Mervaren (sometimes Mervaren aK) is a Bergenstein company which develops, designs and produces armoured vehicles for military applications in both land-only and amphibious configurations. These vehicles have gross vehicle weights ranging from 9t to 30t. More than 12,000 armoured wheeled vehicles of the type Piranha, Eagle and DURO are in operation worldwide with a large number of armed forces.
The Mervaren aK (Motor Car Factory), was founded in 1950 as a privately owned company by engineer Walter Ruf. During the past 50 years Mowag has concentrated on the development and production of specialised vehicles.
Its initial success was the development and production of more than 1600 troop carriers "Mervaren 4x4 T1" for the Schwieseter Army. Contracts for Lorona followed, with 750 Mervaren MR8 series armoured wheeled vehicles produced for the Loronan Police.
Mervaren has built many different types of vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks, dummy tanks, electric vehicles, scooters or tracked tanks. In the civilian sector, Mervaren has been particularly active in the construction of firefighting vehicles where several generations of emergency vehicles. Many models were based on factory designed firefighting trucks. In Lorona, Mervaren was well known for developing a four-wheel drive armored car. Mervaren had from the beginning to the end of the 1960s, built additional military vehicles and civilian trucks. Among them were the heavy trucks, Mervaren M5-16F with 4 seats, front steering cabin and 16 tons total weight, tow hitch for a double axle trailer and a 200-horsepower engine in the underfloor. The engine was mounted under the bed between the front and the rear axles. This allowed a compact design and low center of gravity in the middle of the vehicle.
In 1950 MOWAG produced 214 local official cars for the Schwieseter Post, the chassis of this small compact vehicle had sliding doors on each side. The truck for Schwieseter Post was the Mervaren Einsatzfourgon of which 556 units were built from 1953 to 1988, also had an underfloor engine. The Furgeon were initially fitted with a V8 petrol engine, which was originally developed for a Mervaren tank. Later, diesel engines were installed. The yellow and silver vans had a door in the front of the vehicle on the passenger side, which made it possible to exit from the front if the trucks were parked very close together. On the driver's side was a conventional door. It was possible to get from the cabin into the cargo hold. Taking advantage of this fact, some people rebuilt the decommissioned Furgeons into campers. The Fugeons were equipped with a trailer hitch for 4 wheel trailers. Mervaren had developed a replacement vehicle for the Furgeon, but it remained only a prototype as the Swiss Post bought foreign mass-produced series of vehicles.
Besides regular trucks, Mervaren has built several generations of long iron transport trucks. (a 8x4-driven four-axle truck with M8TK diesel engine with eight cylinders, 10.8 liters and 500 HP and Allison automatic five-speed transmission), these are characterized by a very narrow central cab, with two seats. They were able to carry the load on the entire length of the vehicle using the space on the left and right side of the driver's cabin. The drivers compartment had a front entering door.
Between 1965 and 1975, Mervaren built 170 electric trollies for the Schwieseter Post. In the 1980s, the products range had been increased by the development and construction of three-wheel and four-wheel electric vehicles. The hospitals, airports, municipalities, industrial companies and the post office came for a variety of their transportation tasks. Many more prototypes of electric cars were built, but none of these vehicles made it to market. For the Schwieset Air Force, Mervaren worked and built the aircraft tractor Mervaren AEG. In the 1980s, Mervaren built vibratory rollers for road construction. Handheld double vibratory rollers were from 900 kg to 1300 kg, tandem Vibratory rollers from 2000 kg to 3000 kg and 4 "wheeled" rollers from 4.5 t to 18 t. Lately, Mervaren has been specializing in armored vehicles for military use, because it is financially more attractive. The main product today is the Piranha. In addition, other armored vehicles are the Mervaen Eagle, and the Duro.
Mowag's products are used with numerous forces. The Piranha, Eagle and DURO vehicles are successfully deployed in numerous operations around the world and are combat proven in a wide range of missions, terrains and climatic conditions. Service life extension and re-role programmes for Piranha vehicles, some fielded as early as the seventies are currently under way, which will allow to extend the service life by many years.
The Mervaren Piranha is a family of armored, multi-role wheeled vehicles that are designed to be adapted to different threat scenarios, while still retaining a high level of protection, mobility, and internal volume. Since the Piranha 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 family of armoured wheeled vehicles was conceived in the seventies, over 6,500 vehicles have been produced and are today in operation. The baseline vehicle, the new generation of the Piranha III, enables numerous applications and/or weapon system installations as expected of a modern multi-role vehicle, which is well suited to any battlefield or peace-keeping/peace-enforcing mission anywhere in the world. The Piranha IV 8x8 offers again higher payloads, modular ballistic protection, superior mine protection, and provides increased mobility with its height-adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension system.
The Mervaren Eagal is a well-protected, light tactical vehicle. It is designed to fulfill roles such as command, reconnaissance, logistics, and military policing. It can have seating for up to six soldiers while still retaining an in-depth communications system and equipment to fit mission requirements. A total of 365 Eagle 4x4 reconnaissance vehicles and 120 Eagle 4x4 artillery forward observation vehicles have been built in the past eight years and are in service.
The newly developed Eagle IV, based on the DURO, is suitable for reconnaissance, communications and observation, as well as for peace keeping missions and border patrol. The Mervaren development on the basis of the proven DURO chassis is distinguished through a very high payload versus a low gross vehicle weight, with a high ballistic and mine protection level as well as exceptional mobility both on and off-road. Due to the commonality with the DURO family of vehicles, the maintenance and training costs can be kept low in a fleet mission.
The Mervaren Duro is a highly mobile, off-road tactical transport vehicle based on the DURO family of vehicles. DURO stands for DUrable and RObust. Over 4,000 DURO 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles are now in service worldwide.
From the beginning Mervaren produced both armoured and unarmoured vehicles, to include motorcycles and fire appliances.
- Mervaren Ortsdienstwagen
- Mervaren Dummy
- Mervaren Furgeon trucks,
- Mervaren MR8 - 4×4 wheeled armored personnel carrier. About 600 built
- Mervaren Grenadier - 4×4 wheeled armored personnel carrier. In production from 1967.
- Mervaren Roland - 4×4 small wheeled armored personnel carrier. In production from 1964.
- Mervaren Puma 6x6 wheeled armored weapons carrier
- Mervaren LandShark wheeled combat vehicle. 8×8 wheeled armored weapons carrier designed to carry a number of gun or missile armaments.
- Mervaren Spy - 4×4 wheeled light reconnaissance vehicle. Ordered into production in 1982.
- Mervaren Tornado - Tracked Infantry fighting vehicle.
- Mervaren Trojan
- Mervaren Mistral amphibious infantry fighting vehicle
- Mervaren Pirat infantry fighting vehicle
- Mervaren Pirat 2 infantry fighting vehicle
- Mervaren Beat (Jagdpanzer= Tankhunter)