Fü-/ErkdFzg Pi Fennek 1A1 - Less Ratty

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TL;DR: A Spähwagen Fennek 1A1 without a mast and intended to serve as a command post. Fires HEDP rounds with 76mm of penetration.

Disclaimer: This is not a suggestion to add the Fennek or its variants to the low-tiers of the German ground tree. One of the main purposes of this suggestion is to convey that this vehicle, and the countless others like it, can absolutely perform at more appropriate, higher, BRs. (i.e. 8.0~).

History:

Reconnaissance is, and always has been, an essential element when it comes to military operation. World War II not only emphasized this but also, for the first time in history, introduced ground-based automotive reconnaissance to the global stage. This, in turn, led to the development of ground vehicles, both tracked and wheeled, tailormade specifically for such a role. With the end of WW2 and thus the relieving of pressure on the world’s military industries, work on perfecting ground-based reconnaissance platforms could finally get underway. Although late to the party, the newly formed West Germany was no different, producing the SPz 11-2 Kurz, a modification of the French Hotchkiss SP1A, as a result. This vehicle would be replaced by the much more modern and wheeled Spähwagen Luchs in 1975. Of course, time would age this vehicle too and by the time the 1989 came around, it was time for replacement, thus starting the light reconnaissance vehicle development program. This would prompt the development of the Zobel, a small and fast 4x4 armored car developed by GST. This design would compete head-to-head against the Panhard VBL. This outcome of these trials wouldn’t matter, however, as it was eventually decided that Germany would instead cooperate with the Netherlands and their preexisting reconnaissance vehicle development program to avoid funding their own by themselves. This cooperation would result in the Fennek, a fast and relatively small 4x4 armored car. Germany would receive their first Fenneks in 2003s, entering service as the Spähwagen Fennek 1A1. The standard armament chosen for this vehicle was the 40mm HK GMG automatic grenade launcher, chambered in 40x53 and capable of firing M430A1 HEDP, which is capable of 73mm of penetration. This weapon would be placed in the KMW 1530 remote weapon station, which is fitted with a thermal imager. To allow for enhanced reconnaissance capability, the Fennek was fitted with the BAA I surveillance module, which was, in turn, attached to an extendable mast capable of raising up to 1.5 meters. This module is fitted with a laser rangefinder and a thermal imager. Fitted with a 179 kW (239hp) engine, the Fennek capable of reaching a max speed of 115kph when the limiter is turned off. As the Fennek became more widespread within the Bundeswehr, more units of different types were being equipped with it. This included Bundeswehr engineering units, however, these engineering units did not require the same level of reconnaissance ability that reconnaissance specific units it. This essentially made a large part of the Spähwagen Fennek 1A1’s equipment, more specifically the mast-mounted BAA I surveillance module, deadweight. The desired role for the Fennek in engineering units was as a command post and support vehicle, with reconnaissance ability not expressly needed but still appreciated. To fit this new role, the BAA I module was entirely removed, with a storage compartment taking its place. The vehicle was also equipped with additional radios as well as the FüInfoSysH command, control, communications and intelligence system. The KMW 1530 RWS was maintained for self-defense purposes. With these modifications made, the vehicle’s designation was updated to Pionierführungs- und Erkundungsfahrzeug Fennek 1A1 or just Fü-/ErkdFzg Pi Fennek 1A1 for short. The Fü-/ErkdFzg Pi Fennek 1A1 still serves to this day, however, they are slowly being converted into the A2 variant, which was designed for combat in Afghanistan and thus features enhanced capabilities.

Place In War Thunder:

Automatic grenade launchers as a vehicle’s main weapon is an understandably controversial topic when it comes to their possible implementation into the game, however, it must be noted that this is largely due to one main factor: misunderstandings and lack of knowledge of the penetration capabilities of HEDP grenades. These misunderstandings combined with a poor muzzle velocity makes many people assume that a vehicle equipped only with an automatic grenade launcher would have to be placed at an uncomfortably low BR to be effective. Fortunately, this really isn’t the case. M430A1 HEDP can penetrate up to 76mm of armor. Pair this with a quick and small wheeled platform and what you get is essentially an autocannon carrier that just needs to get closer to its target. And even if you don’t get closer you have zero distance-based penetration drop off. There is no reason why vehicles equipped solely with AGLs would not be able to perform at suitable BRs in War Thunder. Playstyle would be rather unique, however, not completely unfamiliar. The Fü-/ErkdFzg Pi Fennek 1A1 would essentially like any other wheeled autocannon carrier. The main difference, again, is the required distance from your target to actually cause damage being much MUCH smaller, almost right on top of them, essentially promoting an incredibly suicidal playstyle. That being said, once you do get within range, you will not struggle to penetrate foe you may face, with your 76mm of pen at 340rpm, and thermal imager. Since this vehicle is a special command variant of the standard SPw Fennek 1A1, it could easily work as an event or premium alternative.

