Spähpanzer Luchs 2A2

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The Spähpanzer Luchs 2A2 in Steel Beasts Professional

Spähpanzer Luchs: Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle


Statistics

Main Gun: Rh202 20mm Autocannon
Ammunition Stowage: 375 ready/0 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 75/0 DM43 APDS-T, 300/0 DM81 HE-I-T


Commander's MG: 7.62mm MG3
Ammunition Stowage: 200 ready/800 stowed
Default Ammunition: 200/800 7.62mm AP


Armour Protection:
Frontal Turret Armour: N/A
Frontal Hull Armour: Thin. Protected vs small arms and artillery fragmentation.


Grenades: Smoke Grenades
Ammunition Storage: 2 salvo ready/2 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 2/2 Smoke


Combat Mass: 19.5 tonnes (Combat loaded)
Length: 7.74m
Width: 2.98m
Height: 2.84m (roof-top)
Engine Power: 390 hp Mercedes-Benz OM 403A 10-cylinder Diesel
Top Speed: 90kph

General

Developed by Thyssen-Henschel (now Rheinmetall) in the early 1970s as a replacement for the Schützenpanzer SPz 11-2 Kurz and M41 light tank, the Spähpanzer Luchs (Ger: “armored reconnaissance vehicle Lynx”) is an 8x8 amphibious reconnaissance vehicle which entered German service in 1975. Based on the principle of "videre sine videri" (lat: "seeing without being seen"), the Luchs' design descends from the proven World War II vintage Schwerer Panzerspähwagen family of armored scout cars. Features include 8-wheel steering, run-flat tires, NBC protection, and a heavily insulated all steel welded hull offering extremly quite operation. One unique feature retained from the 8 Rad Sd.Kfz. 231 is a second driver's position (radio operator) at the rear of the vehicle, allowing it travel either direction at top speed.

Basic armament consists of a un-stabilized Rheinmetall Rh202 20mm autocannon in a two-man TS-7 turret with an elevation of -15 to +69 degrees. A skate-ring mounted 7.62mm MG3 anti-aircraft machine gun is provided at the commander's station. This armament is light, and, as indicated by the relatively small amount of ammunition carried, is intended for self-defense only. Both the commander and gunner are provided with the same PERI-Z11A1 periscopes found on the Marder 1 and TAM with the addition of infra-red optics and a white/IR spotlight mounted on the left side of the turret.

Motive power is provided by a 390 hp 10-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 403A diesel engine coupled with an ZF Friedrichshafen AG automatic 4 PW 95 H1 transmission with 4 forward and 4 reverse gears. Air is mixed with exhaust gases to reduce thermal signature. Suspension consists of four steerable Daimler-Benz rigid axles with differential locks which are supported by longitudinal bars and bogies along with a vertical coil spring and hydraulic shock-absorber at each wheel station. Early versions are fully amphibious with minimal preparation.

The modeled version is the Spähpanzer Luchs 2A2 which replaces the original passive night vision and spotlight combination with thermal sights (Luchs 2A1) and upgrades the radios to the digital SEM 80/90 system. The thermal sight (Luchs 2A1) upgrade occurred between 1983 (423 vehicles) to 1987 (846 vehicles final total), with about 600 vehicles upgraded by 1985.

Vehicle crew on the Luchs is normally four: driver, gunner, radio operator/driver, and vehicle commander, but due to limitations with in the Steel Beasts engine the radio operator/second driver position is not modeled as a separate station from the drivers position. Instead the vehicle carries a two man scout section carrying 5.56mm rifles, which should only be deployed when the vehicle is set in a fixed reconnaissance position.

Produced from 1975 through 1978 with a total production of 408 vehicles, the Spähpanzer Luchs saw service only with the Germany army (Bundeswehr). Beginning in 2003, the Fennek began replacing the Luchs as Germany's primary reconnaissance platform with the two vehicles operating in mixed units until 2009 when the Luchs was finally withdrawn from service.

