KanJPz/RakJPz (Family)

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Raketenjagdpanzer I (1958)

Msg-info.png This vehicle is unrelated to the other vehicles on this page; it is not part of the KanJPz/RakJPz family.

The RakJPz I was an early experiment for carrying anti-tank missiles on an armoured chassis. It was based on the Hispano-Suiza HS.30 chassis, used by the Schützenpanzer Lang, armed with Nord SS.11 anti-tank guided missiles. It entered service in 1961. It was supplemented and replaced by the Raketenjagdpanzer II in 1967, which was based on the same chassis as the Kanonenjagdpanzer.

Kanonenjagdpanzer (1965-1990)


In 1960, the Bundeswehr decided to use the 90 mm M36 gun from the M47 Patton tank in a series of German tank destroyers. The design would be doctrinally similar to the World War 2 tank destroyers of the Wehrmacht. The specifications were given to three companies, Hanomag, Henschel, and the Swiss manufacturer MOWAG. The prototypes were tested, and Henschel and Hanomag were kept for pre-production. They made two more prototypes with the BK 90/L40 made by Rheinmetall, based on the 90 mm M36 gun from the United States. In 1965 the design was accepted by the Bundeswehr. It was known as the Kanonenjagdpanzer, also known as the Kanonenjagdpanzer 4-5, the Kanonenjagdpanzer 90, or the Jagdpanzer Kanone 90. The name could be shortened to KanJPz or KnJPz.


The hull featured a "stepped" design, meaning the engine compartment was lower than the crew compartment. The driver sat on the left front of the vehicle, under the driver's hatch. The loader sat right behind the driver, and had a cupola. The commander sat in the rear right hand side of the vehicle, and had a cupola. The gunner sat at the front right hand side of the vehicle, on the other side of the gun breech from the driver, and had no hatch.

The design included sloped armour, although the thickness was not great. The frontal glacis was 50 mm thick, the sides and rear were 30 mm thick, the frontal crew compartment roof section was 20 mm thick, and the engine deck, bottom, and rear crew compartment roof section were 10 mm thick.

The powerplant of the KanJPz was a MTU MB 837 Aa V8  29.4 L water-cooled multi-fuel diesel engine, which produced 500 hp. The suspension that was used was an independent torsion bar design. It had five double road wheels, three return rollers, a rear drive sprocket, and a front idler wheel. The maximum speed on-road was 70 kph (43.5 mph).

The main armament consisted of a BK 90/L40 90 mm gun, and carried 51 rounds for the main cannon. The gun could traverse 15° to the side and had -8° to +15° depression and elevation.Secondary armament consisted of two 7.62 mm MG3 machine guns. One was co-axial, while the other was mounted on a ring on the commander's cupola. The KanJPz included infrared sight systems.

Production and Service

770 units were ordered and delivered, with 385 made by Henschel and 385 made by Hanomag. They were delivered from 1965 and 1967. Belgium received 80 modified KanJPz in 1975, which served until the late 1980's.

The KanJPz was a successful design, but the USSR began to use the T-64 and T-72, which the 90 mm gun of the Kanonenjagdpanzer could not penetrate from a distance. Hanomag and Henschel proposed an improved armament of a 105 mm gun. Instead, in 1983, 163 were converted to the Jaguar 2. The Jaguar 2 was a version that had the main gun removed, and had a TOW missile launcher added. In addition, some units were the made as Beobachtungspanzers. The Beobachtungspanzer was a variant that was intended as an artillery observation vehicle, with the main gun removed, in order to guide mortar units.

Raketenjagdpanzer 2 (1967-1982)


The Raketenjagdpanzer 2 was similar to the Raketenjagdpanzer 1, but based on the heavier chassis and hull used by the KanJPz , instead of the HS.30 hull. It still carried the Nord SS.11 ATGM though. The RakJPz 2 was much faster, better armoured, had a longer range, and more reliable than the Raketenjagdpanzer 1. As such, it was used into the 1980's whereas the RakJPz 1 was used for a much shorter time. Hanomag and Henschel produced prototypes from 1963 to 1965, when the Bundeswehr placed an order for 318.


As it used the same hull and chassis as the KanJPz, the RakJPz 2 was nearly identical in most aspects. The crew compartment was arranged differently, though. The driver maintained the same position, but the commander's position was moved to the right front of the crew compartment. Between and slightly behind the driver and commander was the gunner, located slightly in front, but between the missile launchers. The loader was moved to the center rear of the crew compartment, between and behind the missile launchers. The commander and driver each had hatches, but the commander did not have a cupola.

