Tactical Weapons

Germany is sending these tough armored vehicles to Ukraine

Miguel Ortiz Avatar

(Official Photo by Petty Officer First Class Ryan Tabios, ISAF HQ Public Affairs) German soldiers on patrol in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan with their Dingos (ISAF photo)

On September 15, 2022, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced that the government would send 50 of its ATF Dingo infantry mobility vehicles to Ukraine. The announcement was another reversal on the German government’s policy on providing Ukraine with additional military armored vehicles. In April 2022, Germany broke a decades-old policy by sending heavy weapons to Ukraine in the form of Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. Since then, it has also provided Ukraine with its advanced Panzerhaubitze 2000 155mm artillery systems. With the war in Ukraine changing rapidly following a counter-offensive that pushed many Russian forces out of Ukrainian territory, the fast and armored ATF Dingos will be a welcome addition to Ukraine’s arsenal.

The ATF is a German MRAP (KMW)

Manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the current production Dingo 2 armored vehicles entered service with the German Army in 2004. The ATF designation stands for Allschutz-Transport-Fahrzeug, or all-protected transport vehicle in German. Named for the native Australian wild dog, the Dingo features a V-shaped hull to deflect blasts below the vehicle like landmines and IEDs. Moreover, the Dingo’s armor protects its occupants from rifle fire and artillery shrapnel. It is also sealed to protect against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.

Like other mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, the Dingo can be armed with a remote-operated weapon mounted to its roof. A soldier sitting inside the vehicle uses a weapon station to aim and fire it from the safety of the Dingo. The German Army primarily equips the Dingo with their MG3 7.62mm and MG4 5.56mm machine guns. However, it can also be fitted with the M3M .50 BMG machine gun or the H&K GMG automatic grenade launcher.

A convoy of German Dingos in Afghanistan (U.S. Navy photo)

The Dingo saw extensive use with the German Army in Afghanistan. As an MRAP, it performed similarly to its American and British counterpart known as the Cougar and Mastiff, respectively. Germany delivered 20 Dingo 1s to the Iraqi Army. The Dingo 2 is in service with the armies of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Norway, Pakistan, and Qatar as well as the German Federal Police.