The Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG multi-purpose truck (detailed elsewhere on this site) proved its worth over its many decades of service and available models worldwide. Its reliability and operational capabilities made it the sound basis for offshoot designs like the TM-170 to emerge - this from the German concern of Thyssen-Henschel (now part of Rheinmetall Landsysteme). Design of the vehicle came about as a private venture initiated by the West German company and production of this Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) commenced in 1979 and, despite its Cold War-era origins, the vehicle can still be ordered today (2016). It serves with police, security and military forces around the world, having been adopted by Germany/West Germany, Austria, Indonesia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Spain and South Korea.
The TM-170 makes use of the established UNIMOG chassis relying on a fully-suspended 4x4 wheeled arrangement. The arrangement sports large road wheels and provides a high clearance from ground to hull underside. This coupled with the 4x4 configuration allows for good cross-country mobility. The standard operating crew is two personnel (driver and vehicle commander) with cabin seating for up to ten additional occupants. Armor protection measures about 8mm of steel (good against small arms fire and artillery spray) and armament is optional - left to the requirements of the customer and the intended battlefield role. Typical installations are turreted 7.62mm machine guns and 20mm autocannons. Night-vision and NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection are optional fits.
A Daimler-Benz OM366 supercharged diesel engine delivers 240 horsepower which allows for a road speed of 100 kmh to be reached in ideal conditions. Operational range is listed at 870 kilometers possible. The vehicle is also completed with an amphibious capability and treads through water sources (either through the spinning action of its wheels or by installed waterjets) at a useful 9 kmh. Some preparation by the crew is required for amphibious operation.
Macedonian TM-170 vehicles have since been upgraded locally with additional armor protection and large-caliber guns taken from T-55 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).
The TM-170 "Hardliner" is an improved form of the base TM-170 vehicle.