South African defence company BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (Land Systems SA) reported on Tuesday that two of the developments of its Pretoria-based Dynamics division, the SDROW and TRT remotely operated turrets, were now market-ready.
That these two systems were under development had previously been revealed by the company, but it also unveiled new versions of both on Tuesday.
"These two products were designed from the basics, from a clean sheet of paper, over the past three years," Land Systems SA MD Johan Steyn told Engineering News Online. "We have completed the design, engineering tests and qualification."
"What makes us proud is that these turrets are South African technology, designed by South African engineers," he added. "Designed by us, funded by us. We're talking millions of rands of investments in these two turrets. It shows our shareholders are prepared to invest. The funds were generated within the South African business, but these investments were welcomed and supported by the wider BAE Systems group."
SDROW stands for Self-Defence Remotely Operated Weapon, which is intended as a self-defence system for logistics and light utility vehicles. It is designed to mount a 7.62 mm light machine gun, and is adaptable for different makes of this category of weapon. The new version can also mount special versions of 12.7 mm and 20 mm guns, developed in South Africa by the New Strike company, which are 12.7 x 76 mm and 20 x 42 mm weapons.
TRT is the abbreviation for Tactical Remote Turret, which can mount 25 mm or 30 mm cannons (the latter version was unveiled to the media on Tuesday). The 30 mm version of the TRT can also carry two anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), a number of different types of which have been, or can be, integrated with the turret.
The TRT on display at the African Aerospace and Defence 2012 exhibition in Pretoria is fitted with two Russian Konkurs ATGMs.
Land Systems SA carried out live firing demonstrations of both turrets to the media on Tuesday at a military firing range north of Pretoria. The TRT 30 mm turret demonstrated was armed with a Russian 2A42 cannon and was mounted on an Iklwa (arrow) armoured vehicle (an upgraded Ratel infantry fighting vehicle). The SDROW demonstrated was equipped with a 7.62 mm light machine gun and mounted on a Land Systems SA RG32 Light Tactical Vehicle.
"Russian weapons are of great interest to many potential customers," explained Land Systems SA Dynamics business development manager Gerrie van der Merwe.
"The TRT is highly stabilised and can do observation and firing on the move. Both turrets are fitted with our rapid target designation function, which is unique and was developed by us."
Neither turret contains any systems which are subject to US export control regulations.