Pinzgauer LOV

Current Force > Pinzgauer

Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicle ($93 million)

Keeping track of the Pinzgauer's ownership has been difficult in recent years. The vehicle began life with Steyr-Daimler Pusch of Austria (hence the name of a mountain pony) it was then transferred to British Company, Automotive Tecknik  Ltd which was bought out by US Truck manufacturer Stephenson Stewart which was in turn bought out by Armor Holdings which was in turn acquired by BAE Land Systems.

The Pinzgauer has an excellent reputation for offroad performance and there are fan sites all over the internet. Pinzgauer light trucks have been adapted to a wide range of roles from ambulance and fire-fighter to light assault vehicle. While they are cheap compared to armoured vehicles they are, however vulnerable to ordinary rifle fire and mine attack and extremely expensive compared to commercial four wheel drives.

The Army has bought 338 of these vehicles, including over 60 armoured Pinzgauers at an average cost of $289,000 each. They have had considerable gearbox problems (as this author witnessed when he overtook one, grinding up a very steep road - on his bicycle!). Some of the vehicles will be the armoured version which is protected from distant small arms and shell splinters but not from mines or heavier ordenance.

Most of the time they will not be using their legendary 6x6 capability. Used as a general run-about in place of a 4x4 it is hard to see how the extra expense is justified.  What is important here is anticipated life. If the NZDF expects to run the Pinzgauer for 30 years (like the Landrover) it is essentially buying just as automotive technology is on the point of switching to newer more fuel efficient designs (eg hybrids).

While a force should certainly have recourse to such vehicles it is hard to see why the whole force needs 338 premium quality vehicles when most of the time commercial off the shelf quality would be more than adequate. It is especially significant that the Army is using Toyota Landcruisers in Afghanistan for the same reason as Osama Bin Laden - they are very reliable and have a good support base. While a Landcruiser (armoured or not) may not have the performace of a Pinzgauer (armoured or not) 99% of the time it won't be used. Moreover when it comes to running over an anti-tank mine neither is an attractive option.

Overseas Example

The Swiss Army has replaced its Pinzgauers with the even more expensive Duro II. This means there are now a number of second-hand Pinzgauers on the market for around US$15,000 at US dealer Buypinzgauer.

Australian Example

The Australians designed and built 680 of their own Bushmaster armoured vehicle. This semi-armoured vehicle was built to carry 'diggers' vast distances in relative comfort on Timoney suspension through the Australian bush/outback. At A$565,000 a unit it is, however, not a light vehicle. The Australian Army relies on the Land Rover 110 and Perentie 6x6 extended Landrover. In the Northern Territory the Army also uses the Toyota Land Cruiser for ease of logistic support.

 Manufacturers Website:


Value for Money

M1: Pacific Security

B: Lightweight with excellent mobility in the Pacific, especially on bad roads in poor weather. Only failing is lack of amphibious capability.

M2: International Peacekeeping

C: Excellent mobility but armour is an add-on making the vehicle vulnerable to improvised explosive devices and landmines.

M3: Terrorist Seige

C: Fine mobility but kinda obvious

M4: Device Disposal

not applicable

B1: Biohazard

not applicable

F1: Fisheries Surveillance

E: Useful for inshore surveillance where backroads are used by poachers

F2: Fisheries Intervention

E: Useful for inshore surveillance where backroads are used by poachers

C1: Civil Emergency

C: Very useful for carrying personnel and stores through difficult routes

C2: Pacific Emergency

D: Easier to deploy by C-130 than a LAVII but not amphibious

C3: Medical Team

C: Useful if available

R1: Antarctic Research Programme

D: Not really antarctic strength

R2: Pacific Hydrographical Research

not applicable