The RakJPz 2 differed from the KanJPz in that it did not have the 90 mm gun, but instead had two launchers for Nord SS.11 ATGM's. The launchers would automatically reload by retracting into the hull through hatches. The Nord SS.11 missile was a manual command to line-of-sight (MCLOS) wire-guided missile. It had 6.8 kg warhead, and could penetrate 600 mm of RHA, and its maximum range was 3 km. There were still two 7.62 mm MG3 machine guns, but in different locations. The ring-mounted MG3 was moved with the commander's hatch, and the mount was changed to a pintle mount. The second machine gun was located in the right side of the glacis, in a ball mount.

Production and Service

318 vehicles were produced by Henschel and Hanomag, entering service in 1967. They equipped tank destroyer companies of panzer-grenadier brigades and panzer brigades. In panzer brigades each tank destroyer company had a total of 13 RakJPz 2, while a panzer-grenadier brigade had a total of 8 RakJPz 2. By 1978 the RakJPz 2 was unable to compete with new Soviet designs, and needed upgrading to stay in service. As such, all but two RakJPz 2 received an upgrade, with HOT (High Subsonic, Optical, Remote-Guided, Tube-Launched) missiles replacing the SS.11 missiles. The final product of the upgrade included applique armour. This version became known as the Raketenjagdpanzer 3 or Jaguar 1. The upgrades were completed by 1982. The Jaguar 1 later received upgrades and became the Jaguar 1A3.

Jaguar 1 / Raketenjagdpanzer 3 (1978-2006)


The Jaguar 1, also known as the Raketenjagdpanzer 3, was developed from the RakJPz 2. In 1978, the RakJPz 2 had become obsolete, and all but two received an upgrade. After the upgrade, they became known as Jaguar 1. The upgrade included a change from SS.11 missiles to HOT missiles, and included additional armour. The upgrades were finished by 1982.


As the Jaguar 1 was an upgrade to the RakJPz 2, it was identical in many aspects. The main differences were additional armour, and the two SS.11 missile launchers being replaced by one HOT missile launcher. The armour upgrade mainly consisted of applique armour. The applique armour consisted of perforated steel plates covered by a rubbery substance. The applique was added to the front and sides of the hull. In addition, it received sideskirts visually similar to those on the Leopard series of main battle tanks. The HOT (High Subsonic, Optical, Remote-Guided, Tube-Launched) missiles had a much greater performance than the SS.11 missiles. HOT missiles are remotely guided, meaning they have a slightly longer range than the SS.11 wire-guided missiles. HOT missiles have a range of 3.75 km, whereas SS.11 missiles only have a range of 3 km. Whereas SS.11 missiles have a maximum speed of 190 m/s, HOT missiles have a maximum speed of 864 k/h. In addition, SS.11 missiles only penetrate 600 mm RHA, while HOT missiles penetrate 800 mm.

Production and Service

The Jaguar 1 served into the 1990's. It received upgrades along the line, including improved HOT-2 missiles, and possibly even HOT-3 missiles, which have a penetration of 1250 mm RHA. Upgrades to the optics, and the addition of thermal imaging equipment resulted in the Jaguar 1A3 variant. Austria also operated several Jaguar 1's until 2006.

Jaguar 2 / Raketenjagdpanzer 4 (1983-1993)


Between 1982 and 1985 , 162 KanJPz were converted to Jaguar 2's, also known as the Raketenjagdpanzer 4. This was done because the Kanonenjagdpanzer had become obsolete, whereas the Raketenjagdpanzer, a design that had entered service only a few years before, had shown great promise.


The design was very similar to the KanJPz and the Jaguar 1, because they all used the same hull and chassis, and because the Jaguar 1 and 2 used the same main armament, HOT missiles. It received basically the same applique armour upgrade as the Jaguar 1, and had the same armament. One major difference between the Jaguar 1 and 2 is the lack of a hull-mounted machine gun in the Jaguar 2. This is because the hull was not made to have a ball-mounted machine gun, since it had a co-axial machine gun. But, the co-axial machine gun was removed with the main gun. A notable external difference between the Jaguar 2 and the rest of the series, the 8 smoke dischargers were moved to the glacis from on top of the engine compartment.

Production and Service

In 1989, the HOT missile was replaced by the HOT-2 improved version. The Jaguar 2 served in the Bundeswehr until 1993, when it was phased out, as the Bundeswehr favored the Jaguar 1A3 over the Jaguar 2.



West Germany

Bundeswehr - 770 Kanonenjagdpanzers, in service from 1965-1990.


Belgian Army - 80 modified Kanonenjagdpanzers, in service from 1975-1980's.

RakJPz 2

West Germany

Bundeswehr - 318 Raketenjagdpanzer 2, built 1963-1968.

Jaguar 1/RakJPz 3

West Germany/Federal Republic of Germany

Bundeswehr - 316 RakJPz 2 upgraded to Jaguar 1 standard by 1982, in service to 2005.


Austrian Army - Jaguar 1, in service to 2006.

Jaguar 2/RakJPz 4

West Germany/Federal Republic of Germany

162 Jaguar 2's saw service with the Bundeswehr.