M93 Fox Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle
The 6x6 wheeled American Army M93 Fox armored vehicle - based on the German TPz Fuchs series - serves as a dedicated NBC reconnaissance platform.
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The M93 "Fox" is a United States Army development of the stellar German Rheinmetall TPz 1 "Fuchs" 6x6 wheeled vehicle. The M93 is utilized primarily for surveillance, collection, and processing of battlefield samples as related to biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear contamination. The Fox first appeared (in loan form) from the German government and were operated by U.S. Army personnel during Operation Desert Storm (as "XM93" and "XM93E1") for it was feared that the enemy could use chemical weapons during the coalition offensive. The U.S. initially contracted for 48 of the vehicles until the Gulf War ushered the German government into providing the service with a total of 60 vehicles.
At the heart of the M93 system is its mass spectrometer which is used in the analysis process which takes collected air and soil samples for review. The vehicle itself sits atop a three-axle, six-wheeled arrangement which provides excellent ground clearance, cross-country travel, and battlefield protection (from small arms fire). The crew is made up of three personnel with the driver and commander in the front hull section though the M93 production mark featured four.
Original vehicles fell under the basic M93 designation. This was followed by the M93A1 mark which reduced the crew to just three. The A1 model also introduced the M21 remote chemical agent alarm system and automated sampler for improved detection. Modernization programs have helped to keep the Fox stock of vehicles viable for new, modern airborne and soil threats.
Design of the TPz Fuchs / M93 Fox is by Thyssen-Henschel with manufacture undertaken by Rheinmetall.
The vehicle features an operating weight of 17 tons, a length of 22.25 feet with a height of 8 feet. The 6x6 wheel arrangement is driven by a Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A series V8 liquid-cooled, diesel-fueled engine of 320 horsepower allowing the vehicle to reach road speeds of 65 miles per hour.