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Author Topic: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.  (Read 527122 times)

Offline kaiserbill

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South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« on: January 21, 2010, 01:31:21 am »
I thought it might be interesting to start a thread on various South African prototypes, once-off's, concepts and modifications etc. I was thinking more in terms of the unusual, including modifications, as opposed to the usual Ratel, Rooikat, Olifant and the like.

I have a few pictures of various vehicles. Naturally I will explain the little that I know of these, but a lot of the backround information to some of the vehicles or concepts is scant. Anybody out there who can help with information, or add corrections would be most welcome. Informed speculation or observations are also welcomed of course.

Below is what is labelled the Bosbok (Bushbuck) and is at the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein. At first glance it appears to be a standard Panhard M3 APC, but sharper eyes will detect different rear doors, slightly different shaped rear, as well as different hull wheel arches/sponsons. Clearly, after South Africa's production of the AML/Eland armoured car, the M3 was a practical vehicle to start with due to the 90% part commonality between the two vehicles. So it appears the M3 was used as the pattern.  

This was part of the process that led to an indigineous MICV that ultimately was filled by the Ratel.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 05:24:45 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African protoypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2010, 03:00:22 am »
The Bulldog.

The Buffel (Buffalo), which was based on the Unimog, was produced from the late 1970's and was a pioneering and extremely important vehicle in the history of mine proof vehicles.

The South Africans replaced their Bedfords from the 1970's onwards with the SAMIL range of trucks.  The SADF wanted to standardise their vehicles, and therefor the Bulldog was developed on SAMIL 20 components. Although to the untrained eye it looks similar to the Buffel, there were in fact big differences, the most obvious being that it was right hand drive with drivers cab integral to the troop compartment, unlike the Buffel.
 
It was not taken into service.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 03:04:01 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African protoypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 04:21:59 am »
The following vehicle is based on the pioneering Casspir. The following description was posted by atk at milphoto's:

Called a SESSPIR (referring to the 6 wheels). Built as a prototype circa 1984/85 by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The front axle was a "dead" axle, it could steer, but was not connected to the drivetrain. The axel was intended to be sacrificed in the event of landmines. The nose is just a cover of sorts and does not contain a bigger engine of any kind. The idea was cancelled due to the fact that the nose was too long and the CASSPIR did not have sufficient power in sandy conditions to "push along" the front axle efficiently. The axel also created numerous problems when crossing trenches or other obstacles.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 11:34:51 pm »
The next vehicle is called Veldskoen (Fieldshoe - a very tough type of shoe made from untanned leather by the Boers).

It was not economical to productionise and only two were made. This may be due to the amount of Buffels and Casspirs produced, which ran into several thousand. It certainly appears to be a later vehicle than the Casspir, and so is therefor probably a mid-to-late 1980's vehicle. Any help or confirmation on this is appreciated. The two vehicles were called Dawid and Jonathan. Dawid, in the first three pictures, is the vehicle with fewer windows, whilst Jonathan must be the vehicle in the last b/w pic with more windows and a .50 Browning.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 12:58:14 am »
The Soetdoring (Sweetthorn) was another project or concept that was tested but not put into production. Timeframe was from the early-to-mid 1980's.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 02:32:39 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 02:25:59 am »
The next vehicle is an enigma as far as I'm concerned.

It is what has been described as the Mechem Krokodil, and is a 6x6 mineprotected vehicle. I have seen a person describe it as a support vehicle (ammo?observation?command?) for the G6 SP howitzer, but I'm not so sure. It appears too low-roofed for these roles? It obviously is closely related to the 8x8 vehicle next to it in the first picture, called the Mechem Gator, which appears to be an infantry combat vehicle. This Krokodil seems to have space, or an opening in the middle of the vehicle for a turret or mortar, no firing ports, but armoured vision ports at the back of the vehicle .... truly interesting.

Of course, it could also be a proof-of-concept vehicle.

There is an example at Bloemfontein armour museum, in tatty condition. Note the vehicle in the second pic, obviously being tested, appears to have wider tyres than the museum vehicle.
I have no concrete idea of the role or timeframe of this vehicle. Any assistance to solve this mystery would be appreciated.



 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 02:42:29 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 10:35:01 am »
Great stuff kaiserbill!

