Spähpanzer RU-251 (1963)

Light Reconnaissance Tank (1960-65)

Hanomag's light Tank

Built by Hanomag this light tank project was born roughly at the same time as the Leopard I and was aimed at replacing the M41 Walker Bulldog in service and provide a cheaper tank able to deal with Soviet armour, specialized for armed reconnaissance. It was nonetheless armed with the standard Rheinmetall 90mm also shared by the Kanonenjagdpanzer and very similar to the one sported by the M47 and M48 Patton. According to WOT it was developed directly on the basis of the Kanonenjagdpanzer 4-5 tank destroyer by the Henschel company in 1964.

Spähpanzer RU-251 at the Munster Tanks Museum.

Its rounded cast turret was also reminiscent of the M48 but in reality was modelled after the German version of the Europanzer prototype. As promising as it was, the only model delivered by Hanomag did performed extensive field tests but never passed the prototype stage. It had a 90 mm Rheinmetall DM1 main cannon.

So far no exhaustive nor reliable information on this model has been found on the web. Whoever can access declassified archives of the Bundeswehr or the Deutsche Panzer Museum in Munster and provide us additional information is warmly welcomed.

Known Specifications:
Weight: 25,3 tonnes
Dimensions: 6.2 m x 3 m x 2.49 m
Armour: Hull 25/20/8mm Turret 20/20/20mm
Engine: Diesel 650 hp, top speed 75 km/h+

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