Giraffe tanks

I collected info on 'giraffe' tanks (tanks with sensors or even weapons or a manned observation platform on a long elevatable mast) for some time. The intent was to write about them, but that story hasn't much flesh.

It's rather simple;
(a) It's stupid to use a manned mast because of today's technology.
(b) It's apparently unnecessary to mount weapons that high (lasers and guided missile launchers were included in some projects).
(c) It's quite common to use such masts for sensors and/or long range radios.

The most interesting vehicle of this kind is in my opinion the Czech artillery observer vehicle "Snezka" (that's a mountain).

A 14 metre mast with battlefield observation radar, laser rangefinder, day/night TV, thermal sensor (probably an obsolete model by now), wind sensor and a good radio offer almost everything that artillery observers could hope for (in such a vehicle). It certainly embarrasses the by comparison limited CV90 FOV.
I think the Czechs deserve a bit more attention with such an impressive vehicle concept.


edit 2021: A German video on the Bundeswehr developments 1980's/1990's:



  1. I think we are on the same wavelength Sven


  2. The <a href="http://www.forces.gc.ca/menu/coyote/hi/10.htm>Canadian Coyote</a> seems to be a similar concept, but on a LAV-25 chassis.

    The sensor system is on a 10m mast, or can be detached and used remotely from a tripod.

  3. Oh come on. Everybody knows it's all about length.
    The Czechs have the longer one! ;-)

  4. Hey now. My wife always told me, "It's not about length. It's how you use it."

    Maybe she was just being kind.

  5. Well, technique (or technology) is important. The key here is that yu can always improve your technique/technology, but rarely your length, though. ;-)

  6. I guess I should return that Swedish pump thing then. :(

    I have a feeling the sensors on the Coyote are probably better than the Czech vehicle, and it doesn't hurt to have that 25mm turret if you run into trouble.