Liebherr develops armoured crane for German Armyby James Morgan on Jun 15, 2014
Liebherr-Werk Ehingen has developed an armoured rescue crane for the German Army.
The Liebherr G-BKF, a four-axle mobile unit, has been designed to rescue and tow the latest generation of armoured control and command vehicles, armoured transport vehicles, MULTI FSA (swap body vehicles), and wheeled vehicles.
The crane will also be used by army personnel to provide repair and handling support and to deploy emergency aid.
In addition to guarding its passengers, the G-BKF’s armoured shell is capable of providing tactical infantry cover over long distances.
The main focus when the order was placed, according to Liebherr, was on the protection of those inside. To this end, Liebherr-Werk Ehingen worked with military technology specialist, Rheinmetall Defence, to produce the armoured driver’s cab and crane cab.
The driver’s cab was extended by 250mm compared to Liebherr’s conventional version in order to provide storage space for the personal protective equipment of the crew, and to allow for the integration of military communication devices. The cab is constructed from a double-thickness steel bulkhead, and its transparent armour has been enhanced to ensure that it offers ballistic protection and meets the visibility requirements set out in Germany’s Road Traffic Act.
The G-BKF is mounted on a four-axle 8x8x8 chassis, which is similar to the standard version. The crane’s all-wheeled steering arrangement and large tyres facilitate off-road manoeuvrability, according to Liebherr.
The unit sports a 544hp Liebherr D946TI diesel engine and a ZF TC-Tronic gearbox that offers 12 forward gears and two for reverse.
In towing mode, the G-BKF can handle loads of up to 16 tonnes. Military vehicles can be attached to the crane’s STANAG eyelets using special adaptors, and an extensive range of accessories means that almost all German Army wheeled vehicles are compatible.
The unit’s 20.9m telescopic boom, meanwhile, can handle loads of up to 20 tonnes, meaning that the model is suitable for medium-duty crane work as well as rescue applications.