About the Bulldog not going into service: The SADF went with Casspir for APC but the SAAF went for the Bulldog. As Carr, Pers, Armd, 4x4, the SAAF Regt used the Bulldog for airfield defence (and later the SAAF School for Logistical Training).

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2010, 11:36:56 pm »
Great stuff kaiserbill!

About the Bulldog not going into service: The SADF went with Casspir for APC but the SAAF went for the Bulldog. As Carr, Pers, Armd, 4x4, the SAAF Regt used the Bulldog for airfield defence (and later the SAAF School for Logistical Training).

Apophenia, I think you mean the Rhino? The Rhino was a similarly sized vehicle also based on Samil components, and was produced in limited numbers for the SAAF. As far as I know, they are from similar timeframe in the early 1980's. See below pictures. Note that the last picture is a different type with 3 windows instead of 2, yet the spacings remain the same, implying a longer body.

If the Bulldog was taken into service, I would be very interested in anything you may know about it.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 12:21:51 am »
The Ratel Log (Logistic) was an 8x8 version of the 6x6 Ratel ICV. It's purpose was to provide all the stores needed by a mechanised infantry platoon for a week or two.

It was not taken into service.

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 07:36:43 pm »
kb: sorry, I seem to have dumped my file on the Buffel/Bulldog. The attached drawing came from here:
http://ipmssa.za.org/pdf/Artwork_Buffel.pdf

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 11:31:47 pm »
Thanks Apophenia, very interesting.

I was certainly not aware the Bulldog was actually taken into service. I cannot imagine it was in significant numbers though. Any further information you may have in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

On your attached pdf file, one of the artwork side profiles was of the vehicle I know as the Buffel Mk2. This was a late 1980's project to upgrade the original Buffel. I don't think very many were made in relation to the large number of Buffels produced. The obvious difference is the enclosed troop cab. I believe the Mamba APC was selected instead. 

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2010, 11:47:50 pm »
The name Nyala has been used at least 3 times to my knowledge for different vehicles in the last 25 years, for at least 3 different vehicles. There was a large police armoured internal security vehicle called the Nyala, the RG31 to my knowledge has also been called the Nyala, there was a smaller armoured 4x4 commercial conversion used by the police also called the Nyala, and I've recently found out about the vehicle below, also called the Nyala! To be fair, not all were actually produced in quantity, and not all were used by the same service.

The Nyala below appears to be a large APC and seems to be from the early 1980's timeframe, as I have them labelled as being tested from 1984.

As an educated guess, this looks very much like a project to replace the Buffel. Anybody knowing anything anything more, please feel free to comment.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 12:10:32 am »
This photo is fascinating.

It shows a Buffel on the far left, a Casspir on the far right. From the previous pictures we can deduce that the vehicle next to the Casspir, second from the right, is the Nyala which I've just posted. That is where the relative certainty ends. I was inclined to believe the vehicle second from the left, next to the Buffel, was an Ingwe, but I'm now no longer sure. There are differences when compared to the few Ingwe photos out there, particularly regarding the windscreen, the cuppola/hatch bodywork behind the front seat positions, and the fact that every Ingwe photo I've seen shows a grill/louvre arrangement on the vehicle nose.

The 2 middle vehicles are a complete mystery to me.

I imagine this to be trials of some sort, probably from around the 1984 timeframe. I'm going to have a go and say the vehicles are:
BUFFEL / INGWE?(or UNKNOWN) / UNKNOWN / UNKNOWN / NYALA / CASSPIR

Maybe the 4th vehicle from left has some Kwevoel influence?

Anybody else want to have a go? Or know any further information?

« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 12:16:26 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 05:55:42 am »
And now for something completely different......

The gun below is a 90mm mounted on a 17pdr anti-tank carriage. The 90mm was of French design and equipped the AML-90. South Africa manufactured this 90mm and used it to equip the Eland 90 armoured car and Ratel 90. The plaque has quick-firing, semi-automatic 90mm GT-3 gun as its label.

This particular hybrid weapon below was used in the proof firing and testing of various locally made 90mm ammunition. It also tested various different muzzle brakes. It is worth having a look at the plaque in the first photo.


Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2010, 12:02:13 am »
Engineer's bridging equipment being transferred from an 8x8 bridge vehicle to an Olifant Mk1b hull that could also carry and deploy it.

Perhaps a thread should be started about the South African tank programme?