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Author Topic: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.  (Read 537513 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?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2010, 12:21:55 am »
Engineer's bridging equipment being transferred from an 8x8 bridge vehicle to an Olifant Mk1b hull that could also carry and deploy it.

Looks like German Leguan bridging gear.

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

Mos Def.
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010, 01:00:26 am »
This 8X8 armoured gun tractor was based on Samil 100 components, but was not taken into service.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 06:00:23 am »
Two of the more rarer Casspirs. An 81mm mortar carrier and a 106mm recoiless gun carrier.
The last one is of a shortened Casspir with a short wheelbase.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 06:15:41 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 12:15:05 pm »
A bit more detail on the Casspir-S. The 'S' for Short refers to the crew compartment which is shortened Buffalo-style. The wheelbase remains the standard length. (BTW, a reman Tapir is also on offer with an even more reduced crew cab.)

http://www.mechemdemining.com/pdf/vehicles_casspir_s.pdf
http://www.mechemdemining.com/images/pics/gallery/20.html

Mechem says that it developed the Casspir-S "for the US forces in Afghanistan" (presumably refering to US private contractors rather than the DOD). The Casspir-S Protected Log Carrier is one of four variants of the remanufactured Casspir Mk. 3 (the base vehicle is the Casspir-Protected Personnel Carrier).

- Casspir-S (Short) Protected Log Carrier
- Casspir-Recovery (15-tonne ARV) http://www.mechemdemining.com/images/pics/vehicles/03.html
- Casspir-Ambulance
- Casspir-Command Post

There is also the Casspir LP, a Low Profile, C-130 air-transportable type.
http://www.mechemdemining.com/images/pics/vehicles/11.html
http://www.mechemdemining.com/images/pics/vehicles/13.html

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2010, 03:50:52 am »
The Okapi was a large 6x6 armoured mine protected vehicle. I'm unsure of the timeframe of it's development, or of its purpose or role, although I've seen it described as a mobile command post.

Offline Matt_Fisher

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2010, 09:37:50 am »
Kaiserbill,

Great stuff!

I remember seeing a picture of that Mechem Gator posted on Force Protection, Inc's website several years ago (circa 2004-5) when Garth Barrett was involved with the company.

The MBD Mantis MPWAVS looks very interesting.  Was it one of the Project Hoefyster South African developed prototype programs?

With the US binning FCS and starting on the 'Ground Combat Vehicle' program, I'm betting alot of these South African 6x6/8x8 APC/IFV inspired concepts start turning up with BAE, General Dynamics and others bids.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2010, 01:35:55 am »
Not too sure about the Mantis.
Part of the reason for this thread is that perhaps some gaps can be filled in what is a very interesting, innovative, but still relatively secretive South African military vehicles industry.

The Mantis certainly looks to be an ICV, perhaps a later Ratel replacement candidate? (Hoefyster?)

I must have a look and see what else I have.

Offline HeavyG

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2010, 12:42:55 pm »
A lot armored vehicles in use today have been influenced in one way or another by South African AFV designs. For example, the RG-31/33 series of vehicles in use with US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were actually designed in SA by BAe Systems/OMC and one of the leading technical designers for Force Protection, Dr Vernon Joynt, is from SA and had done some work on early examples of mine-resistant vehicles.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2010, 01:46:59 am »
For those interested in some of the early development of mine protected vehicles in Southern Africa, Taming The Landmine by Peter Stiff is an interesting read, although it is now about 20 years old and is thus a little dated.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2010, 10:16:39 am »
The Okapi was a large 6x6 armoured mine protected vehicle. I'm unsure of the timeframe of it's development, or of its purpose or role, although I've seen it described as a mobile command post.

I dont know about anyone else but to me it looks like the Okapi was a very close relative of the Veldskoen...? The quality of the photographs suggests to me that they are also from roughly similar timeframes, probably the early to mid 90s rather than the 80s...?

Offline Petrus

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2010, 09:45:09 am »
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.

Interestingly a similar hybrid was built in Israel sometime in the 1960s. What the Israelis used was however a carriage of the British 6-pdr anti-tank gun. Usually the gun was mounted on a back of the Halftrack (as seen below) and the carriage was to be towed behind it. As a tactical situation would demand it, the gun could be dismounted and put on the carriage. Usually however the carriages were left behind and the vehicles became pure self-propelled. They were withdrawn from use after the Yom Kippur war in 1973.



Piotr


Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2010, 10:23:22 am »
I know what the plaque says but without a loading mechanism and magazine that gun is definitely not semi-automatic.

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2010, 11:11:10 am »
I guess semi-automatic refers to the breech operation, with the spent case being ejected automatically.
Also, something about the israeli halftracks mentioned earlier: A number were fitted with 6-pdr guns (minus wheels) during the 1948 war, but the one illustrated in this thread mounts a 90mm MECAR gun of Belgian origin, that was modeled on the 6-pdr.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2010, 04:39:18 am »
A lot armored vehicles in use today have been influenced in one way or another by South African AFV designs. For example, the RG-31/33 series of vehicles in use with US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were actually designed in SA by BAe Systems/OMC and one of the leading technical designers for Force Protection, Dr Vernon Joynt, is from SA and had done some work on early examples of mine-resistant vehicles.

