- The construction of the Chilean Mowag Piraña was carried out by Industrias Cardoen and FAMAE (Fabricas y Maestranzas del Ejercito de Chile) in the early 1980s. Industrias Cardoen was a Chilean defense company, owned by Carlos Cardoen. Chile was one of the few countries that had the license from Mowag to be able to build the Pirañas locally, thus building several of these vehicles in different configurations and different types of weapons. This version of the Chilean Mowag Piraña is armed with the 60 mm IMI HVMS (Hyper Velocity Medium Support) cannon of Israeli origin that were obtained by Chile in 1980 when Chile bought the M-50 and M-51 from Israel. Later in 1983 the M-50 and the new cannons arrived in the country, then Chile armed its M-50 and M24 Chaffee with the Israeli cannon. It is known from photos that one of these guns was installed on one of the Mowag Pirañas manufactured by Cardoen and in addition to that they were equipped with a new turret also manufactured by IMI that was originally used for the M113 Zelda HVMS of Israel.
The New Gun
The cannon weighed 700 kg and as its name indicates, it was capable of firing APFSDS-T ammunition at high speed with a muzzle velocity of 1,620 m/s that could penetrate 120mm of armor angled at 60 degrees from a distance of 2,000 meters, which gave the new version of the Chilean Piraña a great anti-tank capacity. There was also supposedly a test where this gun managed to penetrate the side armor of two T-62 side by side at 2000 m, which would be ideal since at that time Chile had to deal with the T-55 of its neighbor Peru in the face of a possible conflict, this being the reason why this gun was installed in most Chilean tanks. It could also use high explosive ammunition that was used more for the destruction of bunkers and other objectives.
Ammunition used by the HVMS 60 mm gun
T-62 penetrated laterally with HVMS 60 mm cannon
The New Turret
The new turret as mentioned above was designed by IMI to use the new gun on Israeli M113, this new turret was operated by 2 people, the commander and the gunner, the commander was located on the left side of the gun where he could operate a machine gun located above his hatch and on the right side the gunner. The turret had an internal diameter of 1,500 mm and a weight of 2,200 kg. It Is known that this turret had a manual reload mode and an automatic one, but it is not known for sure which of the 2 systems was finally implemented in the Chilean Piraña. The turret of the Chilean Piraña also carried two sextuple launchers of smoke grenades as can be seen in photos.
Details of the new turret
Diagram of both charging modes
Finally, the whereabouts of this prototype are unknown since it was only seen for the only time along with other Cardoen industries vehicles many years ago.
- 4 (driver, a commander, a gunner and a radio operator)
- Primary: 60 mm IMI HVMS (Hyper Velocity Medium Support) Gun
- Secondary: a pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun, two sextuple launchers of smoke grenades.
- Length: 5.97m
- Width: 2.5m
- Height: 1.85m (without weapons)
- Weight: Total combat weight: 10.500 kg, plus the weight of the turret and gun (2,200 kg + 700 kg).
- Engine: Detroit diesel 6V-53T
- Horse Power: 300 HP/2800 RPM
- Max. speed on roads: 100 km/h
- Speed in water: 10.5 km/h
- Power to weight ratio: 28,6 HP/TON
- Gear box: Allison MT-653
- Type: Automatic
- Gears: 5+1
- Max. gradient: 70%
- Lateral inclination: 30%
- Maximum obstacle height: 0,5 ms
- Turning circle: 11,3 ms
- Fuel tank capacity: 400 lts.
- Range: 1.200 kms.
- Additional system: fire extinguishing system that is activated in the engine once it exceeds a certain temperature. Amphibious capability.