Sep 25, 2009
South African defence company faces future with range of new or improved productsBack
Cape Town|Engineering|London|Automotive|BAE Systems Group|BAE Systems Land Systems|Defence|Defence Systems|Equip|Industrial|IP|Land Systems Dynamics|Land Systems Gear Ratio|Land Systems OMC|Land Systems South Africa|LTV|Power|Sabiex|Systems|Africa|Afghanistan|Belgium|Automotive|Systems|Transport|Johan Steyn|Power|RG35
© Reuse this
“We didn’t expect Mrap orders to go on forever,” states BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa MD Johan Steyn. (Land Systems South Africa comprises three companies: Land Systems OMC, Land Systems Gear Ratio, and Land Systems Dynamics.) “Now that time has come. There are no more Mrap orders. But we have developed new products. We – Land Systems South Africa – spend almost 2% of our turnover on research and development. We are investing millions of rands in these new products, which are not focused on a specific opportunity. In this business, you have to do upfront investment if you want to succeed in later years. “The global BAE Systems group is very supportive of this kind of strategy. This is a very mature attitude.”
Two of the new vehicles are developments and improvements of existing designs, and two are completely new designs. They are the RG31 Mk 6E (which is a 4 × 4 vehicle), the RG32M LTV (also 4 × 4), the RG34 (4 × 4), and the latest, the RG35 (6 × 6, but with a 4 × 4 version under development).
The RG31 Mk 6E is the latest version of the company’s highly successful Mrap design and was first unveiled at the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2008 exhibition in Cape Town. It is fitted with new antimine seats, which incorporate crushable shock attenuation elements developed by Land Systems OMC, which absorb some of the vertical force associated with land mine detonations, decreasing the chance of injury. The RG31 Mk6E is also slightly wider and longer than its predecessor, the RG31 Mk5, and has a greater payload capacity, giving it a gross vehicle mass of 21 t, as against 17 t for the Mk5 (see Engineering News March 13, 2009). “We have received very positive reports on the performance of earlier model RG31s in Afghanistan,” he reveals.
The RG32M LTV is a significant redesign of the RG32M. LTV stands for Light Tactical Vehicle. It has improved mine protection in comparison with previous models, providing greater blast survivability and crew protection. “The RG32M is mine hardened, but the RG32M LTV is mine protected. The RG32M LTV has a V-shaped hull, while the RG32M doesn’t,” explains Steyn. “Even so, the Swedes have deployed RG32Ms – not LTVs – to Afghanistan and we are getting good reports from them as well.”
The RG32M LTV has a gross vehicle mass of only 9 t. Its armour can protect its crew from armour-piercing rifle fire as well as antitank land mine blasts, with its externally mounted windows providing improved side-blast protection. It has a 200-mm- wider hull and 50-mm-greater head space in comparison with earlier RG32Ms. The LTV version also has an increased, 2-t, payload and a new design of load bay, which can take a wide variety of mission-specific equipment (see Engineering News January 30, 2009).
The RG34 is a mine-protected,
amphibious, light armoured vehicle, originally developed by
The RG35, the company’s latest design, was unveiled recently at the major British biennial defence exhibition, Defence Systems and Equipment Inter- national (better known as DSEi), in London. At the launch, Steyn remarked: “We have combined a 4 × 4 mine-protected vehicle with a modern 8 × 8 combat vehicle. It is groundbreaking. It is a new class of vehicle.” Based on its experiences with the Ratel and iKlwa armoured fighting vehicles and the RG31 Mrap, the company developed the RG35 in just one year.
Advances found in the RG35 include a side-mounted power pack, which can be replaced in just 30 minutes. Traditionally, armoured vehicle power packs have been either at the front or at the rear of the vehicle. The RG35 has a payload of nearly 15 t. It is air transportable in an Airbus A400M (or larger) transport aircraft. One of the benefits of this is that it makes it easy to attach add-on armour to the vehicle without overloading it. It has been so designed that an additional 120 mm of armour can be added to the hull bottom V, while the hull sides can take 50 mm of addi- tional armour (see Engineering News September 18, 2009).
•Campbell recently attended the Defence Systems and Equip- ment International 2009 exhibition in London as a guest of BAE Systems.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Defence News
Updated 6 hours ago Local antenna manufacturer Poynting Holdings reports high growth of its defence equipment order book, offset by losses in other divisions, and notes that about 68% of its earnings stem from exporting equipment mainly to developed markets, says Poynting CEO Dr André...
Updated 6 hours ago The Slovak-made Strazan water purification tanker truck can purify 50 ℓ of water a minute to provide clean drinking water using any source of water during droughts, emergencies or military operations, says local distributor Zero7Health CEO Tatiana Lhotsky. The...
Commitments made over the past 16 years, following the 1998 Defence Review, has resulted in a mismatch between what was expected from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the resources allocated to it, causing a decline in most aspects of the...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
Updated 6 hours ago Celebrating its fiftieth Green Star SA certification in only six years, and with a further 150 projects in the Green Star SA registration pipeline, the impact will increase significantly. “In South Africa, certified new green buildings now cover nearly one-million...
Updated 6 hours ago Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has installed an automated guided vehicle (AGV) line to replace the traditional roller conveyor used on the VW250 engine line. An AGV is a mobile robot that follows markers or cabling in the floor, or uses vision or lasers to...
Updated 6 hours ago South Africa has an opportunity to achieve a similar result to that of China, which has lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens from poverty to prosperity, but the challenge is to develop world-class customer-focused engineers.
Updated 6 hours ago South Africa had more than enough money and resources to deliver on the constitutional promise of quality of life for all, but those involved in corruption have cost the country immensely.
Updated 6 hours ago BMW South Africa has postponed the introduction of the i3 city car and i8 supercar to March 2015, says spokesperson Edward Makwana. The i3 is an electric vehicle, and the i8 a plug-in hybrid. Both models were scheduled for local introduction this year.