Which were of course heavily influenced by the Rhodesian mine and ambush protection (MAP) programs of the mid-early 1970s.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2010, 04:46:45 am »
A very different time frame to these Bush War vehicles is the South African Armoured Reconniassance Car Mk VI of 1941-42. While to the casual observer it may look like a copy of the German eight wheelers (acht rad) and this was where the inspiration came from it was actually two sets of Marmon-Herrington 4x4 drive trains (including two engines) with a new armoured monocoque hull (like the Mk IV). Frontal armour was as high as 30mm and two types of turrets were mounted (see pictures). 750 were ordered for the UDF and 250 for the UK but delays in getting components to Africa and the wind down of the North Africa campaign saw production cancelled.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 04:48:44 am by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2010, 12:17:18 am »
A vehicle that was prototyped for the SADF to be used on rails in front of trains. I don't know much else unfortunately...

Offline Lauge

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2010, 02:37:00 am »
A vehicle that was prototyped for the SADF to be used on rails in front of trains. I don't know much else unfortunately...

A return to the good old "armored train" concept of yesteryear? I like it, somehow. Ought to work OK, provided the opposition has no aircraft (and are gentmen enough not to blow up the tracks  ::) ).

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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2010, 03:48:36 am »
A return to the good old "armored train" concept of yesteryear? I like it, somehow. Ought to work OK, provided the opposition has no aircraft (and are gentmen enough not to blow up the tracks  ::) ).

Not really. The Rhodesians had something similar on a less grand scale that's role was to clear rail tracks of demolition charges and the like before the goods and passenger trains would come through. A very important role in a domestic counter insurgency operation if you want to keep the rails and your economy in operation.
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2010, 06:50:55 am »
I wonder if the new Mbombe 6x6 ICV unveiled at AAD 2010 has any ancestory in the Mechem Krokodil in Post 5?

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2010, 09:57:02 am »
I wonder if the new Mbombe 6x6 ICV unveiled at AAD 2010 has any ancestory in the Mechem Krokodil in Post 5?

You took the words right out of my mouth! This thing screams Krokodil/Gator/Rhino! Looks like they warmed the basic design over with a fancy new weapons station and some new design language.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2010, 09:05:39 am »
The Mbombe is armed with a dual feed 30mm gun as described in it's released data. Looking at the pics released, does anyone know what gun this is? The barrel looks very long to me.......

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2010, 02:01:55 pm »
The Mbombe is armed with a dual feed 30mm gun as described in it's released data. Looking at the pics released, does anyone know what gun this is? The barrel looks very long to me.......

That is an excellent question and one which I am looking to answer as well. The turret itself was designed by a South African consultancy, the gun looks Russian in origin to me...??? 2A42 or 2A72 perhaps? They are both dual feed and have IFV applications.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 02:10:02 pm by sealordlawrence »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2010, 06:23:37 pm »
Its a Shipunov 2A42 gas operated 30x165mm cannon. Cheap and easy but the round has quite a bit less lethality than western 30x173mm.
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2010, 08:46:07 am »
Nice one Sealord and AG.

Denel has two turrets available. The Modular Combat Turret which houses its 30mm EMAK-30 linkless cam gun, as fitted to the local Patria AMV version, the Badger.
The other one is the LCT 30 turret, which houses the 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster.
Both are 30mmx173mm.
Although listed as seperate turrets, aren't these two turrets the same product with slight differences? As in the turret originally mooted for Hoefyster with the 35mmx225mm gun?

I assume the two turrets would be mountable on the Mbombe? The basic vehicle appears to be as large and heavy as the Patria, from the stats released so far. Who manufactures the turret as shown on the Mbombe at it's unveiling?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 08:49:21 am by kaiserbill »

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2010, 01:33:04 pm »
Nice one Sealord and AG.

Denel has two turrets available. The Modular Combat Turret which houses its 30mm EMAK-30 linkless cam gun, as fitted to the local Patria AMV version, the Badger.
The other one is the LCT 30 turret, which houses the 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster.
Both are 30mmx173mm.
Although listed as seperate turrets, aren't these two turrets the same product with slight differences? As in the turret originally mooted for Hoefyster with the 35mmx225mm gun?

I assume the two turrets would be mountable on the Mbombe? The basic vehicle appears to be as large and heavy as the Patria, from the stats released so far. Who manufactures the turret as shown on the Mbombe at it's unveiling?

With the correct engineering I see no reason why the Denel turret could not be fitted. At the very least, the two Denel turrets share a lot of common design features, I would imagine that there is little between them. The turret on the Mbombe at the unveiling is built by Comenius Consultants, as far as I can tell they are Swedish owned with an office in South Africa.

The interesting thing abut the EMAK-35 gun is that, just like the South African GT-6 MBT gun design, it was designed to be upgraded to a larger calibre relatively easily- 50mm in the case of the EMAK 35 (apparently it would only have required the replacement of the barrel) and 140mm, up from 120mm, for the GT-6 gun.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 01:45:25 pm by sealordlawrence »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2010, 02:33:06 am »
Great stuff Sealord!

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2010, 07:45:21 pm »
Must be, well, "interesting" I think would be the best term, as far as manoeuvrability goes.  Its turning circle would be enormous!

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2010, 01:45:19 am »
Must be, well, "interesting" I think would be the best term, as far as manoeuvrability goes.  Its turning circle would be enormous!

http://paramountgroup.biz/uploads/assets/files/Products/Mbombe%20Vers3%20Landscape%20Sep10.pdf

Less than 20m.

