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Panzerjager 90

Anti-tank missile carrier

Panzerjager 90

The Panzerjager 90 anti-tank missile carrier is still used by the Swiss Army

 
 
Entered service 1989
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 10 t
Length ~ 6.25 m
Width ~ 2.66 m
Height ~ 3.5 m
Missile
Missile length 1.16 mm
Missile diameter 0.15 mm
Missile weight 18.9 kg
Warhead weight 2.63 - 6.14 kg
Warhead type HEAT or tandem HEAT
Range of fire 3 000 - 4 200 m
Guidance system Wire-guided
Armor penetration 430 -  900 mm
Number of missiles carried 10
Mobility
Engine Chrysler HT 413 petrol
Engine power 200 hp
Maximum road speed 100 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.5 m
Trench ~ 1.2 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   In the late 1980s procurement program of a new anti-tank missile carrier for the Swiss Army was initiated. As a result the Swiss Army adopted a MOWAG Piranha I 6x6 armored vehicle, fitted with a Norwegian missile turret. Deliveries to the Swiss Army commenced in 1989 and were completed in 1992. Official Swiss Army designation of this vehicle is the Panzerjager 90. This anti-tank missile carrier is also referred as PzJg 90 or Pzj 90. A total of 310 of these tank hunters were delivered to the Swiss Army. As of 2015 Swiss Army still operates 100 of these missile carries. It seems that this anti-tank vehicle has never been exported.

   This tank hunter is based on MOWAG Piranha I 6x6 armored personnel carrier. It is fitted with a Norwegian turret, armed with TOW anti-tank guided missile launchers on either side. It is worth noting that the same turret is also used on Norwegian NM142 tank hunter. This turret as well as the missiles were manufactured in Switzerland under partial license. The turret can traverse through 360 degrees. Otherwise the Panzerjager 90 is generally similar to a baseline MOWAG Piranha 6x6 armored personnel carrier.

   A baseline TOW missile has a range of 3 000 m and can penetrate 430 mm of steel armor. However the Panzerjager 90 can also use newer versions of this missile with improved performance, such as the TOW 2.

   Two missiles in the launcher are ready to use. Additional 8 reload missiles can be carried inside the hull in the racks. Missiles are reloaded manually via the roof hatch. It takes 45 seconds for the crew to reload both missiles.

   This vehicle also carries a standard tripod ground mount for the TOW missiles. So if required the missiles can be launched away from the vehicle. The PzJg 90 has day and thermal sights, so it can engage targets in day/night and all weather conditions.

   The PzJg 90 has a welded steel armor hull. It provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters.

   The Panzerjager 90 is operated by a crew of 5, including commander, driver, gunner and 2 loaders. Normally crew enter and exit the vehicle via the rear power-operated ramp with integral door.

   It seems that this anti-tank missile carrier is powered by a Chrysler HT 413 6.8-liter V8 petrol engine, developing 200 hp. The engine is mated to an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. Vehicle comes with a central tyre inflation system. The tyres are fitted with run flat inserts. There is a front-mounted self-recovery winch.

   The MOWAG Piranha anti-tank missile carrier is not amphibious. A baseline Piranha I 6x6 APC is amphibious, however amphibious capability was not required by the Swiss Army.

   The Panzerjager 90 are used by anti-tank companies. Each anti-tank company has 10 of these tank destroyers.

   As newer and more advanced anti-tank guided missiles appear, the Panzerjager 90 tank hunter gradually becomes out dated. Swiss Army converted a number of these armored vehicles to carry out different battlefield roles.

   In 2004 a prototype of an armored ambulance was delivered to the Swiss Army. It was approved for production. In 2005 a contract was awarded to MOWAG for a conversion of 40 Panzerjager 90 anti-tank missile carriers to armored ambulances. Deliveries began in 2006 and were planned to be completed in 2007. These armored ambulances partially replaced the Swiss Pinzgauer 6x6 ambulances. This armored ambulance accommodates 3 stretchers or 6 seated patients plus a crew of up to 4 persons.

   Later another 160 Swiss missile carriers were converted to command post vehicles. All of these were planned to be delivered to the Swiss Army between 2008 and 2010. Missile turrets were removed during conversion. Instead the new command vehicles are fitted with communication and information systems. It is worth noting that these command post vehicles do not have a raised roofline. These are fitted with remotely controlled weapon stations, armed with 12.7-mm machine guns.

   MOWAG claims that converted Swiss Army Piranha I vehicles are in excellent condition and can be used for another 25 years.

 
Panzerjager 90

Panzerjager 90

Panzerjager 90

Panzerjager 90

Panzerjager 90


 
Panzerjager 90

Panzerjager 90

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