Wednesday, April 29, 2015


 Another batch of 84 improved Enoks with increased armor and weight were ordered in January 2015. 49 of them are determined for the Kommando Spezialkräfte.

The LAPV Enok (LAPV is a Light Armoured Patrol Vehicle) is an armoured military vehicle of the Bundeswehr, mostly in use with the German Army. It is a significantly further developed Wolf SSA, based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

It features protection according to NATO STANAG 4569 Level 2 against rifle fire, land mines and improvised explosive devices. The Enok was especially designed to be deployed in harsh terrains and bad weather situations.

Soldiers love abbreviations, and therefore the "G" actually had to be in the very good graces of the men in uniform. However, soldiers also long flowery nicknames for their vehicles, which is why the Mercedes G is referred to as the "Wolf" within the German Army. And its armoured equivalent as "Enok". The Federal Government has now decided to acquire 84 additional Enoks for its soldiers, in the upgraded Version 6.1.

Enok – named after the raccoon dog
The Enok bears the name of the raccoon dog, which originates from Siberia. In abbreviation-loving military jargon the Enok is an "LAPV", a "Light Armoured Patrol Vehicle". While the Enok does share its appearance and many components with the Mercedes G/Wolf, particularly within the drive chain, the design differs significantly from the non-armoured model.

A total weight of 5.4 tonnes with a load capacity of on tonne – thus placing the Enok 5.4 in another league to the standard Wolf. As a result of the modifications, the Mercedes LAPV Enok 5.4 is considerably wider and at the same time lower than the Mercedes G. Exactly as tall as it is wide, at 1,900 millimetres, it looks more stoutly from the front. The vehicle length is 4.82 metres – with out the external spare wheel found as standard in the civilian version. The Mercedes Enok is fitted with the current three-litre diesel from the Wolf, with the six-cylinder engine producing 181 HP and 400 Newton metres of torque. The armouring of the Mercedes Enok is said to resist fire with hardcore and armour-piercing ammunition. The range of the Mercedes Enok is stated as 700 kilometres.

New Enok for the KSK
Also involved in the development of the follow-up model, the Enok 6.1 (total weight of 6.1 tonnes, 1.3-tonne load capacity, portal axles, improved armouring) are Southern German companies ACS and LeTech. While ACS is only known of in expert circles for the construction of special protection vehicles and the Enok 5.4, LeTech's "normal" off-roaders are already more well-known: the company converts Mercedes G-models and supplies portal axles for the Enok 6.1, which can also be installed in the civilian G-models.

The Mercedes Enok is used by the German Federal Army in four versions: as a pick-up, an enclosed transporter, as a MedEvac vehicle for use by paramedics and as a transporter with an unprotected, redesigned loading surface.

A first batch of 247 vehicles has been ordered by the Bundeswehr, with deliveries scheduled between 2008 and 2013.

In addition to the Enok 5.4 already in use (137 vehichles) the order has now been placed for a further 84 Enok 6.1s, which are to be delivered by 2017. According to reports, the Federal Army order amounts to around 56.3 million Euros – which would correspond to a unit price of around 670,000 Euros per Enok. It is thought that the new Enok 6.1 will be used primarily within the Commando Special Forces (Kommando Spezialkräfte, KSK), while others will be used for patrol services.

Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen

The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen in use as a troop carrier in Germany.

 An armed version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen vehicle.

The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is a well-established light utility military support vehicle with its origins in the 1970s from a suggestion by the Shah of Iran to Mercedes. The 'G' in the name is short for Geländewagen (or cross-country vehicle / tough terrain vehicle) and was Mercedes's first venture into general four-wheel drives (although Mercedes did make some jeep-like vehicles in WWII).
The G-Class vehicle is now regularly used by more than 63 armies worldwide and this includes the German Armed Forces, Canadian Army and also the US Marine Corps.

Mercedes has actually guaranteed production of the standard G-Class for use as NATO support vehicles up until 2025.

The G-Wagen or G-Class is of a similar ilk to the Land Rover Defender commonly used by the British armed forces with a reputation for reliability and ruggedness.

G-Wagen bodies
The G-Wagen comes with a choice of three different body styles including: short-wheelbase two-door versions in both hardtop and convertible and also a long-wheelbase four-door version (more popular).
The G-Class is hand-built in Graz in Austria where the production line averages only 15 vehicles a day. These vehicles are designed to give a million miles of service for military use with nearly all of the components being fully serviceable and rebuildable. These 4x4s have three fully locking differentials, and with a low centre of gravity and solid axles are a well designed and tested military prospect.

Military G-Wagen design
Military G-Wagen's come in three variants: the 'basic' light utility vehicles (four doors and four seats), Command and Reconnaissance (C&R) models (rotating gun-mount in the centre of the roof) and the military police version (with blue and red rotating lights).

The vehicle is not armoured but can be fitted with armour modules replacing body panels to protect against rifle fire or grenade fragments. The payload of the unarmoured vehicle is around 1,500kg but with armour this is severely reduced to 500kg.