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2010, 03:53:45 am »
Must be, well, "interesting" I think would be the best term, as far as manoeuvrability goes.  Its turning circle would be enormous!

http://paramountgroup.biz/uploads/assets/files/Products/Mbombe%20Vers3%20Landscape%20Sep10.pdf

Less than 20m.

As against a Piranha III which has one of 8.25m and a BTR-90 which has one of 6m.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2010, 06:46:07 am »
Must be, well, "interesting" I think would be the best term, as far as manoeuvrability goes.  Its turning circle would be enormous!

http://paramountgroup.biz/uploads/assets/files/Products/Mbombe%20Vers3%20Landscape%20Sep10.pdf

Less than 20m.

As against a Piranha III which has one of 8.25m and a BTR-90 which has one of 6m.

How are you measuring this turning circle?

South Africa generally measures it as "curb-to-curb". The BTR-80 for example has a turning circle when measured thus of between 14 and 20 meters. The BTR-90 has steering on all wheels, so will better that naturaly. But at what cost does this come at? I do know that it isn't nearly as well protected overall.

Manoeuverability isn't just about turning circles though.

They have also obviously gone for 6x6 for a reason, one of which may be due to attempting to balance costs and capabilities. There are other South African companies offering 8x8 vehicles.

Having another look at the vehicle as compared to the Krokodil on page 1, this Mbombe is front engined, wheras the Krokodil appears to have a mid mounted engine.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2010, 02:10:42 pm »
Talking of South African 8X8's, I came across a video of the RG-41 at the Gerotek vehicle test centre.


Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2010, 05:43:04 pm »
Must be, well, "interesting" I think would be the best term, as far as manoeuvrability goes.  Its turning circle would be enormous!

http://paramountgroup.biz/uploads/assets/files/Products/Mbombe%20Vers3%20Landscape%20Sep10.pdf

Less than 20m.

As against a Piranha III which has one of 8.25m and a BTR-90 which has one of 6m.

How are you measuring this turning circle?

No idea.  I'm merely quoting the publicly available, off the web specifications which I assume the manufacturer has published at some point.  The advantage of most 8x8 AFVs is as you point out is they have steering on all wheels or at least some "toeing in" on the rear four.  Turning circles are usually dependent on wheel track and in this vehicle you have an exceptionally long vehicle with the wheels at the extremities, so therefore you're going to have a very wide turning circle.   Thats OK if you're never intending to do MOUT.  From its design, I suspect that the centre set of wheels are almost there only to stop it from bottoming on sharp ridges and to improve ride. 

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2010, 03:03:50 am »
I would agree with you.

I gather the manufacturers of the various vehicles, like most products, would put their "best foot forward", and so sometimes quote different criteria as one upmanship.

So a turning circle is not always a turning circle if you get my drift. :D

I would agree that the Mbombe would not have the smallest turning circle, but then again, under 20 meters as has been quoted is certainly not the worst I've seen.


Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2010, 06:33:41 pm »
A vehicle that was prototyped for the SADF to be used on rails in front of trains. I don't know much else unfortunately...

Going waaay back, this vehicle is a Namibian one-off. It appears to have been created from two forward sections of WMF Wolfs jointed back-to-back (presumably to drive in either direction) and then plonked on top of a switching engine.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2010, 06:47:18 pm »
Turning this thread back to "secret projects" rather than current new projects (which should be in the Bar) is this interesting webpage. The SA Armour Museum - Lesakeng collection list which includes some good information and pictures.

http://saarmourmuseum.co.za/lesakeng.html

Including the Class 3 ~40 tonne armoured car with 105mm L7 tank  gun, the Rooikat was Class 2B. Also lots ofh info on the project concept behind many of the other armoured cars and APCs in this thread.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2010, 06:32:46 am »
Turning this thread back to "secret projects" rather than current new projects (which should be in the Bar) is this interesting webpage.

Given that the RG41 and Mbombe are both prototype vehicles with no known launch customers (like most of the vehicles in this section of the forum) and what appears to be a clear design lineage back to earlier South african designs which have already appeared in this thread this seems like the perfect place to discuss them.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2010, 10:17:25 am »
That class "3" 40 ton vehicle with the 105mm gun. I included it in the Rooikat thread in this forum, where it has been labelled the Bismark. The turret is interesting. Is it similar to the TTD turret?

I have also had these pictures for a while. It has been described as a Ratel Radar Concept.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 12:30:16 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2010, 04:40:47 pm »
Given that the RG41 and Mbombe are both prototype vehicles with no known launch customers (like most of the vehicles in this section of the forum) and what appears to be a clear design lineage back to earlier South african designs which have already appeared in this thread this seems like the perfect place to discuss them.

An all too typical fundamental misunderstanding on your behalf. From the forum rules:

  • The primary purpose of the "Secret Projects" sections of this forum is to document real, but unbuilt, projects. Prototypes that didn't enter series production may also be appropriate at the descretion of the moderators. Aircraft built in series production should generally be discussed in the "Aerospace" section, warships, tanks and other military vehicles in the Military section.

Now a recently unveiled prototype for a project that has potential to enter service is clearly NOT within these guidelines. A series of test beds used to support the development of a range of possible types and classes of vehicles that never entered production is clearly WITHIN these guidelines.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2010, 04:45:51 pm »
That class "3" 40 ton vehicle with the 107mm gun. I included it in the Rooikat thread in this forum, where it has been labelled the Bismark. The turret is interesting. Is it similar to the TTD turret?

