Armor: The Panther Went Over The Mountain


May 15, 2009: Britain is buying 401 Panther armored command vehicles. The 4x4, 6.5 ton Panther entered service last year and deliveries of the first order will be completed later this year. The Panther is designed to withstand mines and roadside bombs. This includes a V shaped underside and several other clever design features. The driver is equipped with a thermal imager, and the vehicle can be fitted with an optional remote control machine-gun turret, which is also equipped with a thermal imager.

The digital communications and anti-bomb features make the Panther capable of performing recon and convoy security duties. The basic Panther has so much radio and computer equipment installed that only three of the four seats are usable for passengers. A new modification of the Panther, for use in Afghanistan, reduces and repositions the electronics so that four passengers can be carried. There is also a rear vidcam added. The vehicle can carry up to 2.9 tons, and tow 4.2 tons. Some of the carry weight can be taken up by add-on armor. The vehicle is 3.2 meters long, two meters wide and 1.95 meters high (9.9x6.2x6 feet.)



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