South African State-owned aerospace and defence company Denel’s subsidiary, Denel Vehicle Systems, has shipped its first batch of the RG31 mine-resistant vehicles to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) Armed Forces.
The RG31 is a mobile mortar platform (MMP) with 4 x 4 capabilities, mobility and protection against antitank mines and explosive devices.
Denel Vehicle Systems CEO Johan Steyn says an order for 24 RG31 MMP vehicles was placed by its client in the UAE, International Golden Group (IGG), in June 2015.
This follows the successful delivery of 73 vehicles that are already in service with the UAE Armed Forces.
In terms of the follow-on contract, Denel Vehicle Systems was required to make some 30 improvements to the performance and reliability aspects of the vehicle based on assessments in the operational environment.
The client recently visited Denel for static acceptance of the vehicles, as well as dynamic testing conducted at Armscor’s Gerotek test facilities in Pretoria West.
“The vehicle was put through rigorous testing and met all the expectations and requirements of the client,” says Steyn.
The first batch of eight vehicles was shipped to Abu Dhabi where IGG would fit further customised equipment required by the client.
Denel Vehicle Systems is now producing the second batch that will undergo further testing by the client within the next two months.
Denel Vehicle Systems – formerly known as BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa – produces a number of armoured protected vehicles, including the RG12 and the RG21.
Variants of the RG31 are widely used by the United Nations and peacekeeping forces from countries such as Canada, Spain and the US.
The RG31 MMP has a range of 800 km and carries a crew of four people, including the driver.