TechGermany boosts Ukraine's defense with high-tech Wisent 1 vehicles

Germany boosts Ukraine's defense with high-tech Wisent 1 vehicles

Wisent 1 MC during work
Wisent 1 MC during work
Images source: © pearson-eng

5:16 PM EDT, April 12, 2024

Germany's latest aid package for Ukraine includes firearms from Haenel, drones, ammunition, and, notably, the Wisent 1 vehicles. Given their unique capabilities and functions, these are essential for Ukraine.

Ukraine's needs span a wide range, from sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to artillery ammunition and demining equipment critical for counteroffensive strategies.

The eastern part of Ukraine is extensively mined. Russian forces have been able to lay mines across even the logistical paths used by Ukrainians, several miles behind the front lines, by employing throw mining systems or using special rockets for multiple rocket launchers like the BM-30 Smerch, BM-27 Uragan, and BM-21 Grad. The Wisent 1 MC vehicles, provided by Germany and based on the Leopard 1 tank chassis, are ideally suited for such demining tasks.

Wisent 1 MC — Mine-clearing vehicle resembling a massive spider, built on the Leopard 1 chassis

Developed by Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG), with contributions from Genesis and British Pearson Engineering, the Wisent 1 MC replaces the turret of the Leopard 1 tank with an armored superstructure that accommodates a four-person crew.

Weighing approximately 49 tons, the Wisent 1 boasts a crane capable of lifting about 33 tons and an advanced anti-mine flail that mirrors a spider's limbs. This equipment, crafted by Pearson Engineering, can safely neutralize various mines, from simple pressure-sensitive ones like the TM-62 to more sophisticated types that respond to electrical disturbances or magnetic fields.

Beyond mine clearance, Wisent 1 can map safe routes and transmit this information in real time to command centers. In terms of protection, it adheres to the STANAG 4569 standard, achieving level five for mine resistance and level three for ballistic protection, effectively shielding against 7.62x51 mm NATO / .308 Winchester caliber fire, even with tungsten-tipped armor-piercing bullets. For self-defense, it's equipped with an MG3 universal machine gun.

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