I see that now in the link in the Rooikat thread. It looks like the Class 3 armoured car was for a wheeled tank in the >40 tonne class with heavy armour and main gun. The Class 2 was the midweight armoured car with 76mm gun in the >20 tonne class (Rooikat). Class 1 was probably something in the class of Eland being ~10 tonnes with lightweight 90mm gun.

The Bismarck looks like the test bed and the photo of the vehicle with the TTD type turret was probably more of the production standard. It wouldn't surprise me if that turret is one of the actual TTD turrets. Apart from looking the same it would explain why this vehicle doesn't exsist. The actual turret was removed from the Class 3 testbed and placed onto the TTD.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2010, 05:24:26 pm »
Given that the RG41 and Mbombe are both prototype vehicles with no known launch customers (like most of the vehicles in this section of the forum) and what appears to be a clear design lineage back to earlier South african designs which have already appeared in this thread this seems like the perfect place to discuss them.

An all too typical fundamental misunderstanding on your behalf. From the forum rules:

  • The primary purpose of the "Secret Projects" sections of this forum is to document real, but unbuilt, projects. Prototypes that didn't enter series production may also be appropriate at the descretion of the moderators. Aircraft built in series production should generally be discussed in the "Aerospace" section, warships, tanks and other military vehicles in the Military section.

Now a recently unveiled prototype for a project that has potential to enter service is clearly NOT within these guidelines. A series of test beds used to support the development of a range of possible types and classes of vehicles that never entered production is clearly WITHIN these guidelines.

No, fundamental on your part, both Mbombe and RG41 are prototypes that have not entered production and there is no immediate prospect of them doing so, furthermore you are not a moderator and therefore it is not to your discretion. As if that were not enough both vehicles are of interest given what appears to be a relationship to earlier abandoned designs.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2010, 05:35:03 pm »
That class "3" 40 ton vehicle with the 107mm gun. I included it in the Rooikat thread in this forum, where it has been labelled the Bismark. The turret is interesting. Is it similar to the TTD turret?

I have also had these pictures for a while. It has been described as a Ratel Radar Concept.

I have not seen that vehicle before but is is a fascinating development for me. I would imagine that the radar is one of the early Reutech designed 2D radars, they are usually mounted on 8x8 trucks (Samil or MAN IIRC). Depending on the timeline it may have been considered as part of the system that supported the AA Rooikat designs (serving as an early warning vehicle. Thank you for posting, very interesting indeed!

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2010, 06:57:52 pm »
No, fundamental on your part, both Mbombe and RG41 are prototypes that have not entered production and there is no immediate prospect of them doing so, furthermore you are not a moderator and therefore it is not to your discretion. As if that were not enough both vehicles are of interest given what appears to be a relationship to earlier abandoned designs.

It is well established that new unveiled vehicles do NOT go into Secret Forums they go into the Bar. Also the issue of moderator discretion has to do with historical one off prototypes vs paper designs and is unrelated to this issue. Your disrespect for the rules of this forum are well established along with you disingenuous debating nature.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2010, 02:23:56 am »
No, fundamental on your part, both Mbombe and RG41 are prototypes that have not entered production and there is no immediate prospect of them doing so, furthermore you are not a moderator and therefore it is not to your discretion. As if that were not enough both vehicles are of interest given what appears to be a relationship to earlier abandoned designs.

It is well established that new unveiled vehicles do NOT go into Secret Forums they go into the Bar. Also the issue of moderator discretion has to do with historical one off prototypes vs paper designs and is unrelated to this issue. Your disrespect for the rules of this forum are well established along with you disingenuous debating nature.

I will ignore your attempts at insults there. The moderator issue is simple, moderator discretion, and you are not a moderator. If you have an issue with posts in the thread report them, however the clear link back to earlier abandoned designs makes this a very useful place to have them.

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2010, 02:53:06 am »
Abraham is correct, however I am inclined to leave these posts in the topic for now as a slight digression from topic. If you want to discuss these new designs any more then a new topic in Military would seem to be in order.
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #59 on: October 10, 2010, 03:37:03 am »
I never had a problem with these vehicles being here. I simply pointed out in referring to some historical specs and protoypes from SADF that I was bringing this thread back on topic. Sealord's rant in defence of whatever is just an unfortunate by product.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2010, 05:19:23 am »
Abraham is correct, however I am inclined to leave these posts in the topic for now as a slight digression from topic. If you want to discuss these new designs any more then a new topic in Military would seem to be in order.

Overscan,

Thankyou, the presence of the RG-41 and Mbombe in this thread is extremely useful as it seems that they are heavily based on vehicles previously discussed in the thread and may therefore be demonstrative of design lineage. There was never any intention of discussing those vehicles beyond that notion in this thread.

Thank you again for your input.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2010, 05:46:23 am »
Kaiser,

After checking some notes I have about the ongoing GBADS programme I found that the intention for Phase III was for the system to be mounted on armoured vehicles such as the Ratel. Phase III was, at least at one point, planned for 2006-07 but the project has been repeately delayed and there has only been limited movement on Phase II.  As with most South African programmes its roots probably lie in the Apartheid era (We have seen the AA Rooikat designs already) so this could be part of the earlier system.