Thermal Signature

Spähpanzer Luchs 2A2 TIS image, front-right Spähpanzer Luchs 2A2, rear-left

Crew Positions

Tank Commander's Position F7

TC's unbuttoned view

In Steel Beasts the tank commander's (TC) position on the Spähpanzer Luchs is fully crew-able and modeled. The TC's position is accessed by pressing F7.

TC's interior view

From this position the user can raise and lower their perspective (and exposure level) by holding the Q key (to go up) and the Z key (to go down). The TC can also button or unbutton (close and open the TC's hatch) by pressing the B key (toggle). While unbuttoned, the TC may also wish to use binoculars to get a closer view on a distant area by pressing the N key (toggle).

From the F1 interior view, the N key is also used for getting a closer look/access different panels in the turret.

The TC also has smoke grenades at his disposal. The TC can fire a single smoke salvo by pressing TAB, once expended the grenade launches will need to be reloaded.

  • The usefulness of the smoke grenade launches should not be underestimated, and it is one of the most useful tools at the disposal of the TC. Smoke grenade launchers are a vital tool for the security of the vehicle and should be used for a variety or reasons. These include, but are not limited to: attempting to break contact with the enemy, protection against non thermal sight equipped threats, and protecting the vehicle from enemy attempts to range you with an laser range finder. At the same time, care should be taken on when smoke is deployed since you are basically announcing your location to anyone else who might be unaware of it.

Commander's Machine Gun

The Spähpanzer Luchs has a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun mounted on the commanders cupola. The weapon is intended for air defense and against infantry and is accessed with the ALT + F3 key.

The gun sight view is the machine gun's standard iron sights and has no provision for range determination. Once in the gun sight view you are able to slew the gun and manipulate elevation using the mouse or joystick. The MG is fired with the SPACE BAR. The standard sight is adjustable from 0 to 1200m using either the Mouse Wheel or Shift + Up/Down Arrow (forward reduces range and backwards increases). The selected range will be indicated in red numbers at the top center of the display. Pressing R flips the sight to the anti-aircraft sight (non-adjustable) and pressing N shifts the gunner's view from “close” (through the sights) to “far” (over the sights). Pressing O while looking thorough the sights shifts the gunner's view to look "over" the gun, allowing a wide field of view and quick target acquisition, but requires BOT (burst on target) gunnery techniques to walk effective fire on to the target. As with the sights, pressing N shifts the Squad Leader's view from “far” to “close”.


TC's 7.62mm MG3, sight view.

Warmebielgeraet

Located to TC's left front is the Warmebielgeraet which is the control panel for the TIS system. This is accessed by looking at it in the F1 view and pressing the N key. Note that most of the panel's buttons and switches are non-functional, but “polarity” (polaritat -) and field of view (Sehfeld N) are modeled:

A similar, but smaller, panel with the same functionality is located just to the gunner's right. Just below the WBG on the commander's side sits the smoke-grenade control panel, but this is non-functional.

Commander's Sights

On the Spähpanzer Luchs the commander is provided both day and thermal optics for both observation and engagement of targets and a unity window for general observation.

Day optics consist of a Carl Ziess Peri Z11A1 periscope with a 2x wide field of view (WFoV) and 6x narrow field of view (NFoV). This sight is identical to that mounted at the gunner's station and is covered fully in that section. The TC can access the day sight by pressing F3

TC's day sight view, low magnification

Between the day and thermal sights is a 1x unity window that covers the area directly to the turrets front. Press Alt+F1 to access the unity window.

TC's unity window view

Lastly, to his right, the Spähpanzer Luchs TC is provided an extension for the TIS. The image is displayed in a small relaxed viewing monitor that offers a slightly reduced 1.33x and 5.5x magnification compared to the gunner's view. As with the day sight, the TC can confirm what gunner is looking at and can override the gunner onto another target or even choose to engage the target himself. Press F2 to access this sight.

