Specialist South African armoured and mine protected vehicle company BAE Systems Land Systems OMC has unveiled a major new development of its renowned Casspir mine protected vehicle.
Designated the Casspir Mark (Mk) 6, the basic version of the new vehicle is six wheel drive, whereas all previous Casspirs were and are four wheel drive (customers do, however, have the option of a 4x4 version of the Mk 6).
The Casspir Mk 6 is a combination of elements from the original Casspir design and the Russian Gaz Ural truck. The new vehicle has the monocoque V-shaped hull of the Casspir, married to the engine, transmission, transfer box and the rear part of the chassis of the Ural.
“Use of Ural components cuts one-third off the price,” highlighted BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa business development director Johan Jooste to Engineering News Online on Wednesday. “The Casspir is cheap but it is not inferior. It has the mine protection of much more expensive vehicles. We did not compromise on protection levels.”
The idea of using the Ural truck came from India, for the Casspir Mk 6 concept was developed for the global BAE Systems group’s joint venture in that country with Mahindra & Mahindra, Defence Land Systems India (DLSI). In the South Asian country the vehicle is known as the Mine Protected Vehicle for India (MPVI).
“DLSI is now setting itself up, with our help, to do manufacturing. The MPVI is slightly different in its internal layout and is aimed primarily at the police forces of the various Indian states,” he explained.
The Casspir Mk 6 is basically an armoured bus which can carry a driver, co-driver and 16 personnel. It is not intended as a combat vehicle.
“It is really aimed at the same transport of military, security and police personnel in hot spots,” he avered. “The main target market is Africa, and, within Africa, the military and police and especially the United Nations.” The South African company will also receive royalties from any MPVI sales in India.
The Casspir Mk 6 has a length of 7.59 m, a width of 2.67 m and a hull height of 2.955 m. It has a ground clearance of 0.38 m, a turning circle of 22 m and a maximum speed of 80 km/h.