Saurer (tank)

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Saurer infantry fighting vehicle in the medical version
Saurer armored personnel carrier in combat version
Saurer infantry fighting vehicle in the Army History Museum in Vienna

The Saurer ( SPz A1 in the Austrian Armed Forces) is an armored personnel carrier that was developed by the Austrian Saurerwerke and produced by this company after it was taken over by Steyr Daimler Puch .


In 1955, when the occupation forces left Austria, Austria only used the American armored personnel carrier M3 . That is why the Austrian Armed Forces commissioned the then Saurer company to design their own armored personnel carrier.

The first prototypes were completed in 1958. After the Saurer company was taken over by Steyr-Daimler-Puch in the following year, several versions of the Saurer infantry fighting vehicle were built until 1968, with the main changes being made to the armor, the engine and the armament. From 1974 onwards, all MG 42s were replaced by the MG 74 (Austrian-Italian further development of the MG 42).

In 1988 the Spz A1 was upgraded with a more powerful engine, automatic transmission, a new brake system and a hydrostatic superimposition gear. Despite all the modifications, the Saurer is considered obsolete at the beginning of the 21st century. Since 2002, the armed forces have replaced the Saurer with its successor, the SPz Ulan .

In addition to many formerly bunkered military equipment, the Wurzenpass bunker museum bought several Saurer armored personnel carriers in order to make them accessible to the public in the course of the open-air museum.

Export Leonidas

In Greece , the Steyr-Daimler-Puch subsidiary Steyr Hellas SA (today ELBO ) produced the Saurer tanks for the Greek armed forces , where numerous versions of the tank called Leonidas are still in use today, as well as numerous other Steyr vehicles , especially trucks and tractors.

Models currently in use

  • MK66SPz (Basis: SPz A1) (see description below)
  • üsMGSPz (basis: AFV A1) (12.7 mm üsMG M2, 7.62 mm MG)
  • SPzA1 / LWT (missile carrier for Mistral , 7.62 mm MG)
  • SPzA1San (medical tank)
  • SPzA1GrW (Grenade Launcher Tank) (81-mm-mGRW 70, 7.62-mm-MG74)
  • SPzA1Fü (armored personnel carrier) (7.62 mm MG74)
  • SPzA1A (artillery observer) (7.62 mm MG74)
  • LöPz 77 (Löschpanzer 77) (Rosenbauer water cannon 1600 l / min)
  • SPzA1Pi (carrier vehicle for tank pioneers) (12.7 mm üsMG M2)

However, all types are being phased out

(As of January 1, 2012)

Technical specifications

  • Short name: MK66SPz (basis: SPz A1)
  • Manufacturer: Steyr-Daimler-Puch
  • Engine: water-cooled six-cylinder 4-stroke diesel engine with direct injection and exhaust gas turbocharging
  • Engine power: 184 kW (250 PS)
  • Weight: 14 t
  • Gradeability: 75%
  • Range:
    • Road: 230 km
    • Terrain: 140 km
  • Wading ability: 90 cm
  • Crew:
    • 1 tank commander
    • 1 gunner
    • 1 tank driver
    • up to 7 men as the rest of the crew
  • Armament: 20 mm automatic cannon 66 (Oerlikon)

Museum reception

In the Military History Museum in Vienna several models of the armored personnel Saurer are on display, including the first prototype , and other variations.

The Salzburg Defense History Museum - SWGM , Wals-Siezenheim near Salzburg , shows the armored personnel carrier .

In Bunkermuseum Wurzenpass in Carinthia several armored personnel Saurer are on display, some days you can ride in a tank.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Manfried Rauchsteiner , Manfred Litscher (Ed.): The Army History Museum in Vienna. Graz, Vienna 2000, p. 96.
  2. Wurzenpass Bunker Museum / Carinthia. Retrieved April 8, 2019 .

Web links

Commons : APC Saurer  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files