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Armored personnel carrier

Piranha IIIC

The Piranha IIIC follows the lines of the previous MOWAG Piranha vehicles

Country of origin Switzerland
Entered service 2007
Crew 3 men
Personnel up to 11 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 18.5 t
Length 7.57 m
Width 2.71 m
Height 2.66 m
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm
Engine Caterpillar C9 diesel
Engine power 400 hp
Maximum road speed 100 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 10 km/h
Range 750 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.5 m / Amphibious


   The Swiss MOWAG Piranha IIIC first appeared in the mid 2000s. The third generation vehicle follows the lines of the previous Piranha vehicles. The main difference from the previous Piranha IIIH, that appeared in 1996, is engine and suspension. The new vehicle is better protected and has improved mobility, comparing with older Piranha II. First production contracts for the Piranha IIIC were placed in 2006. Deliveries commenced in 2007.

   The Piranha IIIC is in service with Switzerland (60). It has been exported to Belgium (242), Botswana (45), Brazil (30), Denmark (115), Ireland (80), Romania (33), Spain (39) and Sweden (33).

   Vehicle has a modular scaleable armor protection against small arms fire, mine blasts and RPG rockets. It could be tailored, to suit specific customer requirements. Add-on armor can be fitted for a higher level of protection. The Piranha IIIC has a special underfloor design, that provides protection against landmines and improvised explosive devices. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   A baseline APC is usually armed with remotely-controlled 12.7 mm heavy machine gun. However there were numerous turret options. Some vehicles are fitted with 30 mm cannons.

   The baseline armored personnel carrier has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver, and can carry up to 11 soldiers, depending on the version. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via rear doors. There are roof hatches for observation, firing and emergency exit.

   The MOWAG Piranha IIIC is powered by Caterpillar C9 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 400 hp. Engine is located at the front. It is mated to ZF 7-speed automatic gearbox. It seems that other engines and gearbox options were also available. Vehicle has a modern independent wheel suspension. Developers claim that this vehicle has cross-country mobility comparable to that of tracked vehicles.

   Amphibious capability is optional. These have a trim vane and a propelled on water by two waterjets. Maximum speed in water is 10 km/h. There is also a special kit for operation at rough sea. Amphibious vehicles are in service with Brazilian Marine Corps, Romanian Army, Spanish Navy Marines and possibly some other operators. However most of the Piranha IIIC APCs are not amphibious.

   The baseline Piranha IIIC can be airlifted by a C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft.




   Baseline armored personnel carrier.

   Various armored personnel carriers with different turrets.

   Armored ambulance. It can carry 1 stretcher and 5 sitting patients, or 2 stretchers and 1 sitting patient.

   Command post vehicle. A number of different command post vehicles are based on Piranha IIIC. Some of them have a raised roofline over the troop compartment.

   Communications vehicle.

   Recovery and repair vehicles.

   Piranha IIIC DF90 fire support vehicle. Belgium ordered 40 Piranhas with CMI Defence 90 mm turret.

   NBC reconnaissance vehicle. In 2008 Switzerland ordered 12 of these vehicles.




Piranha IIIC

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Piranha IIIC

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Piranha IIIC

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Piranha IIIC

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Piranha IIIC

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Piranha IIIC

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