SK 105 Kürassier Light Tank

Last updated on February 19th, 2019 at 10:02 pm

The SK 105 Kürassier light tank was designed to be a mobile anti-tank vehicle that the Austrian army could use in difficult terrain.  The Austrian army classifies it as a Jagdpanzer (tank destroyer).

It is based on the Saurer 4K 4FA Armored Personnel Carrier.

In 1967, the first prototype of the SK 105 Kürassier was completed by Saurer-Werke, now part of Steyr-Daimler-Puch. The first pre-production vehicles were built in 1971.

The SK 105 Kürassier light tank weighs 17 tons (17,700 kg). The hull is made of welded steel. Additional armor can be added to the front of the chassis and the turret.
SK 105 Kürassier light tank. Source: Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide
There is a torsion bar suspension, with five road wheels and three track return rollers. The idler is in the front and the drive sprocket is in the back.

Maximum road speed is 43 miles per hour (70kph)

Main armament on the Kürassier is a French 105 G1 4.13 inch (105mm) gun that can fire HE, HEAT and smoke rounds.

A distinguishing feature of the SK 105 Kürassier light tank is its oscillating turret, which resembles the turret on the French AMX-13 light tank.  The turret is divided into two parts. The gun is in the top part of the turret, which pivots on the bottom part.

To raise or lower the main gun, the top part of the turret is elevated. The gun can be elevated from -8 degrees to +12 degrees.

There is an automatic loader in the turret. The loader consists of two revolver type magazines, each of which can load six shells.

Additional armament includes a 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun and three smoke grenade discharges.

The SK 105 light tank is operated by a crew of three – driver, commander and gunner. The driver sits in the front left of the tank. Some ammunition is stored to his right.

The commander sits in the left side of the turret and the gunner sits in the right side.

The power pack is in the back of the tank.

There is NBC production. The driver and commander have infrared night vision equipment.

A large infrared/white searchligh is located on the right side of the turret roof.

An upgrade kit can be used to convert the tank to the SK105/A1, which has additional armor protection over the frontal arc, a cupola-mounted (0.3 inch) 7.62 mm or 0.5 inch 12.7mm machine gun and an improved fire control system. The main weapon has been modified to allow it to fire AFPSDS rounds.

A later variant, the SK 105/A2 has a new ammunition loading system and a new fire control system.

The SK 105/A3 has a new turret, better armor protection and uses an American M68 4.13 inch (105mm) gun as its main weapon.

Other variants include an armored recovery vehicle (the Greif), an engineering vehicle (the Pionier) and a driver training vehicle.

The SK105 Kürassier light tank is in service in Austria, Argentina, Bolivia, Tunisia and Morocco and Botswana.

It has been used by NATO forces in Kosovo.


SK 105 Kürassier Light

Active: 1971
Crew: 3
Weight: 17 tons (17,700kg)
Length: 18ft 3in (5.58m), 25ft 4 in (7.74m) with gun forwards
Height: 8ft 3in (2.53m) to commander’s cupola, 9ft 5in (2.88m) including searchlight
Width: 8ft 2in (2.5m)
Weapons: Main – 4.13in (105mm) gun, Secondary – 1 x 0.3 (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun, 3 pairs of smoke grenade dischargers
Armor Maximum – 1.57in (40mm)
Engine: Steyr 7FA 6-cylinder liquid-cooled 4-stroke turbocharged diesel, 320hp
Speed: 43 mph (70kph)
Range: 311 miles (500 km)