I suspect that the radar used on that Ratel was the ESR-220 that is currently in service and will form part of the Phase II GBADS. Given that the EDR-110 used with the ZA-35/ZA-HVM is from roughly the same timeframe as the ESR-220 (late 80s to early 90s) I would imagine that they are associated programatically. That would tie with GBADS Phase III being a repeat of the original 80s/90s requirement for armoured mobile air defence. The latter being based on ZA-35/ZA-HVM with this radar Ratel providing local air warning, there may well have been an associated command post vehicle.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 05:49:44 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2010, 06:02:33 am »
Interesting Sealord.

I recall from a couple of references written by the defence writer Helmoed Romer Heitman in some of his late 80's/early 90's books, that there were 3 platforms that were looked at as combat Anti-air vehicles. These were the Ratel, Rooikat, and G6. I suspect the Rooikat was chosen as the definitive in the end.

Heitman was a reserve officer in the South african Army, and was pretty accurate in his future systems analysis, which was probably as a result of him being well connected in the industry/army. I remember him writing that a new ATGW, new armoured car, new tank, new anti-armour helicopter, new jet fighter, Frigates, subs, amongst others were all actively in the pipeline. All this before the ZT-3, Rooikat, TTD/Loggim, Rooivalk, Carver etc were unveiled or actively acknowledged.
I would love to have a conversation with him.....

I have no idea what sort of turret was looked at as the Ratel Anti-air vehicle, although I suspect the Rooikat and G6 anti-air proposals would have had the same twin-35mm and missile turrets as fitted to the Rooikat.

The missile version of the Rooikat Anti-air was apparently built in prototype, or mock-up form. I would be interested in seeing photos, although none have come to light as far as I know.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2010, 06:57:53 am »
I have a strange recollection of seeing the ZA-35 on a G6 chassis, I can not remember where (may have been this forum) or whether it was a model or actual prototype. I agree that the Rooikat chassis was the one selected, there are images of both the ZA-35 and ZA-HVM on that chassis floating around.

However the Rooikat may not have been the best platform for a radar vehicle which is likely to have included operator consoles and other equipment. The large armoured box of the Ratel may have provided for a more appropriate vehicle, especially after the termination of the Class 2C Armoured Weapon Platform.

Helmoed Romer Heitman certainly sounds like a fascinating character, did he ever write any books? I would love to get my hands on a copy of "Those who had the power" but I have never even seen one for sale!

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2010, 09:01:00 am »
Heitman wrote quite a few books during the 1980's and 1990's, mainly dealing with the South African Defence Force. He also wrote an excellent book on the final, conventional warfare phase of the Angolan war when FAPLA/Cuban/Soviet forces clashed with the SADF in the late 1980's.

The only variant of the G-6 Anti-air vehicle I've seen is with the Marksman turret in model form in what is obviously a post Apartheid study. The link was in the 35mm eGlas thread below. I'd imagine the earlier original study would be similar, albeit with the Rooikat turret.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8696.0.html

I would be most interested in seeing the SPAAM Rooikat with ZA-HVM.


I have a copy of Those Who Had The Power by Pierre Lowe Victor.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 09:07:14 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2010, 09:48:50 am »
Was looking at that Radar Ratel again, and thought perhaps it may actually be the Ratel AEOS, which was an artillery observation and control variant. It had a mast which had various sensors in the top including laser, optic and TV sensors capable of operating at night and by day.

But this mast looks different and is quite a bit more substantial than the mast on the Ratel AEOS, so perhaps it shares only the concept of the mast on the Ratel vehicle.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 10:37:53 am by kaiserbill »

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2010, 01:39:35 pm »
Kaiser,

As I understand it the EAOS was/is associated with the AS2000 Artillery Fire Control system, I assume that is the variant you are referring to? I have posted a picture of it below. It is certainly possible that this 'Radar Ratel' is a prototype or development of that system. Unfortunately I can not make out what is at the top of that mast due to the angle of those photos. However the mast looks very different though the built up forward superstructure looks similar. Another option might be that rather than it being an air defence radar it is a battlefield surveillance radar?

Here is a picture of the ZA-HVM on a Rooikat chassis, the more I look at the picture the more it looks like the turret is actually a mock-up rather than the actual system, the sensor turret at the front does not look 'real'.

So you are on of the lucky hundred with a copy of that book! I would love to add a copy to my library.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 02:58:17 pm by sealordlawrence »

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2010, 03:47:59 pm »
The Army Technology site carries the following photo: http://www.army-technology.com/projects/olifant/olifant1.html listing it as an Oilfant 1b, however I think what it is carrying is a 'Denel Land Systems Olifant 2 Combat turret' otherwise known as the 'Optimised Olifant Turret' which can carry either a 105mm or a 120mm (though probably not the latter on the centurion chassis) apparently the turret was designed with both the Centurion and Chieftain chassis in mind.


Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #68 on: October 11, 2010, 02:31:59 am »
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Sealord!

i've been looking for the ZA-HVM for quite a while now. Thank you very much.

I agree with you about the Ratel EAOS and the Radar Ratel ..... the two masts look different, with the Radar Ratels mast looking much beefier. On reflection, the idea that it may be a battlefield radar is a very sensible one, if it is a radar version at all as is labelled. The EAOS as far as I know is a component of a system.

Regarding the book, it is currently in storage as I have moved house (over a great distance!), so, along with 90% of my reference library, it will stay that way for the next few months.

If you remind me in a few months time, I will very happily go through the book when I get my goods if you have any queries pertaining to it. :)

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2010, 03:06:57 am »
The Army Technology site carries the following photo: http://www.army-technology.com/projects/olifant/olifant1.html listing it as an Oilfant 1b, however I think what it is carrying is a 'Denel Land Systems Olifant 2 Combat turret' otherwise known as the 'Optimised Olifant Turret' which can carry either a 105mm or a 120mm (though probably not the latter on the centurion chassis) apparently the turret was designed with both the Centurion and Chieftain chassis in mind.



