Austria

About 2,000 armored vehicles, 1920-2016

    Technology

    Before Austria: The Empire

    The Austro-Hungarian Empire was one of the first nations to experiment with armored fighting vehicles, but never adopted them in any meaningful numbers. Gunther Burstyn’s visionary Motorgeschütz was, in 1911, the first practical tracked vehicle design armed with a turret, but it was never produced. The 1905 Daimler Panzerwagen preceded even the Russo-French Charron as the first armored vehicle with an enclosed revolving turret. However, officially, the Army never expressed much interest in these experiments. It was due to the work of some officers that two models came into service, the Romfell (PA2) and the Junovicz (PA1). A unit operated with a mix of these and captured vehicles.

    The 1930s: Austrian armored vehicles

    Between 1918 and 1920, the remaining armor of the new Austrian nation mostly fought off Yugoslav incursions. The Austrian Heer (an emanation of the Volkswehr or “People’s Defence”) and Police relied on a collection of armored vehicles like the WWI-era Lancia IZM, and various Skoda models including the famous “Zelva” (Turtle) in 1927, used for urban security purposes.

    When the Bundesheeres needed a new armored vehicle, the Steyr company proposed a symmetrical, heavy 8×8 armored car, known as the ADGZ. It was accepted into service in 1934 and the 49 built formed the backbone of an army made of a regular motorized infantry and mountaineers, but with no tanks in support. 14 of these were given to the Gendarmerie. However, the ADGZ was seen pretty much as a dual rôle vehicle that could perform border patrols and reconnaissance missions in force, as it was armed with a 20 mm (0.79 in) auto-cannon in addition to MG03 machine guns.

    Anschluss and WW2

    With the Anschluss, the Reich absorbed the German-speaking Austria, that had ancient ties with its northern neighbor, but at the same time was a democratic regime that despised the Nazis, although the population had mixed feelings. The acquisition was less fructuous than later the Czech partition on the industrial standpoint, but Germany had now access to the expertise of Steyr and Daimler-Puch, which would crank-up hundreds of military vehicles for the IIIrd Reich until the end of the war.

    Austria in the Cold War

    In 1955, Austria declared and inscribed into its Constitution its everlasting neutrality and the Bundesheer was consequently tailored for efficient territorial defense. The country had the industrial basis upon which to create its own tanks and AFVs. Its structure was fixed and did not change much until 1993.

    The German best seller, the Leopard 2, also equipped the Austrian Ground Forces after the 1980s.
    The German best seller, the Leopard 2, also equipped the Austrian Ground Forces after the 1980s. A Leopard 2A4 from the 14th Tank Batallion, along with a M88 ARV, can be seen above.. 56 are in service currently.The Ulan IFV is an Austrian-Spanish product and one of the best of its kind in Europe, complementing the Leopard.
    The Ulan IFV is an Austrian-Spanish product and one of the best of its kind in Europe, complementing the Leopard. 112 are in service.

    The 6x6 Pandur APC is reminiscent of the MOWAG Piranha and was developed to replace the aging Saurer 4K-4FA tracked APCs.
    The 6×6 Pandur APC is reminiscent of the MOWAG Piranha and was developed to replace the aging Saurer 4K-4FA tracked APCs. 71 are in service today.

    Illustrations

    4K 4FA-G1 basic APC version
    4K 4FA-G1 basic APC version
    4K 4FA-G2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle/Grenadier version, armed with the one-man turret Oerlikon 20 mm (0.79 in) autocannon.
    4K 4FA-G2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle/Grenadier version, armed with the one-man turret Oerlikon 20 mm (0.79 in) autocannon.
    4F GrW1 81 mm (3.19 in) mortar-carrier version.
    4F GrW1 81 mm (3.19 in) mortar-carrier version.
    4K 4FA-SAN, armored ambulance version.
    4K 4FA-SAN, armored ambulance version.

    Early type Austrian Kürassier during maneuvers
    Early type Austrian Kürassier during maneuvers.
    Austrian SK-105A2 in the 1980s.
    Austrian SK-105A2 in the 1980s.
    Argentinian SK-105A2 during peace keeping operations.
    Argentinian SK-105A2 during peace keeping operations.
    Argentinian SK-105A2 during peace-keeping operation with KFOR, 1992.
    Argentinian SK-105A2 during peace-keeping operation with KFOR, 1992.
    Austrian SK-105A3, with improved FCS and a fully stabilized L7 derived 105 mm gun.
    Austrian SK-105A3, with improved FCS and a fully stabilized L7 derived 105 mm gun.
    Tunisian Kürassier SK105A3 in the 1990s
    Tunisian Kürassier SK105A3 in the 1990s.
    SK-105A2S Kürassier of the Brazilian Marines
    SK-105A2S Kürassier of the Brazilian Marines
    Argentinian Patagón, 2010s
    Argentinian Patagón, 2010s.

    ASCOD Pizarro - definitive version with add-on armor
    ASCOD Pizarro – definitive version with add-on armor
    ASCOD Ulan of the Austrian Army, in the 2000s
    ASCOD Ulan of the Austrian Army, in the 2000s

    Cold War Tanks

    Argentinian Tanks Argentina
    Austrian Tanks Austria
    Belgian tanks Belgium
    Brazil
    Bulgarian Tanks Bulgaria
    Canadian Tanks Canada
    Chinese Tanks China
    Egyptian AFVs Egypt
    Finnish Tanks Finland
    France
    Greek Tanks Greece
    Indian Tanks India
    Iranian Tanks Iran
    Iraqi Tanks Iraq
    Irish Tanks Ireland
    Israeli Tanks Israel
    Italian Tanks Italy
    Japanese Tanks Japan
    New Zealand AFVs New Zealand
    North Korean tanks North Korea
    Polish Tanks Poland
    Portuguese Portugal
    Romanian Tanks Romania
    SADF tanks South Africa
    South Korean Tanks South Korea
    Spanish Tanks Spain
    Swedish Tanks Sweden
    Swiss Tanks Switzerland
    Thai TanksThailand
    Dutch Tanks The Netherlands
    British Tanks United Kingdom
    American Tanks USA
    Soviet Tanks USSR
    West German Tanks West Germany
    Yugoslav Tanks Yugoslavia