Pictures: Pakistan Army’s troops carrier for 35 years was this German legend
A Brief on History of Unimogs in Pakistan:
Our Military started acquisitions of Unimogs in the late 70s, although they wanted to have a RHD 4×4 go anywhere vehicle for troops (421.128 BeeMog), carry patients (421.129 DeeMog classic version), carry supplies (421.128 flat-bed), but Unimog sales teams managed to convince our generals on LHD German tractor is all we need.
It started from some local demos on its capabilities, diff lock, ground clearance, articulation, approach & departure angles, torque, crawler gearbox and portal axels, since Unimogs were born with these special abilities which are still missing in most of the newly produced 4x4s so winning a sales pitch wasn’t a big issue. Mercedes exported few Unimogs to Pakistan to give an on-ground demos in Himalayas & cholistan and this was followed by a training team which certified our drivers & mechanics on Unimogs.
Unimog 421 U600 also known as 1.25 ton truck is the most common variant our Army bought from Mercedes-Benz, in addition to that our military also had few 406, 416 and lately very few 417s. This thread though covers all types of Unimogs but 421s takes the lead due to its weight, size, quantity & availability of parts.
Few key changes German engineers had to do – was to comply with the 24V battery system which was our Military’s standard at that time, so the first 24 Volt 421 was made for Pakistan Army and now all new Unimogs are on 24 Volt even in Germany.
A minor change was done with the headlight glass lens which was fitted as per RHD traffic. All 421s purchased by Army had 4 forward gearbox along with separate lever for high and low speeds, whereas in Germany all of them were produced as 6 forward at that time (DeeMog was upgraded to 6 forward gearbox in 2011 as first 421 in Pakistan). Driver cabin Heater was also not included in the Unimog 421 package made for Pakistan. These Unimogs rolled out from the production line in only two colors which were Military Green and Desert .
Today, our Military made the decision that Unimogs are no longer required in Service and started the gradual auction process in 2006-07 which reached its full speed on 2011. By now, it is assumed that over 90%of Unimogs 421 are gone, out of approximately 6,500 vehicles only 20-25 have reported as survived, rest of them were chopped & eaten by the local Metal masons (Mog Killers) who have an eye to see metal in all machines in terms of KGs, they can never see what functions a machine can deliver.
I will be covering the topics on how they performed in the Military Service later by combining the input received from X Mens. Till now we have some tremendous performances from Unimogs on all types of terrains which are tested by Team Unimog Pakistan.