The Leopard 2 AEV 3
Engineering vehicle was prototyped by Rheinmetall-DeTec in Germany in 2003. A vehicle was handed
over to the Swiss procurement authorities for evaluation.
12 vehicles was procured in 2004.
Aside from the Swiss armed forces, a number of other
armies are interested in acquiring this leading combat
engineering system and in some cases have already
initiated relevant procurement programmes.
When the AEV 3 goes into
full-scale production the vehicle will be equipped with
anti-mine protection features currently being developed
for the Leopard 2, adapted to meet the special
requirements of the AEV 3, as well as an anti-spall
To defend itself the AEV 3 will be armed with a 12.7mm
machine gun and smoke grenade dispensers. To perform its
primary mission, it is equipped with a hinged excavator
mounted in the middle position, as well as a dozer system
with innovative cutting and tilt angle settings and a
Rotzler double-winch system consisting out of two 9 tons
capstan winches. When combined and deployed in multiple
traction mode, these are capable of pulling up to 62
By means of a quick-release coupling, the excavator
bucket can be exchanged for a number of other devices,
including a hydraulic hammer and a tree-gripper. All of
these tools are electro-hydraulically controlled and can
be operated by the driver by two joysticks.
The dozer blade can be swapped for a full-width mine
plough, meaning that - when equipped with a
signature-duplicator and a lane-marking unit - the AEV 3
system is also a fully capable minefield-breaching
system. In every configuration of the system - even when
equipped with anti-mine protection features - the AEV 3
will remain within the weight limits of military load
class 70 (MLC 70).