of some Mexican armored personnel carriers

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  1. inkass_98
    inkass_98 April 22 2016 07: 29
    Chasing local bandits and smugglers of all sorts is not required from this technique, and no other threats are expected in those parts of the world. Although everything looks rather miserable, KVM. One plus - according to American traditions, automatic transmissions, but decent engines.
    1. Maksus
      Maksus April 22 2016 11: 59
      A good article, such on VO is now rare. I discovered a new chapter in the history of armored vehicles. Thanks to the author!
      1. Come on
        Come on April 22 2016 20: 37
        The author Alex Alexeev always pleases with his articles, love of details and technology, a pragmatic approach, without any ideological connotation. And his comments are often more informative than someone else's article! :) hi
  2. Uncle Murzik
    Uncle Murzik April 22 2016 08: 32
    AMX VCI caterpillar armored personnel carrier similar to our light tank T-40 during the war, only without a tower! The equipment is clearly for police operations!
    1. the47th
      the47th April 22 2016 11: 08
      It is written: AMX. Case from AMX-13. Typical light post-war machine.
      1. kotvov
        kotvov April 22 2016 20: 35
        It is written: AMX. Case from AMX-13. Typical light post-war machine. ,,
        they also write on fences, but on the T-40 it is still similar.
    2. Aaleks1974
      Aaleks1974 April 22 2016 11: 10
      In my opinion, it is made on the basis of AMX13-75.
      1. Come on
        Come on April 22 2016 20: 39
        Quote: Aaleks1974
        In my opinion, it is made on the basis of AMX13-75.

        In my opinion, the base is 13-75 heavier and larger. AMX 13 is still a tank.
    3. The comment was deleted.
  3. aszzz888
    aszzz888 April 22 2016 08: 36
    Well what can I say - not how, it is not how. However, everything is better than ukrokaklovsky "waffles"! laughing
  4. Aaleks1974
    Aaleks1974 April 22 2016 09: 00
    I wonder what kind of pyramid is there on the tracks, in the background, the penultimate photo? Nearby, as I understand the ATS-59?
    1. Alex_59
      Alex_59 April 22 2016 12: 36
      Quote: Aaleks1974
      Nearby, as I understand the PBX-59?

      And how interesting it brought to Mexico?
    2. Maksus
      Maksus April 22 2016 21: 20
      These photos are from Latrun, Israel. In the background, the Centurion-BARV is a beech armored recovery vehicle. A machine for pulling stuck equipment and laying special coatings.
  5. Arktidianets
    Arktidianets April 22 2016 09: 45
    It’ll do for police operations, but weak for the army
  6. Type 63
    Type 63 April 22 2016 15: 17
    Thanks for the article, the information is unique. And the BTC AMX VCI is somewhat familiar to me: I made his model 1/35 of Heller.
  7. proud
    proud April 22 2016 19: 48
    I did not know that Mexico produces its armored vehicles, thanks to the author for the article, it is written easily and very clearly, in a word, ARTICLE A GREAT PLUS!
  8. Yak28
    Yak28 April 22 2016 21: 17
    Oh, to place Russia in Mexico with its military infrastructure. repeat
  9. Number 17
    Number 17 April 22 2016 23: 23
    Give an armored personnel carrier 60 !!!!!
  10. vihuhol
    vihuhol April 23 2016 01: 01
    In the penultimate picture, the Bulldog lit up))))
  11. Lens
    Lens April 23 2016 08: 39
    Fast, cheap and cheerful! What you need for a poor country.)))))
  12. marat2016
    marat2016 5 May 2016 20: 51
    BTR-60 Marines of Mexico (sold as non-military equipment).