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  • You've Never Seen Anything Like It (2010)
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 1:30 PM on Jun 16, 2010

    From the front, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's Fennek 2 looks like many 4 x 4 armored vehicles, with big protected radiator grills for the engine. From the back it also looks normal, with big protected radiator grills...

    Wait, what?



    blog post photo


    KMW has brought a full-up prototype of the unique twin-engine Fennek 2 to Eurosatory, having exhibited a technology demonstrator in the US and elsewhere in 2008, and the vehicle is on offer to a customer that the company does not identify. The prototype on show here is a fighting vehicle with a five-person crew and KMW's FLW 200 overhead weapon system.

    There are a number of advantages to the Fennek 2 approach, KMW argues, that offset the cost of a second engine. One of the most important is scalability and modular design. The Fennek 2 drivetrain components can support a weight range from 9 to 25 tonnes, including a 6 x 6, three-engined version. It's also possible to configure the vehicle with armored cabs or "mission modules" of different lengths, without changing the drivetrain.

    The design also eliminates a basic mine-protection challenge - the location of the driveshaft. In a conventional all-wheel-drive design the driveshaft is either inside the protected cell, consuming space, or outside it, presenting a shrapnel hazard.

    In a theater like Afghanistan, where forces are spread thinly over a wide area, recovering an immobilized vehicle is difficult and slow, and the vehicle is vulnerable. With two engines, the Fennek 2 can keep moving after hits that would disable a conventional vehicle.

    KMW also argues that the use of common powerpacks over a wide range of vehicles simplifies logistics and training and offsets some of the costs
    associated with two engines.

    Tags: ar99, euro10, KMW

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