Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical Reconnaissance System M93/M93A1
Detect, identify, and mark areas of nuclear and chemical contamination; sample soil, water and vegetation for nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) contamination; and report accurate information to supported commanders in real time.
Entered Army Service
Description and Specifications
A fully integrated NBC reconnaissance system with a dedicated system of NBC detection, warning, and sampling equipment integrated into a six-wheeled, all-wheel-drive armored vehicle. This system is also referred to as the “Fox NBC Reconnaissance System”.
Originally developed by the Germans for use by their military, the U.S. requirement for the Fox system was generated in the late 1980s in response to a perceived need to quickly field a chemical reconnaissance vehicle to U.S. forces in Europe. The NBCRS Non-Developmental Item Program consists of three acquisition phases. The Interim System Production phase provided 48 urgently-needed German-produced vehicles (designated the XM93) that met many of the U.S. requirements. As part of this phase, the German Government donated an additional 60 “Americanized” XM93 vehicles to the U.S. in support of Operation Desert Storm. The System Improvement Phase provided vehicles (designated the XM93E1) for testing to ensure they satisfied all U.S. Requirements of Operational Capability. The ongoing Block 1 modification phase involves upgrading all XM93 vehicles to the M93A1 configuration. The Requirement Document for the Block 1 Modification Type Classification is dated February 1991; in June 1995 it was approved for production and fielding; production qualification was completed between January and July 1998; and the first U.S. unit was equipped with the NBCRS-Fox Block 1 system (M93A1) in October 1998.
The M93A1 contains an enhanced NBC sensor suite consisting of the M21 Remote Sensing Chemical Agent Alarm (RSCAAL), MM1 Mobile Mass Spectrometer, Chemical Agent Monitor/Improved Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM/ICAM), AN/VDR-2 Beta Radiac, and M22 Automatic Chemical Agent Detector/Alarm (ACADA). The NBC sensor suite has been digitally linked with the communications and navigation subsystems by a dual-purpose central processor system known as the Multipurpose Integrated Chemical Agent Detector (MICAD). The MICAD processor fully automates NBC warning and reporting functions and provides the crew commander with full situational awareness of the Fox’s NBC sensors, navigation, and communications systems. The M93A1 Fox is also equipped with an advanced position navigation system (Global Positioning System [GPS] and the Autonomous Navigation System [ANAV]) that enables the system to accurately locate and report agent contamination. It has an over-pressure filtration system that permits the crew to operate in a shirt-sleeve environment that is fully protected from the effects of NBC agents and contamination outside the vehicle. The automated features of the M93A1 reduce the crew requirements to three soldiers from the four soldiers required to operate the M93 Fox.
The M93A1 is capable of detecting chemical contamination in its immediate environment through point detection and at a distance through the use of the M21 RSCAAL. The Fox system automatically integrates contamination information from sensors with input from on-board navigation and meteorological systems and rapidly transmits via SINCGARS radios its digital NBC warning messages to warn follow-on forces. Two Reconnaissance systems, working as a team, will normally precede the movement of troops and materiel to locate and mark contaminated areas.
The Fox system is fully amphibious with swimming speeds up to six miles per hour.
- Weight: 17 tons
- Length: 22.25 ft
- Height: 8.1 ft
- Max. Speed: 65 mph on-road
- Powerplant: Mercedes-Benz OM 402A V-8 diesel
- Horsepower: 320 hp
- Crew: 3
- Basis of Issue: 6 per recon platoon (1 platoon per heavy division); 6 per ACR; 1 per separate brigade; additional assets at Corps level
General Dynamics Land Systems (Detroit, MI; Anniston, AL); Henschel Wehrtechnik (Kassel, Germany)