The first American experience with chemical warfare was during World War I. The US military suffered numerous casualties because they were unprotected and had no warning. The first US Automatic Chemical Alarm, the M8 was fielded in the late 1970s and was replaced by the M8A1 in the mid-1980s. The Chemical and Biological Defense Command (CBDCOM) and the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) initiated a Concept Exploration Program in 1984 to establish the feasibility of a mobile NBC Reconnaissance system. The program tested a German Fuchs and a prototype mounted on an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. In September of 1986 it was decided to explore the feasibility of leasing 48 German Fuchs systems to satisfy the needs of the US Army Europe (USAEUR). In October 1987 the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and the Undersecretary of the Army decided to buy 48 German systems to fulfill the USAEUR need. In February 1988 the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and the Undersecretary of the Army decided to cancel the M113 program and purchase the Fuchs for fielding world-wide. General Dynamics was awarded a contract to manufacture an American version of the German Fuchs NBC Reconnaissance System (NBCRS) in March of 1990.[2]

During Operation Desert Shield and just prior to Operation Desert Storm, the government of Germany provided the United States with 60 Fuchs NBC Reconnaissance Vehicles. [3] These 60 vehicles were modified prior to delivery by adding English language labels and software, a M43A1[4] Chemical Agent Detector, air conditioning, and US radios. These "Americanized" variants became known as the XM93 "Fox" vehicle. [5]

The purpose of this paper is to provide a basic understanding of how the Fox Vehicle works, its capabilities and limitations, and how it was used during Operation Desert Storm.


Figure 1. XM93 Fox Reconnaissance Vehicle


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