Specifications:

Armament: 40mm HK GMG AGL

Dimensions: 5.60m, 2.55m, 2.29m (L,W,H)

Weight: 11000~kg

Armor: Proof against small arms fire and artillery splinters

Crew: 3

Ammunition: HE, HEDP, and Air-Burst

Speed: 115kph

Horsepower: 239hp

Pictures:

Side View:

Fitted with an MG instead of an AGL:

Sources:

Fennek - Wikipedia
BW – Spähwagen Fennek 1A1 | TANK-MASTERS – Photos & Journalism | Military Photos & Journalism
BW – Fennek 1A1 Fü-/ErkdFzg Pi | TANK-MASTERS – Photos & Journalism | Military Photos & Journalism
Fennek Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle | MilitaryToday.com
Fennek | Weaponsystems.net
Mechanische Waffenstationen - KNDS

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As much as I love the Fennek (I actually got to ride in one in Afghanistan), I think its armament would place it at an awkward BR in the WT meta. It would be amid WWII era vehicles and so completely out of its historical context. Not by a little bit, but by several generations. It just isn’t a “good fit” because its pretty much just a sexy uparmored humvee.
Maybe if they gave it extra super scouty powers, like a boost to scouting and artillery calls, it would get up to where it belongs. But otherwise, no.

Highly disagree. A fully stabilized weapon with 76mm of pen, thermals, and placed on a small and mobile chassis would easily allow for a BR of 8.0~. It would essentially be a faster Wiesel 1A4 with better pen and optics. Not to mention that the 40mm AGL is also compatible with air-burst munitions. I don’t see how it would struggle at an appropriate BR even with its poor velocity.

I don’t believe the 1A1 weapon station is fully stabilized, its remotely operated. There is a difference, and the AP ability of HEDP is kinda sus. But yeah, if they put it at 8.0. Fine. It can suffer there. Just don’t put it down in WWII and early cold war vehicles, which is my opinion of where it probably should rate because its not a combat vehicle.

This could be fun! +1

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My mistake on the stabilization part. I must have gotten it confused with the FLW 200 on the 1A2 variant. I will remove any mentions of stabilization. Though my main point still stands since the Wiesel 1A4 is also unstabilized. Maybe BR 7.7 would be better.

That being said, what is sus about the M430A1’s penetration capability? If you want definitive proof that it can pen 76mm of armor, here’s a page discussing 40mm grenades from the Department of Defense Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Budget Estimates.

Spoiler

I never intended for this suggestion to be seen as one for low-tier. I even insinuate as such in my “Place In War Thunder” segment. Even though I am a hardliner for BRs based purely on performance, no vehicle with thermals and speed of this caliber should be anywhere near low-tier and I wouldn’t want to see the Fennek there.

The DPHE can technically pen 78mm but the behind armor effects are like the whole thing, marginal. If you’ve ever seen DPHE fire its… underwhelming. Basically hand grenades. IRL no one would ever go after a tank with a Mk 19.
The Fennek is a scout car. Its not designed to fight, which means it doesn’t fit in WT as it is now. Like I said, if they buff scouting and/or keep it out of BRs it doesn’t belong, then I’m fine with it. I like playing sneaky scout and would love it in the game in that role.

Again, disagree. The fact that it can pen at all is enough because one round will be followed by several more. Not everything has to obliterate 4 crew in a single shot to be effective. Plus, a vehicle like this should be aiming to disable modules before going for the kill, which HEDP would do just fine at.

No one would go after a tank in the RCVs, Wiesel 1A4, or even the BTR-80 in real life either. They’re ALL scout or scout adjacent vehicles and they perform fine in-game. I agree that scouting should be buffed but I still think the Fenneks could easily perform well enough without it if players pick their targets wisely and shoot to disable before they shoot to kill.

I’m going to suggest that we just agree to disagree on this since our opinion and/or philosophies on in-game performance differs fundamentallly and I’m genuinely not looking to antagonize or somehow start a fight with you or anyone else over something as simple as a difference in thinking.

Its up to Gaijin anyway. I’m sure they the are aware of and have considered it before.

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AGL go Fomp.

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Also i think 8.0 or something around that heigt would be better than low br (as the other person mentions) because less heavy tanks and more other light reconnaissans vehicles. More prey.

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I agree. It is, and always been, my intention for this suggestion to convey that the Fennek, and the countless other vehicles like it, could easily perform at higher BRs more representative of their service dates and out of ranges of the majority of WW2 vehicles. I apologize if that wasn’t conveyed well enough.

No it was, my comment wasnt just clear enove. I too think higher Br is better. I meant rather than Lower Brs as Exocetta mentioned.

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