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Faun SLT-50 Elefant

Tank transporter

Faun SLT-50 Elefant

The German SLT-50 Elefant tank transporter can travel over rugged terrain

 
 
SLT-50-2 Elefant
Entered service 1976
Configuration 8x8
Cab seating 1 + 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (prime mover) 22.8 t
Payload capacity 52 t
Length 8.83 m
Width 3.07 m
Height 3.24 m
Mobility
Engine Mercedes-Benz MB 837 Ea-500 diesel
Engine power 730 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Maximum road speed (with loaded semi-trailer) 40 km/h
Range 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient (prime mover) ?
Gradient (loaded) 30%
Side slope ?
Vertical step ?
Trench ?
Fording 0.8 m

 

   In the 1960s a West German-US MBT-70 project was launched. Both countries were developing an advanced main battle tank with a number of new features. It was planned that the weight of this new main battle tank would be 50 t. A new tank transporter was required to tow this tank. So in 1965 another West German-US Heavy Equipment Transporter 70 (HET-70) project was launched. Prototypes were built, however in 1970 both projects were cancelled due to cost overruns. Eventually both Germany and the United States continued development of the new main battle tank and tank transporter on their own. The German MoD asked Faun company to develop a tractor truck and Krupp company to develop the semi-trailer. This combination was first tested in 1971. It was eventually adopted in 1976 as the SLT-50-2 Elefant. Production ceased in 1979. A total of 324 tank transports were delivered to the German army. In 2002 six of these tank transporters have been exported to Poland, alongside the Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. Also it has been exported to Bahrain, and possibly, Saudi Arabia.

   This tank transporter traces its origins back to the cancelled Heavy Equipment Transporter 70 project. The SLT-50 Elefant is a high-mobility vehicle. It was specially developed for demanding all-terrain applications. It was used in conjunction with a Kassbohrer 4-axle semi-trailer, which could carry a maximum load of 52 t. This semi-trailer was produced under license from Krupp. The number in the SLT- designation denotes the weight class. From 1983 during overhaul all semi-trailers were modernized and strengthened by Faun. Sometimes the SLT-50 Elefant is used in conjunction with a newer 6-axle semi-trailer of the SLT-56 Franziska.

   A forward control cab provides seating for the driver and three passengers. A hatch with provision for a machine gun mounting is provided in the roof. The cab also contains stowage for a number of German Army items such as toolboxes, weapon holders, signal flags and anti-skid chains. For operation in hotspot areas the cab can be fitted with add-on armor kit.

   Behind the cab is a winch assembly housing a dual winch arrangement. It is used for loading and unloading operations. It had a 17 t capacity, but was later upgraded to 18.6 t. One of the winches can be used for self-recovery of the tractor truck, or recovery of other vehicles.

    The SLT-50-2 was powered by a 30-liter Mercedes-Benz MB 837 Ea-500 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 730 hp. On a modernized SLT-50-3 version the engine was replaced by a Deutz unit. Engine is coupled to a ZF gearbox with 4-forward and 2-reverse gears.

   Currently the Elefant tank transporters are being gradually phased out. In 2013 a new MAN HX81 tank transporter was adopted as the SLT-2 Mammut. This vehicle has good cross-country mobility and can travel over rugged terrain. So far only a small number of these tank transporters were obtained to replace the ageing SLT-50 Elefant.

 

Variants

 

   SLT-50-2 is a baseline version.

   SLT-50-3 is an upgraded version of the SLT-50-2 that can haul more payload. Between 1993 and 2000 all German army SLT-50-2 tank transporters were upgraded to improved SLT-50-3 standard as a part of major maintenance cycle. It is powered by a more modern and more fuel efficient 22-liter Deutz MWM TBD 234 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 734 hp. It also has upgraded winches. The upgraded SLT-50-3 could coupe with the increased weight of the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5 tanks. Originally it was planned that the SLT-50-3 tank transporters will operate until 2015.

   SLT-56 Franziska. The Faun FS42.75/42 prime mover was developed to supplement toe SLT-50-2 Elefant in the former West German Army. It is similar in many ways to the Elefant, but has a 8x6 configuration and is used in conjunction with a road-friendly semi-trailer. This vehicles was intended to be a relatively low cost design, but with limited off-road capability. It was intended to be used on hard surface roads. It was adopted by the German army as the SLT-56 Franziska. A total of 49 of these tank transporters were delivered. This prime mover is compatible with the semi-trailer of the SLT-50-3 and vice versa.

 

 
Faun SLT-50 Elefant

Faun SLT-50 Elefant

Faun SLT-50 Elefant

Faun SLT-50 Elefant

Faun SLT-50 Elefant


 
Faun SLT-50 Elefant


 
Faun SLT-50 Elefant

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