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Hägglunds Bv 206

It is a high mobility personnel/cargo carrier. This vehicle is light weight for mobility on soft ground, deep snow and steep grades and is amphibious.
In US service the vehicle is caled the M973 carrier, cargo, tracked, 1 1/2 ton SUSV (small unit support vehicle).
Ground speed is 30 mph, water speed is 2 mph

I am thankful for all help and information. Contact me, Bo-Göran Knutes, phone +(46)707341470, or email: bg@knutes.se.


In 1974, the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration awarded Hagglund and Soner (now Hagglunds Vehicle AB) a contract for the development of a new over-snow/all-terrain vehicle to succeed the Volvo Bv 202 in the Swedish Army. Three batches of Bv 206 vehicles were delivered to the Swedish Army for trials in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Hagglunds was awarded a first production contract in June 1979 from the Swedish Defense Administration. Under this SEK800 million contract the company delivered preproduction vehicles late in 1980 and began full-scale production in early 1981. Full rate deliveries were made from the middle of 1981 until 1988. In September 1981 the Norwegian Army ordered 220 units, followed in August 1985 by a further 2,004 Bv 206 vehicles in various configurations. In September 1981, the British Army purchased four Bv 206s for trials in a variety of forms and a further number was purchased to replace Bv 202 vehicles then in service with the Army and Royal Marines. A further order (worth $40 million) for diesel-engined vehicles for the Royal Marines was placed in March 1990; these are known as the Bv 206D6. The UK MoD planned to upgrade about 200 of its Bv 206s by replacing their petrol engines with diesel units to bring them up to Bv 206D6 standard. This will extend their service life by over 10 years.
In 1983 the US Army ordered 318 Bv 206s for service in Alaska as the M973 Small Unit Support Vehicle. These entered service in 1983-84. During 1988 the US Army placed a new order for a further 390 M973 SUSV vehicles in various forms, entering service during 1989. By 1991 the US Army fleet numbered approximately 1,100 vehicles. The first of a batch of 12 Bv 206Ds for the German Bundeswehr was delivered in mid-1985. A second order for 63 vehicles was awarded during 1989. The Royal Netherlands Marines ordered its first batch of Bv 206 vehicles in 1989 and continued to order vehicles with differing configurations during 1991 and 1992 (the total was approximately 200 units by 1992). In October 1992, it was announced that the French Defence Ministry had awarded a contract worth SEK20 million for an initial batch of Bv 206 vehicles, mainly provided with load handling systems, for use by the French Army's 27th Mountain Division. It is anticipated that the French Army will eventually purchase as many as 300 to 400 Bv 206 vehicles in different configurations. In early 1993 Singapore ordered a batch of 300 Bv 206s with first deliveries made during early 1994. In November 1993 the 10,000th series produced Bv 206 was formally delivered to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). Hagglunds Vehicle AB has produced over 10,000 Bv 206 vehicles, with military sales to more than 16 countries.


The Bv 206 consists of two tracked units linked together with a steering unit, each unit consisting of a chassis with the body mounted on four rubber elements. Each chassis consists of a central beam, a final drive assembly and two track assemblies. The chassis of the front and rear units are identical, except that a two-step drop-down gearbox is mounted in the rear end of the front chassis. The track assemblies are mounted to the central beam by two transversal leaf springs. Each track assembly is built up around a tubular bar which carries the sprocket assembly, roadwheels and idler. In each track assembly there are four pairs of roadwheels on trailing arms sprung by rubber tension springs. The idler at the rear with a tensioning device is also supported by a rubber spring. All four track assemblies of the vehicle are identical and interchangeable. The tracks are rubber with longitudinal textile cord and integral steel profile reinforcements. Steering is accomplished by changing the direction between the front and rear unit by two hydraulic cylinders, servo-controlled from a conventional steering wheel. The hydraulic system is built up of commercially available components. The steering unit is designed to permit a large freedom of movement between the two bodies. The engine and transmission are mounted in the front unit. A shaft connects the gearbox with the drop-down gearbox. A disc brake is mounted on this shaft in front of the drop-down gearbox inside the body. Cardan shafts transmit power to the final drives on the front end of both chassis. Early units were fitted with petrol engines but current production examples are fitted with Mercedes-Benz 136 hp diesels.
The bodies are made of Glass-Reinforced Plastic (GRP), which is fire resistant, with PVC foam insulation. Each body is built like a closed box with integrated roll-over protection. Heating of the units is by heat exchangers and the de-icing capacity in the front unit is sufficient to keep the windscreen clear down to a temperature of -40°C. The bodies have holders for lashing cargo in the rear unit and also in the rear part of the front unit. The rear unit is also provided with brackets for carrying four stretchers. The Singapore armed forces employ special rear bodies containing water tanks. The Bv 206 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by its tracks.


Flatbed vehicle
This variant accommodates the driver and five passengers in the front unit. The load capacity is increased to 2,350 kg. This variant is available in amphibious and non-amphibious versions.

Anti-tank vehicle
Anti-tank vehicles may be armed with a Bofors 90 mm recoilless rifle, or a TOW, MILAN or Bofors RBS 56 BILL ATGW on a pivot mount which can be hydraulically raised to the required level. The open-front body is provided with roll bars which can be quickly lowered. The low-profile rear body is designed to withstand the backblast of the weapon when it is fired and is used for storing ammunition.