The turret looks to be the one as fitted to the Optimal. The Optimal version I think came about when the Olifant Mk1b was improved as the original Olifant Mk2. Certainly, I think it was the original Olifant Mk2, and I have seen it labelled as thus more than once. Certainly the turret sensor head looks to be the one fitted to the current Olifant Mk2.

The Optimal was I suspect, as the name seems to imply, a particularly well armoured, armed, and advanced version of the Mk1b. This probably in case of delays to the advanced new tank, the TTD/Loggim that was then being tested.  I have chatted to a tanker who says the Olifant Mk1b is capable of mounting a 120mm gun with this turret. I suspect this Optimal to weigh in over 60 tons, seeing as the Mk1B was almost 59tons. I also suspect a more powerful engine was tested as the engine deck looks a little different from comparison photos I've seen.

It is quite amazing to see what the Centurion ended up like as the various Olifant models, albeit much of the original Centurion components have been replaced, rebuilt, redesigned. A lasting testament to this British tank and its designers.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2010, 05:16:57 am »
Kaiser,

Thank you for posting those pictures, I have never seen that vehicle that close up!! That is a very handsome turret. The tank overall looks very 'solid' as if it has a lot of extra armour mounted on it, I see what you mean about the engine decking. I think this turret is later than the TTD, had that project continued this turret may well have ended up on it. I get the impression that this turret was intended to be multi-platform.

An interesting side not, looking at the South African Armour museum website it states that the Class 3 8 x8 (with the 105mm gun) has the same engine and transmission as the Class 2C weapons carrier (750hp+ engine), however the weight of the latter is said to be half of the former (granted it has no weapon / other loadings at this time) and it also looks shorter...

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2010, 12:20:53 pm »
That Optimal(?) certainly is a beast, although that turret certainly has an elegance about it.



An interesting feature of the South African tank developments I've noticed is the sheer robustness of the vehicles, noticeable in the small details like the front headlight guards etc. Far more so than even on Russian vehicles, which are noticeable for their ruggedness. The South African vehicles are designed on another scale. Some of the photos I've seen of the operating conditions in Angola in 1987-1989 explain this though.

I'm particularly interested in SA vehicle development as they seem to have been very innovative and practical, and not as hidebound as other western developers sometimes were. They also seem to have been quite willing to weld ideas from both cold war blocs to their own ideas, and backed it up with money if it was good .... quite refreshing and innovative.

I can post more close ups of the Optimal vehicle if you are interested. The differences seem not be limited only to the turret. The entire hull lines/storage compartments, at a glance, are different.
The vehicle is in the Armour Museum at Bloemfontein. I certainly intend visiting this museum on my next trip there.

I also think the TTD/Loggim would fit nicely and neatly into this thread, as would some of the more limited run South African tank modifications/developments in fact.

I wonder if that Rooikat SPAAM SA-HVM mock-up is on the same extended chassis as the twin 35mm?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 12:38:31 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2010, 01:53:00 pm »
I agree, South African armoured vehicles show a purposefulness that is sometimes missing in their less-used Western and Eastern contemporaries. I am also constantly amazed at how much progress the South African arms industry made and how quickly they made it.

I think the ZA-HVM was based on the extended chassis for two reasons, firstly the turret looks almost identical to the ZA-35 except the guns are replaced with missile launchers, therefore the turret is likely have similar if not identical mounting requirements. Secondly, there appears to be a larger gap between the two missile wheels than there is between the front and rear two (though the angle is not great) which suggests that it probably is the extended chassis.

Here are some pictures I have of the TTD, I cant remember where I got them from as they have been sat on various computers of mine for years! If you have any more of the 'Optimal turret' that would be great.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 02:05:21 pm by sealordlawrence »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2010, 08:02:39 pm »
A few things from some of these recent vehicle issues.

The “Ratel Radar” is clearly a prototype for the artillery observation vehicle (Ratel EAOS: Enhanced Artillery Observation System). The difference in the production EAOS being in the lighter mast, more advanced optics and subsequent larger observation turret (a standard Ratel turret rather than a small hot box). I very much doubt there is even a small GSR on the “Ratel Radar” as the top of mast ball structure appears to be too small for even such a small antenna. The source for these pictures refers to it specifically as a "local warning radar" which doesn't seen possible for the total lack of antenna space. AS2000 is just a computer system for calculating fire missions.

The ZA-35 and ZA-HVM was unveiled to the rest of the world by HRR in articles in MILTECH and Janes 20 years ago. Both vehicles used the same stretched Rooikat hull as was later used on the Rooikat 105mm tank hunter. Though only the ZA-35 was a working trials vehicle the missile version was a mock up. HVM later became the Umkohoto missile.

“Optimised Olifant Turret” is still a Centurion turret underneath. It just included extra armour and target acquisition equipment. The South African 120mm tank gun was designed to replace the 105mm tank gun on existing mountings and was developed in case the Soviets introduced T-72s into combat in Angola. The TTD is a far more advanced turret on the inside that presumably could have been fitted with a similar ‘wedge’ shaped armour array as the Olifant 1B if produced. The engine deck of the optimised prototype looks identical to a standard Olifant except it has nicely sculptured storage bins and the like smoothing out the edges. But hull rear plate and roof are identical.