Once in the GPSE view, the sight functions identically to the Gunners TIS view (which is explained in the gunner's section).

TC's vision block view

TC's vision block view

On some occasions the TC may need to quickly look around the vehicle without having to spin the turret and without having to expose himself to hostile fire. The vision block view allows the TC to remain safely inside the vehicle and quickly scan around for close threats. It is most useful when enemy infantry are in the immediate area. As modeled, the TC's cupola has seven vision blocks, giving him a 360o view around the vehicle. Access the TC's vision block view by pressing F4.

Once in the vision block view, the mouse or joystick can be used to quickly and seamlessly pan the TC's view from vision block to vision block, allowing him to scan around the vehicle. While the vision block view completely protects the TC from hostile fire, it does have an extremely limited field of view and offers no magnification.

Key listing for Spähpanzer Luchs TC's position


General Commands:

TAB: Pop smoke. Launches smoke grenades to deploy a smoke screen in the direction that the turret is facing. Useful for breaking up enemy LRF or completely obscuring your vehicle against a non-thermal sight equipped threat.

Joystick Button #3 or P: Override gunner. Press and hold.

F2 = TC daysight (Peri Z11).

F3 = GPSE (sight extension of the TIS system).

ALT + F3 = TC machine gun.

F4 = access to vision blocks.

ALT+F1= TC unity sight.

SPACEBAR = Single fire BMK (when overriding).

SPACEBAR+SHIFT = Burst fire (when overriding).

INSERT: Switches the beltfeeder to AP rounds.

DELETE: Switches the beltfeeder to HE rounds.

Q: Raise position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level up in the hatch.

Z: Lower position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level down in the hatch.

B: Button hatches. Moves the TC's view down and closes the hatch. This is useful for protection from artillery and small-arms. A second press unbuttons the hatch, to a covered-protected position, with a third press opening the hatches completely.

N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the TC is unbuttoned, this will bring toggle the binocular view. When the TC is inside the turret this key will make the TC lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret. In either sight view this switches between high and low magnification.

LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face to the left or right of the main gun (turret).

UP ARROW: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing this key will cause the TC to face in the direction of the gun (turret).

DOWN ARROW: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing this key will cause the TC to face to the rear of the turret.

U: Unload troops.

SHIFT + U: Load troops.


Driver related commands:

SHIFT + BACKSPACE: Shut down / startup engine (toggle). Orders the driver to shut off or start up the engine. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to execute a "short count" and simultaneously shut down or start up their engines.

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).

D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).


Gunner related commands:

SPACE BAR: Multipurpose. Orders the gunner to fire at a target he is looking at when not overriding the gunner. If the TC is overriding the turret, the this will fire the main gun.

H: Hold fire. Orders the gunner to hold fire. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to hold fire.

F: Fire at will. Orders the gunner to fire at will. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to fire at will.

E: Engage. Orders the gunner to engage, and instructs the driver to take up a battle position. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to engage and take up a battle position in the direction of the user's view.

,: Hydraulic mode. Orders to gunner to put the turret in manual mode.

.: Emergency mode. Orders the gunner to put the fire control system in emergency mode.

M: Coax / Main gun (toggle). Orders the gunner to toggle between the main gun and coax to engage targets.

SHIFT + LEFT ARROW: Gunner, scan left. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the left and scan for targets.

SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW: Gunner, scan right. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the right and scan for targets.

SHIFT + UP ARROW: Gunner, scan front. Orders the gunner to put the gun over the front and scan for targets.

SHIFT + INS: Orders the IFV crew to reload all weapons AP rounds.

SHIFT + DEL: Orders the IFV crew to reload all weapons HE rounds.

SHIFT + PAGE DOWN: Reload all. Orders the tank crew to reload all weapons systems.

Gunner's Position F6

Gunner's unbuttoned view

In Steel Beasts the gunner's position on the Spähpanzer Luchs is fully modeled and crew-able. The gunner's position is accessed by pressing F6.

