West Germany Western Germany (1965)
Tank-hunter, 770 built


By 1960, the M47 Patton old 90 mm was still a potent weapon. Pending replacement in the Bundeswehr, it was decided to reuse it in German-made tank-hunters. General design tended to be close to the very successful ww2 era Jagdpanzer IV. Specifications were made and transmitted to three manufacturers, the German Hanomag and Henschel and Swiss MOWAG which produced prototypes. After trials, only Hanomag and Henschel were retained for pre-production.

KjJgPz 4-5 better roof view

They built another pair of prototypes, equipped with the German-built Rheinmetall BK 90/L40, derived from the US patented antitank gun. Development goes on until 1965 when the Kanonenjagdpanzer (sometimes followed by 4 5 or “90”), also called Jagdpanzer Kanone 90, was accepted for service in the Bundeswehr.


Basically, the KnJgPz-90 was indeed closely based on the wartime tank-hunter, which was derived from the Panzer IV. However, this was only superficially as the sloped armor was mostly copied from it. Everything else, from the chassis, suspensions, engine and transmission, armament and targeting devices, fire control, etc. were genuine. The hull was longer, but narrower and lighter than the original vehicle. The frontal armor was not 80 but 50 mm in thickness (still around a 80 mm equivalent) also on the sides, and 10 mm on the bottom and roof, engine deck and rear plating. The mantlet allowed a 15° traverse and -8° to +15° elevation/depression.

KjJgPz 4-5 rear view

The hull upper armor was stepped on the rear engine compartment. The driver sat on the right, with a hatch above him, and there was a secondary periscope at the left of the gun. There was a secondary hatch behind the driver, and a commander cupola to the rear, left of the fighting compartment. The drivetrain consisted of five doubled-roadwheels independently sprung on torsion arms, with three return rollers, rear drive sprocket and front idler.

One machine-gun was coaxial in the mantlet, the other was externally mounted on the second hatch ring. The main gun carried 51 rounds 4000 were stored for both 7.62 mm machine-guns. The KnJgPz-90 was protected NBC and fitted with infrared vision and targeting system.


The 770 order was placed between Henschel (385) and Hanomag (385) delivered between 1965 and 1967. The Belgian Army received 80 slightly modified Kanonenjagdpanzer in 1975, which served until the late 1980s.

The Kanonenjagdpanzer 90 in service

This vehicle was considered a success, due to its low profile and superior mobility, compared to the high profile of the M47/48 Patton series. However, by the time USSR unveiled its T-64 and later T-72, the KnJgPz-90 was considered obsolete. The manufacturers proposed it was up-gunned with the latest 105 mm, but in 1983 it was decided to convert 163 of these as Raketenjagdpanzer Jaguar 2 anti-tank guided missile carriers, firing TOW wire-guided missiles, far more effective.

These vehicles also received extra modifications like spaced and perforated armor. A few others were derived as Beobachtungspanzer (without the main gun) to guide mortar units. The regular vehicles were gradually phased and put in reserve. The last were in active commission with the Heimatschutztruppe by 1990.


The Kanonenjagdpanzer on Wikipedia
Extra photos on Wikimedia
The Kanonenjagdpanzer on Jedsite

Jagdpanzerkanone 90 specifications

Dimensions6,24 (8,75 oa) x 2,98 x 2,9 m (20ft6 x 9ft9 x 6ft1)
Total weight, battle ready27.5 tons ( ibs)
Crew4 (Driver, commander, gunner, loader)
PropulsionMTU MB-837 V8 diesel 29.4 l 500 hp (368 kW)
SuspensionIndependant torsion bars
Speed (road)70 kph (43,5 mph)
Range385 km (239 mi)
ArmamentRheinmetall BK 90/L40 90mm
2 x 7.62mm MG3 machine guns
Armor12.7 mm front and sides (0.5 in)
Total production770 in 1965-67.

Jagdpanzer Kanonen 90, 1970s.

2nd PzGadgBat 44 1980
2nd Panzerjägerbatallion 44, Göttingen 1980.Beobachtungspanzer
Beobachtungspanzer 6/Panzergrenadierlehrbatallion 152, Schwarzenborn.

Raketenjagdpanzer Jaguar 1
Raketenjagdpanzer Jaguar 1, the HOT derivative.


Belgian Hanomag KaJaPa at the Royal Military History Museum, Brussels

KjJgPz 4-5 bundesarchiv

KjJgPz 90 bundesarchiv

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6 Responses to Kanonenjagdpanzer 90

  1. AldanFerrox says:

    The Raketenjagdpanzer you pictured is a Raketenjagdpanzer 2 Jaguar 1 armed with HOT missiles, and not a Raketenjagdpanzer 2 Jaguar 2 armed with TOW missiles.

    • Stan Lucian says:

      Hello Aldan Ferrox,
      We checked your claim, and have determined it to be correct. Funnily enough, the same illustration is correctly identified on the Raketenjagdpanzer 2 article.
      Thank you!

  2. Wilson says:

    I think it’s more a 29,9L engine than a 2,9L

    • Stan Lucian says:

      Hello, Wilson!
      Stronk German engineering! Or, actually, a typo on our part. It is actually a 29.4 l engine.
      Thank you for bringing this to our attention, it has been corrected!

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