South African and Rhodesian combat vehicle design had the twin advantages of limited input by bureaucracy and high input by combat users. Who knows what amazing vehicles the US Army would be rolling in if they were so lucky.

Thanks Kaiser for more excellent, new photos.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 11:01:42 pm by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2010, 09:03:13 pm »
Here is a much better picture of the production standard Ratel EAOS (reduced resolution from its original).
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Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2010, 10:46:08 am »
Found another picture of that Ratel variant prototype. I have it labelled MAOS which perhaps stands for mobile artillery observation system at a guess???? Either way, a different angle here shows the tower to be much bigger as you have mentioned with perhaps a higher elevation than the pic you posted above, Abraham?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 12:13:14 pm by kaiserbill »

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« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2010, 11:08:32 am »
Regarding the Optimal, I had a quick glance at some pics I have and did notice that there are two protruding "vents" on its engine deck that are not on the vanilla Mk1B. I'm not sure what they are in aid of though, and what they may denote? See 1st pic below.
Apart from that, I agree that AG is correct in that the rest of the engine-cover planform seems the same for both variants, although for some reason I don't have a very good picture of the Mk1B engine covers.

Abraham, on the turret, you would most likely be correct, if we remember that the Olifant is a Centurion derivitive, and that these were meant to operate until the Loggim Project new MBT was manufactured nd fielded in numbers. So the Centurion turret base would make perfect sense.

Although I must say though that I have been told that the turret is completely new, and not like the Mk1B turret which has a Centurion turret as it's core. The person who told me this has close connections to knowledgable people in the industry, although he is not in it himself. He has given me a wealth of accurate details on other defence matters before, and explained to me how the Rooikat programme developed.

But I would not know for myself, having not really seen the Optimal with my own eyes. Note the extra armour on the roof of the hull above the drivers position. This vehicle is in the Armour Museum at Bloemfontein, along with a TTD.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 12:13:53 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2010, 01:53:03 pm »
Found another picture of that Ratel variant prototype. I have it labelled MAOS which perhaps stands for mobile artillery observation system at a guess???? Either way, a different angle here shows the tower to be much bigger as you have mentioned with perhaps a higher elevation than the pic you posted above, Abraham?

You can clearly see how the mast is elevated in that picture and there is almost certainly no radar array there, any sensors would be carried in the dome at the top, almost certainly optical. MOAS would work, it would explain the E in EAOS which stands for Enhanced, that suggesting there was an earlier version which the EAOS improved on.

You are not the only one who has been told that the optimal is an all new turret, my notes state that it is an all new turret intended for the centurion and chieftain series dependent on the turret ring bearing being made to match. My notes go on to say that it has a bustle mounted carousel capable of taking KE ammunition. The turret was apparently fitted with DLS turret management system, had a combat weight of 17.5 tonnes and a ring-bearing diametre of 2m.

I have AS2000 as covering the complete artillery engagement system, not just a ballistic kernel, the associated sub-systems, including EAOS constituted target acquisition, communications and navigation as a complete divisional level command and control system.

Edit: I have my source for the 'Optimal Turret' listed as Helmoed-Römer Heitman though the date is 2000.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 02:06:10 pm by sealordlawrence »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2010, 07:19:02 pm »
Found another picture of that Ratel variant prototype. I have it labelled MAOS which perhaps stands for mobile artillery observation system at a guess???? Either way, a different angle here shows the tower to be much bigger as you have mentioned with perhaps a higher elevation than the pic you posted above, Abraham?

That picture clearly shows that the mast head can't fit a radar. With the space in the middle occupied by the pivot there is only room for a camera and laser on either side of the pod. Interesting that it is such a rounded shape. Might be a casting of high hardness steel for protection against small arms.

This mast is much higher than the EAOS (about twice as high) but requires extensive stabilizer spades to be lowered. The EAOS appears to not require these spades. So the trade off was reduced mast height for far faster into and out of action times. Which seems more than reasonable to me.

Regarding the Optimal, I had a quick glance at some pics I have and did notice that there are two protruding "vents" on its engine deck that are not on the vanilla Mk1B. I'm not sure what they are in aid of though, and what they may denote? See 1st pic below.

These don’t seem very well attached. I think this is possibly more to do with exhaust re-routing because of the new storage bins of the Mk 1b upgrade rather than a new engine.

 
Abraham, on the turret, you would most likely be correct, if we remember that the Olifant is a Centurion derivitive, and that these were meant to operate until the Loggim Project new MBT was manufactured nd fielded in numbers. So the Centurion turret base would make perfect sense.

The turret is heavily modified but all the cardinal points remain the same: the hatches, gun, etc. It is extremely unlikely that a new build turret would remain the same. I seem to recall from a Janes article in the mid 90s that the ‘optimal’ was the first prototype for the Mk 1b configuration but a simpler turret and armour upgrade was chosen for the production standard. I can’t see why this turret would have anything to do with a Chieftan tank because the height of the turret basket between it and a Centurion is hugely different and what would be the market?
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Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #79 on: October 13, 2010, 01:54:08 am »
I found the Jane's article from 2000 about the optimal turret, it is dated September 2000 and was written by Helmoed-Römer Heitman. The details about the turret, including the bustle carousel ammunition storage and turret ring data suggest that it is a completely new turret. The article mentions not only the Centurion and Chieftain but also 'other tanks' assuming the turret ring can be adapted. It seems to be suggested that this was a private initiative by LIW with the SA Army preferring the FCS upgrade of the Olifant 1b followed by a new MBT over a new Olifant turret.