The G-Wagen in its most modern and useful version has space for a radio that does not reduce the passenger payload. The vehicle also has a roof rack for equipment transport and a trailer hitch for if required to carry more equipment via a trailer.

The C&R version has a hatched 80cm turret ring and a weapons platform that can handle C6 GPMGs and M2 heavy machine guns. The gunner is also protected by a gun shield. The C&R vehicles are three-seaters and carry a driver, commander and gunner.
The G-Wagen uses a standard 2.9l OM 612 turbo-diesel engine, which can develop 156hp / 115kW, with five-speed automatic gearbox, (other commercial versions use 5.5l petrol V8 (500hp) power units and there is a range of engines which could be used in the military version).
The fording ability of the vehicle is 600mm, the ground clearance 439mm, the side slope angle 30°, the approach angle 40° and the grade 60°.

Military G-Wagen customers
Mercedes-Benz won a contract in 2007 to provide 1,100 G-Class vehicles to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The Canadian Army is a long-time user and most recently took delivery of 1,159 vehicles that were ordered in 2003. Other users include the Croatian Army with 300 G-Wagens.
The Danish military has also introduced several versions of the G-Wagen including 1,300 of the 290 GD in 1985 and 1,000 of the 270 CDI in 2003. The Estonian army has also taken delivery of a small amount of G-Wagens as a part of a modernisation scheme.

The German Army uses the G-Class under the name 'Wolf' and more than 12,000 vehicles have been delivered to them in over 50 versions including ambulance vehicles and armoured vehicles used by the German Special Forces.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Guntrucks I

M923 ''Hillbilly Gun Truck

This medium cargo truck of the 5 ton category, is representative of today's generation of logistical vehicles of the U.S. Forces. It entered service in the early eighties. The M-923 has an extremely sturdy structure and excellent off-road features, which are necessary to secure the flow of material to the front line combat units. Based on this chassis many versions have been produced: wrecking trucks, tank trucks, mobile maintenance and communication trucks. The A-1 version is characteristic because of its large off-road tires which have earned it the nick-name "big-foot". During its operational use, and in particular in the most recent military campaigns in which it was employed as Iraq and Afghanistan, the “Big Foot” has often been modified with the addition of “homemade” protections to reduce the damages caused by the fire of light weapons. However, the personalization of the vehicles, made “on field” by the crews, were possible thanks to the excellent platform offered by-M-923 trucks.

HEMTT Gun Truck

The acronym HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) identifies a range eight-wheel drive off-road capable heavy truck, produced from the mid-80s for the United States Army. Thanks to its features, the HEMTT is able to guarantee a great off-road mobility and significant transportation performance. It has become the real “workhorse” of the Army capable of carrying ammunition and equipment in a very effective way. In a lot of conflicts, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been often modified by the field workshops, on the specific requirements of the crews, in order to be more and more effective in the hard operating environments, Furthermore some HEMTT versions have been modified to be used in escort and convoys protection duties. Some additional protections and defensive weapons have been add on.


The nickname "Humvee" was created by the acronym HMMWV which stands for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. The Humvee is a four wheel-drive vehicle suitable, despite its impressive size, for several purposes thanks to its extraordinary operational flexibility. The Humvee has been produced in a huge number and it was used on all operation theaters by U.S Army from the beginning of 90s. The 4x4 transmission, the independent suspensions, the V8 engine with a displacement of 6.2 liters, are the main features to ensure an high efficiency on all types of terrains. The Humvee has been produced in several versions as reconnaissance vehicle, troop transport, ambulance, and warfare transportation system. A lot of times, the original versions have been changed and modified directly on the field. The Humvee crews and their mechanics adjusted the vehicles with additional protections and additional weapons to be more in line with the specific environment of the battlefield.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Toyota Wars

In Africa, border clashes frequently interacted with rebellions. Libya intervened in Chad in the 1980s, both in order to pursue a territorial claim to a northern strip of the country and in order to support protégés seeking to control the entire country. Overt Libyan intervention in 1983 with about 6,000 troops led to a military response by France and Zaire (Congo), which enjoyed the benefit of intelligence provided by us aerial surveillance. The Libyan advance was reliant on Soviet doctrine and training, but this was not going to be a conflict decided by armoured vehicles and related tactics. Instead, the Chad forces opposed to Libya benefited from light vehicles and a raider's desire for mobility, and used mortars and anti-tank rockets in order to inflict heavy casualties on the Libyans. 
These tactics were employed again in the `Toyota War' of March 1987, with the Libyans losing over 3,000 troops and much of their armour as they were driven from most of the north of Chad. French aircraft were used against Libyan ground forces on a number of occasions, but the French did not act at the close of 1990 when a new faction invaded Chad from Sudan and overthrew the government. Attempted coups, rebellions and ethnic clashes continued there for years. Libyan claims were also seen as a challenge by other neighbours. In 1977, Egypt mounted a successful surprise attack on Libyan frontier positions in order to indicate its anger with Libyan pretensions and policies.