Raketenjagdpanzer SPW-40 (9M14): An East German Original

Would you like the RakJPz SPW-40 (9M14) to be added to the game?
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Raketenjagdpanzer SPW-40 (9M14): An East German Original

(The SPW-40 is the vehicle on the right. On the left is a BRDM-1-based 9P111.)

NOTE: This vehicle does not (to my knowledge) have an official name. As such, I have given it this name in accordance with similar German ATGM carriers.

History:

The BTR-40 was the first post-WWII armored car of the USSR. It first saw service in 1950, with over 8,500 being built and variants seeing service well through the 1980s (and reportedly in some 3rd-world countries to this day). It was an armored troop carrier and scout car based on the GAZ-63 truck, capable of carrying 6-8 troops, depending on the version. The vehicle underwent a number of revisions and upgrades over the years, and many derivatives were produced, perhaps most notably the BTR-40A anti-air vehicle. The BTR-40 served well, but it had issues which eventually led to its replacement by the larger BTR-152 and BRDM-1, splitting the roles of APC and amphibious scout car into two distinct roles as opposed to one unified vehicle. Despite the fact that the USSR moved on rather quickly, many other countries received the vehicle as an export, enabling it to see service in dozens of conflicts and allowing for each country to create new variants. One of the countries which used it the most was the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany.

East Germany made use of the BTR-40, known as the SPW-40 in their service, long after the USSR had retired it. As they were a secondary state, they used whatever they could until they got the newer equipment from the Soviet Union, in this case the updated BTR-152. Because of this, they needed to adapt the vehicle to different roles, one of which was a missile carrier.

At the time, the most common missile across the whole Eastern Bloc was the 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger). It was a simple MCLOS missile which had quickly become one of the most popular ATGMs on the planet, and one that would continue to be used to this day. Introduced sometime during the early 1960s, the East Germans received theirs as part of being a member of the Warsaw Pact. These missiles became the backbone of their anti-tank forces until they were replaced by newer models, such as the 9K111 Fagot or 9M113 Konkurs. During the overlapping periods of time when the SPW-40 was still in use and the 9M14 had been obtained, an interesting vehicle was built. This experimental missile carrier seems to have been borne out of the necessity for more anti-tank vehicles to accompany the existing fleet of 9P111s (BRDM-1 missile carriers). It is unknown how many were built, and not much information exists about its service or exact construction date. However, we do have at least one photo of it being tested alongside a 9P111 (seen above), and images of at least one in a junkyard after having been abandoned. This experimental vehicle never really went anywhere, as either there were enough 9P111 vehicles to serve the army or new equipment had come in, rendering it obsolete.

Description:

The RakJPz SPW-40 (9M14) is a combination of two existing vehicles, modified to adapt them together. The SPW-40/BTR-40, being based on the GAZ-63 4x4 truck, is good at both on-road and off-road transport. It is equipped with a GAZ-40 inline-6 gasoline engine producing 80 hp, a slightly more powerful engine than that of the original truck. This is to compensate for the 6-8mm of steel armor plate that covers the vehicle. This is enough to protect from light shell fragments and small arms fire, but not heavy machine guns or autocannons. The standard BTR-40 had no roof and came with firing ports on the sides for use by the troops inside, but the missile carrier variant did away with the firing ports, as it did not carry troops, and added a roof to cover the retractable missile launcher in a similar fashion to the 9P111 variant of the BRDM-1. The missile launcher in question was effectively identical to the 9P111, with six rails for 9M14 missiles. It is capable of being retracted inside the vehicle for stowage and reloading. I have not been able to confirm if any reloads were kept inside the vehicle, but if it follows the trend of the 9P111 then it would carry 12-14 missiles total, with 6 on the rails. This makes sense, as the ability to carry troops was removed for reloading.

I think this, being one of the few uniquely East German vehicles to exist, deserves a spot in the German TT, and I hope more East German vehicles join it!

Due to the fact that this served as a scout vehicle as well as an APC, this missile carrier would be equipped with scouting, similar to the Type 60 ATM and Zachlam Tager.

Specifications:

Spoiler

Main Armament: 9M14 Malyutka ATGM

Secondary Armament: None

Armor: 6-8mm around the vehicle

Ammo count: 14 missiles total, 6 on the launch rails

Engine: GAZ-40 Inline-6 Gasoline, 80 HP

Transmission: 4-speed manual, 4WD

Speed: 50 mph (80 km/h) on-road

Crew: 2 (Driver, Commander)

Mass: 5.3 metric tons

Gallery:

Spoiler



If there is anything I have missed or gotten incorrect, please let me know! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope you will also check out my other suggestions! Thanks, and have a great day.


Sources:

Spoiler

BTR-40 - Wikipedia

BTR-40 APC (1950)

East German Tanks and AFVs of the cold war, 1947-1990

Original Pictures 3

Reddit - Dive into anything

9M14 Malyutka - Wikipedia

1 Like

+1 an east german vehicle nobody can complain about

2 Likes

Very cool, also SACLOS. So before RJP 1?

MCLOS, unfortunately. This uses the base model 9M14.

1 Like

Oh right my bad, i said manual in my head but still spelt SACLOS lol

No worries!

1 Like

6.3