RBS 90
The Bofors RBS 90 SAM system is carried in two Bv 206s, one carrying the disassembled missile stand and the other the fire-control equipment, including early warning radar; the crew is distributed between the two vehicles. For details of this system refer to Jane's Land-based Air Defence 1997-98 pages 288 to 290.

Command Post/Radio vehicle
This can accommodate up to six operators in the rear body and driver plus four personnel in the front body. Door arrangements are identical to the standard carrier version. The vehicle has VHF transceivers in the rear body and all the radios can be operated from the front unit.

Radar and C{3}I vehicles
The high payload of the Bv 206 permits the installation of a very wide range of specialist equipment. For instance, a radar vehicle has a special generator and an Ericsson Giraffe 50 AT C-band search radar with an instrumented range of 50 km and a mast height of 7 m. A radio jamming vehicle is equipped with a separate jamming generator driven by the main engine, generating 15 kVA. The antenna is mounted on an 18 m rapidly erected mast. A radio locating vehicle is equipped with radio intelligence and direction-finding systems. The antenna is mounted on an 18 m telescopic mast. Equipment in a radio relay vehicle consists of either VHF or UHF multi channel radios for automatic relay transmission. The rear vehicle carries spare batteries and a 3 kVA diesel-driven power unit. There is also a 20 m antenna mast for ground or vehicle mounting. The Bv 206 is also used as a carrier for the Ericsson Arthur weapon locating radar system. It is in production for the Norwegian and Swedish armies.

Mortar carriers
Special shock-absorbing flatbeds in various forms enable mortars to be fired from the rear unit of a Bv 206. Mortars tested with this system include TDA and Royal Ordnance 81 mm mortars, with each vehicle carrying approximately 100 rounds of ammunition. A 4.2 in/107 mm mortar version carries 60 rounds of ammunition while a 120 mm mortar variant (in both smoothbore and rifled versions) can carry approximately 30 rounds.

Firefighting version
The Royal Air Force has three special fire and rescue Bv 206 variants based at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. The rear units of these vehicles are occupied by fire and rescue equipment and are utilized as rapid intervention vehicles in the event of airfield accidents.

Bv 206D
Bv 206 all-terrain carriers used by the German Army are fitted with Mercedes-Benz OM 603.950 six-cylinder diesel engines developing 136 bhp at 4,600 rpm. This engine is the current standard installation for new vehicles.

Bv 208
This is the Swedish Army designation for vehicles fitted with diesel engines.

Bv 206 S
This variant appeared during mid-1990 and is an armoured personnel carrier version of the basic Bv 206. For details refer to entry in Jane's Armour and Artillery 1997-98 pages 347 and 348.

Sea Crab
The Sea Crab D500 is an underwater remotely operated vehicle based on the hull, suspension and running gear of the Bv 206. A prototype has been built powered by a 40 kW electro hydraulic power unit with electrical power being delivered by an umbilical cord.

This is an airborne open-topped version of the Bv 206 with the rear unit accommodating a Dynamit Nobel Skorpion mine launching system. It is in the final stages of development for the Swedish Army. For details see Skorpion entry under Minelaying equipment.

Ring Mount NM 165
When equipped with a Ring Mount NM 165 the Bv 206 can be armed with either a 0.50/12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.

Ambulance/first aid station vehicle
This variant carries a crew of five, four stretchers, a medical specialist and medical equipment. It is provided with a tent which folds on to the rear unit allowing the vehicle to be used as a first aid station. The front unit serves as a surgery while the tent acts as a treatment area for up to eight casualties.

Forward repair team vehicle
A typical example of this variant is provided with a hydraulic crane with a lifting capacity of 1,500 kg. A 3,600 kg capacity hydraulic winch is mounted at the front. The vehicle carries a repair crew and sufficient spares, tools and so on, to remain operational for several days. The example quoted is used by the British Army and Royal Marines.

During 1983 the US Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) awarded a US$24.2 million contract for 268 Bv 206 all-terrain carriers (plus an option for a further 34, later exercised) known as the Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV). The contract followed a period of extensive trials carried out using a small batch of vehicles at the Cold Regions Test Center at Fort Greely, Alaska. Most of the vehicles involved in the contract, delivered from Sweden in 1983 and 1984, were issued to the US Army's 172nd Infantry Brigade in Alaska and the Alaskan National Guard. Early M973 SUSVs were powered by 3 litre four-stroke, five-cylinder in-line diesel engines developing 125 hp at 4,500 rpm. Vehicles delivered after 1987 are powered by a Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine developing 136 hp at 4,500 rpm. There are four basic SUSV variants: M973/M973A1 cargo carrier, M1066 ambulance, M1067 flatbed, and M1067 command and control vehicle. In 1988 the US Army ordered a further 390 M973 SUSVs from Hagglunds Vehicle AB. These vehicles were delivered during 1989. Continued purchases until 1992 resulted in a total fleet of approximately 1,100 vehicles.

Other variants
The Bv 206 has been used for a variety of other roles, not all of them military. Using a hydraulically operated load changer arm the Bv 206 can be used to carry a variety of containers, shelters and various load bodies. The trailer can also be used to carry a light crane or lifting platform and may be configured for a number of special purposes such as a remote area firefighting vehicle, as a mobile workshop or as a field ambulance.








©2001 Bo-Göran Knutes