In 1975, the German Bundeswehr received new Mercedes-Benz 8-wheeled armoured amphibious reconnaissance vehicles which were deployed in light armoured reconnaissance patrols of two vehicles each. Spähpanzer Luchs was a sophisticated vehicle with all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, forward and reverse driving positions, puncture resistant tires. The vehicle was armed with a turreted 20 mm Autocannon which fired a selection of armour piercing solid shot, hollow-charge, tracer, and high-explosive rounds up to an effective range of 2000 meters. The vehicle’s petrol/diesel powerplant was practically inaudible, even at very close range. This editor has been approached by two Luchs during night operations, and the only sound was that of dry branches breaking under their tires when the vehicles were approximately 10 m away. On manœuvres, when SpPz Luchs were in the vicinity, sleeping on the ground was permitted in designated and clearly marked areas only.
The Luchs is a descendant of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series of heavy armoured cars which served in World War Two. Like its predecessors, the Luchs could back out of a dangerous situation at top speed. The radio operator’s compartment in the rear hull section was a fully equipped reverse driving position, facing backward, and he could override the forward driver’s controls when the situation warranted it.
Available Scale Model Kits
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs«, 1:87 ROCO 266
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs«, 1:100 Roskopf 3
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs«, 1:285 GHQ N71
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs«, 1:300 Heroics&Ros GM06
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs« A1/A2, 1:35 Revell 03036
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs« A1/A2, 1:35 Takom TAK2017
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs« A2, 1:72 Revell
- Spähpanzer 2 »Luchs« A2, 1:87 ROCO 453
- Spähpanzer Luchs – Armoured Amphibious Reconnaissance Vehicle
- Motor: 10-cylinder diesel/petrol engine, 287 kW
- Steering: all-wheel drive and steering, propeller-driven in water
- Speed: 90 km/h on roads (100 km/h, early SpPz 2), 11 km/h in water
- Range: 730 km (800 km, early SpPz 2)
- Length: 7340 mm
- Width: 2980 mm
- Height: 2500 mm
- Weight: 19500 kg (19000 kg, early SpPz 2)
- Armament: 20 mm Cannon (800–1000 rounds/min, effective range 2000 m), MG 3
- Crew: Commander, Gunner, Driver, Radio Operator (Reverse Driver)
- Production: 1975–1977
- Anweiler, Karl: Rad- und Kettenfahrzeuge der Bundeswehr.
- Gau, Lutz-Reiner: Deutsche Militärfahrzeuge. Bundeswehr und NVA.
- German Bundeswehr, 1975—2009
- Leichter Panzerspähtrupp – 2 Spähpanzer Luchs
Spähpanzer Luchs was a superb armoured reconnaissance vehicle with exceptional driving and fighting characteristics. Luchs was deployed in light armoured recon patrols of two vehicles each, which served alongside heavy patrols consisting of three Leopard 2 main battle tanks.