Steyr SK 105 Kurassier
by Hugo Huertas
The armored vehicles produced in Austria by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG are among the less known of post war times. However, they have very interesting features worth mentioning.
The origin of these successful Steyr armored vehicles can be traced down to a personnel carrier designed in 1956 by Osterreischische Saurerwerke AG. Hundredths of these vehicles were produced by Saurer between 1956 and 1969 for the Austrian Army, many of which were still in service in the 1980's. Later on, the Saurer in Vienna was acquired by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG.
The first new vehicle developed by Steyr was the "SK 105 Kurassier" tank destroyer. The prototype was built in 1967 and the first units of this series were delivered in 1970. Five years later the SK 105 was exported for the first time, to Tunis, thus being the first armored vehicle produced by Steyr sold to a foreign country. Other countries also purchased this vehicle; Argentina was one of them.
The first 57 Kürassier were purchased by Argentina in 1981. These were part of an order for 120 SK105 vehicles, which were all subsequently delivered. The last 27 units were delivered at the end of 1982. Along with these units, Argentina also purchased an unspecified number of SB-20 "Greif" recovery vehicles.
Apparently, the first 100 units were intended to be sold to the Chilean Army, but due to political reasons the Austrian government was unable to close the deal. Therefore, they decided to offer them to Argentina (according to Chilean sources the political pressure put by the Argentine government prevented the delivery to Chile and promoted the subsequent offer of these tanks to the Argentine Army).
The initial destination of these units was the Patagonia (Río Mayo, Río Turbio, Puerto Deseado).
All details in the hull and turret were made with aluminum, copper and lead foils while putty was used for details of all curved areas. Grab handles were made of copper wire. The tube gun is of turned aluminum. The muzzle break is made of resin.
In addition to the above mentioned elements, Grandt bolts were used to detail the hull. The gun support is made with steel rod, plastic and copper wire.
The headlights and rear lights are duplications of those from the Tamiya's Marder, made with epoxy putty.
The lateral grenade launchers were produced with plastic tubes, detailed with lead foil and Grandt bolts.
All wheels, as well as drive sprockets, are of resin. The shock absorbers and suspension bumpers are made with plastic tubes, filler and Grandt bolts.
The tracks are made with 2 part soft RTV rubber, thus duplicating those of the Revell's 109 G .
I added antennas produced with stretched plastic, as well as camouflage nets, towing hooks (like those of the Italeri's Leopard), copper towing lines and clear plastic.
This model represents a vehicle which operated in Patagonia, during the 1995 winter season. As usual in all Kurassier units belonging to the Argentine Army, this vehicle carries no registration numbers or any other sign for identification and is painted in the usual two-color camouflage scheme.