From this position the user can raise and lower their perspective (and exposure level) by holding the Q key (to go up) and the Z key (to go down). The gunner can also button or unbutton (close and open the gunner's hatch) by pressing the B key (toggle). While unbuttoned, the gunner may also wish to use binoculars to get a closer view on a distant area by pressing the N key (toggle)).

Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS)
Marder 1A3 TIS view, 2x magnification

The gunner's thermal imaging sight is the primary sight the gunner utilizes to engage and destroy targets. On the Spähpanzer Luchs this is the WOE (Warme-Ortungs-Empfanger) PERI Z59 sighting system providing 2x and 8x magnified views. The sight is accessed by pressing the F2 key. Pressing + on the num pad toggles the TIS between on and standby (off), while pressing - on the num pad toggles the sight's polarity. Lastly, the * and / keys on the num pad are used to focus the TIS.

Marder 1A3 TIS view, 8x magnification

In the 2x magnification Wide Field of View (WFoV), the sight will display a “framing reticle” that outlines the area that will be magnified in the 8x Narrow Field of View (NFoV). The WFoV is used to quickly scan the terrain, looking for any hot spots that stand out. Once a heat signature is spotted, press N to zoom in, switching the sight to the NFoV.

In this view you can track and engage a target. The TIS 8x view is excellent for engaging targets that may be behind woods or vegetation, behind thin clouds of dust, and behind conventional smoke screens. The TIS is also at an extreme advantage over non-TIS equipped foes in low visibility conditions such as night, poor weather, or fog. The disadvantage of the TIS view is that target identification can be difficult, especially at long range (depending on the quality of the sight). As a trigger puller, you need to be extremely certain that what you are observing indeed is an enemy vehicle before committing an act of fratricide. The best way to be certain of this (in good visibility) is to switch to daylight view once a target is acquired. That said, gunners with experience will memorize thermal signatures of all vehicles to the point that they can identify targets in the TIS as effectively as they can in daylight view.

Daylight Sight

The daylight sight is mostly used when the TIS is damaged or, in good visibility conditions, to better identify targets. On the Spähpanzer Luchs this is the Cal Ziess Peri Z11A1 and features a 2x wide field of view (WFoV) and 6x narrow field of view (NFoV). The WFoV also doubles as the Air-Defence sight. The day sight view is accessed by pressing F2.

Inputting Range

To the respective right and left sides of their positions, near the top, are the TC and gunner's Aufsatz range dials (gray, cone shaped objects with range scales on it them). These may be accessed in the F1 interior view by looking at them, zooming in with the N key, and manipulating them with the mouse. While on low and medium realism settings, the scale will be projected into the optical sights, in order to make it a bit easier for the player to select ranges.

On the dial you’ll find GREEN and RED numbers:

  • GREEN = APDS rounds.
  • RED = AP and HE rounds.

Rotating the mouse wheel up and down or pressing SHIFT+ UP/DOWN ARROW changes the range setting of the gun (the center crosshair gets adjusted to the given range). Ranges are indicated in hundreds of meters at the little white gaps in the physical range dials, or with a black indicator wire in the “virtual” projection.

Engaging Targets

Engaging targets with either day or thermal optics can be a complicated affair. Obviously the first thing you need to do to engage a target is to acquire it. The best way to do this is by using the TIS 2x sight. Once a target is acquired, the gunner should switch to 8x magnification by pressing N and place the cross in the center of the reticle on the target.

At this point you will have to use stadiametric range estimation to range the target. A good rule of thumb for the Peri Z11 in NFoV is that a BMP-2 is slightly bigger than the central cross-hair at ~800m away. Note that the effective range against light-armored targets is roughly at 1000m, and against tanks the best you can hope is to damage damage them below 600m. With this in mind, the Aufsatz should be set to 800m AP (the AI will do this automatically). This will allow engagement of all targets within effective range when using AP (APDS) between ~500 and ~1100m with only minor reticle adjustments.

It is advised NOT to engage targets beyond 1100m.

