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Engineering Reconnaissance Vehicle


APE - Engineering Reconnaissance Vehicle fords water obstacle

Entered service in 1978
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight
Total weight in combat order 14.5 t
Overall length  6 930 mm
Chassis length 6 930 mm
Overall width 3 080 mm
Overall height  2 400 mm
Main gun 20-mm automatic gun
Engine power 320 h.p.
Maximum road speed 80 km/h
Maximum amphibious speed on water 12 km/h
Autonomy on roads 800 km
Slope 37
Vertical step  0.5 m
Ditch  1 m
   APE (Amphibische Pioniererkundgungs Kfz) vehicle was developed by "Rheinmetall-Henkel" for Bundesver armed forces. It is intended to make water obstacle recognition, as European battle theatre has a great number of lakes and rivers.

   APE vehicle was first used during "Blue Danube" Bundesver corps training which took place on September1978. At the moment APE is the main engineering reconnaissance vehicle of the Bundesver armed forces.

   Vehicle is based on German armored personnel carrier Tpz-1. The main difference is 4 x 4 wheel formula instead of 6 x 6 used with armored personnel carrier. It allowed to considerably decrease vehicles weight and to increase amphibious features. APE moves on water using tunable blade screws placed rear as well as Tpz-1. Screws use main engine rotation power threw cardan-joints. Maximum amphibious speed on water reaches 12 km/h. Vehicle is fitted with wide-profile high-diameter tyres to increase cross-country abilities. Tyres are also fitted with adjustable centralized pressure system. Vehicle is able to manage 1 m width trench, 0.5 m vertical step and 37 slope.

   Vehicle is fitted with special electronic equipment preparing data on water obstacles and shows it on GPS type electronic maps. It's electronic equipment is able to measure water obstacles depth and width, stream speed. Furthermore it is able to designate ground type and shore slopes. Vehicle is fitted with modern communication devices, Nuclear Biological Chemical protection system, fire prevention system, and water pumps which allow vehicle to keep float ability even hit by small caliber projectiles or mines.

   As far as APE is intended to be used in frontline divisions it was fitted with quiet powerful armament - 20-mm automatic gun. Additional armament consists from smoke grenade launchers placed from the doth sides of the hull.

   Landing compartment is able to take onboard combat engineers, mines or mine search equipment. From the beginning of it's serial production the Bundesver armed forces got 120 APE reconnaissance vehicles.

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