Beaver (bridge-laying armor)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bridge layer "Biber"
Bridge layer with rapid armored bridge Biber

Bridge layer with rapid armored bridge Biber

General properties
crew 2 (commander, driver)
length 11.82 m (with bridge)
width 4 m
height 3.55 m
Dimensions 45.3 tons
Armor and armament
Armor up to 70 mm
Main armament no
Secondary armament Smoke throwing system
drive MTU MB 838 CA-500, 10 cylinder, multi-fuel diesel engine
830 hp (610 kW)
suspension Torsion bar ( Leopard 1 chassis)
Top speed 62 km / h (road)
Power / weight 18.35 hp / t

The Biber is a bridge-laying tank made in Germany . It belongs to the group of combat support vehicles and is based on the chassis of the Leopard 1 .


With the introduction of the Leopard 1 and the requirement to use the chassis as a base, the MaK company developed a successor to the American M48 A2 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) for the army in the 1960s .

Overall, MaK delivered in the years 1973 to 1975 as general contractor 105 armored vehicle launched bridges to the Armored Engineer companies of the Bundeswehr .


The bridge-laying tank with the eponymous rapid tank bridge Biber is intended to overcome cuts in terrain such as bodies of water and gorges up to 20 meters wide in combat, depending on the nature of the terrain. The rapid armored bridge is 22 meters long, 4 meters wide and can be laid out under armor protection within 2 to 3 minutes. Their weight is about 9.94 tons. The design is approved for the military load class (MLC) 60 or up to about 55 tons. The crew consists of two soldiers, the driver and the commander. The bridge-layer is unarmed, but has a smoke-throw system .

For rail transport, the bridge must be divided into two longitudinal halves. The tank pioneer companies of the German Armed Forces also have a 3-axle flatbed trailer 15 tons from the company Kögel (type 2300269) with a special intermediate frame, on which the tank bridge can be halved (compact - like on the carrier vehicle) and transported disassembled (quartered).

Laying process

Separation point of the bridge halves
Panzerschnellbrücke (PzSchnBr) Biber loaded on transport trailer (TrspAnhg) 15
Construction of a rapid armored bridge during an information training exercise

In contrast to other bridge layers who lay their bridges using the scissor method, the laying process for the beaver is carried out horizontally in the free porch. The advantage of this type of laying is the significantly lower silhouette, which, however, has to be bought at the cost of considerably higher technical effort.

In the transport position, the eleven-meter-long symmetrical bridge halves lie horizontally one above the other on the vehicle's main and tail boom. To lay the two elements are lifted and the lower half of the bridge is moved forward. After connecting, the entire fixed bridge is placed over the obstacle using the main boom. The bridge is picked up in reverse order. During the laying process, the entire load rests on the support shield on the bow, which increases stability.

The team does not have to get out for the laying process, which is why laying under fire is theoretically possible.


In addition to the German Armed Forces , the armed forces of Australia , Chile , Denmark , Italy (64 manufactured by OTO-Melara), Canada , the Netherlands and Poland use the bridge-layer. The total number is 145 vehicles.


With the increase in combat value of the Leopard 2 to the A5 or A6, the bridge-layer has reached its limits. After problems with the tank rapid bridge 2 on the chassis of the Leopard 2, which was originally intended as a successor , the Bundeswehr has been testing the Iguana bridge system on a Leopard 2 chassis since 2009 . The PSB 2 project has since been discontinued.

Web links

Commons : Panzerschnellbrücke Biber  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Land Defense - MTU. Your partner for unrivaled solutions. (PDF; 6.4 MB) (No longer available online.) In: MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH , archived from the original on April 2, 2015 ; accessed on April 2, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Classix: Biber bridge-laying tank is introduced into the Bundeswehr (1974) - Bundeswehr. Bundeswehr, accessed on April 15, 2020 .
  3. Frank Lobitz: Kampfpanzer Leopard 2 Development and Use in the Bundeswehr, p. 140 Panzerschnellbrücke 2, Verlag Jochen Vollert-Tankograd Publishing, Erlangen 2009, ISBN 978-3-936519-08-2