Note that the gun on the Spähpanzer Luchs is NOT stabilized, therefore engagements on the move should be avoided.

Lead
GPS view, some lead applied on a moving target

The most important thing to realize is that the Spähpanzer Luchs lacks an FCS and therefore does NOT induce lead. Lead is the term used to refer to putting a gun in front of a target which is moving perpendicular to your vantage point. When you lead a target, you essentially need to fire in front of target at the point in which the round and target will meet. Since the Luchs' sights do not calculate lead, then the gunner must estimate and apply lead himself, and he does this with the use of the horizontal lines to the left and right of the central aiming point, and with a bit of skill.

Indexing Ammo
Feed chute selection lever

If the TC orders a change of the main gun ammo type (ie. from AP to HE), you must select the new ammo type when the round is loaded by pressing INSERT (AP) or DELETE (HE). This is referred to as "indexing" the round type. Essentially you are telling the TC to select the appropriate feed-chute by moving the selection knob at the front-right of his station. Of course, the gunner or TC can change ammunition types at any time using the same keys.

Reengage
Gunner's right-front vision block view

In the event that you miss the target, you should relay on the original aiming point, then simply adjust the sight in relation to where the round hit and walk it into the target. You should not waste valuable time estimating the range to the target again unless the target is rapidly moving towards or away from you.

Gunner's Auxiliary Sight (GAS)

Unlike most western "tanks", the Luchs does NOT have a true auxiliary sight, the backup daylight gun sight being the commander's Peri Z11 day sight.

Gunner's Vision Blocks

The gunner has five vision blocks, which cover the vehicle's right side and rear, and may be accessed by pressing F4 and using the joystick or mouse to move from block to block.

Key listing for the Spähpanzer Luchs gunner's position


Weapon system commands:

SPACE BAR: Fire selected weapon. Fires either the main gun or coax (selection dependent, see below).

SHIFT + SPACE BAR: Burst fire. Fires the main gun at high rate.

M: Switches between gun and coax (Toggle).

SHIFT + B: Button ballistic sight cover. Closes the cover fort he Gunners sights IOT protect them from artillery or small arms fire.

N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the Gunner is inside the turret view this key will make the Gunner lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret. In Peri Z11 or TIS mode this switches between high and low magnification.

* and / : Focus control when using the TIS.

INSERT: Switches the beltfeeder to AP rounds.

DELETE: Switches the beltfeeder to HE rounds.

,: Hydraulic mode. Toggles between hydaulic and manual modes.

LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: Manual traverse. Tap to traverse the turret using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to traverse the turret faster.

UP ARROW / DOWN ARROW: Manual elevation. Tap to elevate the main gun using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to elevate the main gun faster.


Tank commander related commands:

T: Identified! Tells the TC that you have located a target and that you are going to engage it. Essentially it tells the AI TC to leave you alone while you engage and forbids the AI from guiding you to another target. Use at your own risk.

I: I can't see it! Tells the TC that you cannot see a target or the one he is commanding you to engage. Essentially it tells the AI TC to guide you on to a target that it wants you to engage.


Driver related commands:

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).

D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).

Driver's Position F9

In Steel Beasts the driver's position on the Marder 1A3 is crew-able, but only partially modeled with a detailed interior view, but no functional controls. The driver's position is accessed by pressing F9. Once in the driver's position, you can drive the Luchs by using the joystick or W A S D X keys.

Driver's vision blocks

When buttoned up, the driver views the world through 3 vision blocks set in the roof of his compartment. You can also unbutton the driver and raise his view by holding Q and you can lower the driver and make him button up by holding Z.

Radio Operator's Position F2

While in the driver's position pressing F2 accesses the radio operator/reverse driver's position at the vehicle's rear. From here the user can drive the Luchs in reverse using the same controls for the normal driver's position above. Note that the user cannot unbutton in this position. Pressing F1 returns the user to the forward driver's station.

Links

Purchase SB Pro PE