The market beyond South Africa would be obvious, Jordan which is a major Ratel user and where South African companies have had a strong presence, notably IST Dynamics prior to their acquisition by BAE and Kuwait, both have previously procured Chieftain.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 02:53:30 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2010, 05:01:12 am »
The “optimal” is actually the Denel LIW prototype for the Mk 2 Olifant upgrade. It has had the hunter killer sight system removed which had me confused for a few web posts thinking this was a late 80s era product. This is still an original, albeit heavily modified Centurion Mk 5 turret under the upgrade. You can actually still see part of the original turret in front on photos of this vehicle.

The upgrade included the LIW GT8 105mm gun that can be swapped out for a 120mm smoothbore ordnance. Denel lost the contract for the Mk 2 upgrade to BAE Alvis so this vehicle was never realised. The Mk 2 requirement also included a more powerful engine so that would explain the new exhaust ports.

Denel also have a significant turret and large calibre gun design and production business so it is no surprise they might have designed and offered the Mk 2 turret upgrade for the Chieftain and/or a new build turret. But this is not it.

This is what the Denel Optimal looked like in its glory days.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 06:56:23 am by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2010, 05:09:06 am »

The market beyond South Africa would be obvious, Jordan which is a major Ratel user and where South African companies have had a strong presence, notably IST Dynamics prior to their acquisition by BAE and Kuwait, both have previously procured Chieftain.

Correct Sealord.

In fact that Jordanian Falcon slim turret with the autoloaded 120mm mounted on the Challenger chassis has a heavy South African design input. Mechanology Design Bereau and IST Dynamics from South Africa were responsible as far as I remember.

It can also be fitted to the Centurion, strangely enough. ;)

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #82 on: October 13, 2010, 05:14:23 am »
This is what the Denel Optimal looked like in its glory days.

The South African armour museum today has something quite depressing about it, all those poorly kept vehicles look like they are decaying, much like the Armed Forces that originally ordered them and the industry that built them.

That this was a competitor to BAE/Alvis would explain the twin use of the Mk2 designation and the differences to the hulls.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #83 on: October 13, 2010, 05:26:55 am »
It can also be fitted to the Centurion, strangely enough. ;)

The Chieftan and later Challenger resused the turret ring of the Centurion but have a shorter basket height. So you can stick a Chieftan or Challenger turret into a Centurion but not vice veresa. Of course there would be other integration issues but not a problem for the Falcon turret.
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #84 on: October 13, 2010, 06:51:18 am »

The upgrade included the LIW GT8 105mm gun that can be swapped out for a 120mm smoothbore ordnance. Denel lost the contract for the Mk 2 upgrade to BAE Alvis so this vehicle was never realised. The Mk 2 requirement also included a more powerful engine so that would explain the new exhaust ports.



The gentleman who informed me about the turret also stated that the Optimal had a more powerful engine. He stated that the Optimal, whilst heavier than the Mk1B, was a couple of kilometers faster.

As far as I know regarding the engines, the Olifant Mk1A appears to have the Continental AV1790 750hp diesel, the Mk1B has this powerpack upgraded to somewhere around 910 hp (1790-6A perhaps?), whilst the Olifant Mk2 has this engine upgraded and uprated once more to push out about 1040hp. (the continental diesel 1790-9AR family member has been rated as high as 1200hp as found in the Merkava 3.)

Where this leaves the Optimal, and which variant engine it is fitted with, I'm not sure.



« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 04:12:44 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #85 on: October 13, 2010, 07:07:52 am »
The Denel GT-9 120mm smoothbore tank gun is interesting to me.

I think the decision not to equip the Olifant with this weapon, or to procure the productionised variant of the TTD put this project on the backburner.

I know that a few guns were produced and tested. This 120mm had a barrel lenth of 53 calibres, and used semi-combustible cartridge cases.

The picture below was sent to me ages ago, and was said to be the LIW (Lyttleton Ingenier Werke) 120mm.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 07:09:36 am by kaiserbill »

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #86 on: October 13, 2010, 07:50:40 am »
Kaiser, this the list I have for known designations of South African AT guns:

GT-2 90mm on the Eland and Ratel
GT-3 designation has been used for the 105mm L7 in the Olifant
GT-4 is the 76mm installed on the Rooikat
GT-6 Experimental 120/140mm gun
GT-7 was a low pressure version of the above for the Rooikat 105
GT-8 was an advanced rifled 105mm, apparently also for the Rooikat and Olifant
GT-9 was a dedicated 120mm gun for MBT applications
GT-12 was a lightweight 120mm intended for the Rooikat-120

What the GT-1, 5, 10 and 11 designations were used for I do not know.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #87 on: October 14, 2010, 04:45:09 am »
Sealord, The only info I have on the GT-9 is from the net:

Quote
The 120 mm smoothbore tank gun GT 9 has been developed by LIW for installation in MBTs in the 40 to 80 tonne class. The weapon was developed as a technology project to establish this capability in South Africa with development of 120 mm ammunition being carried out in parallel.

The GT 9 has a concentric hydraulic recoil system with separate eccentric hydropneumatic recuperators which are housed in the breech ring. The breech is of the semi-automatic type with a vertical sliding breech block.

The breech block is opened by means of a cam during run-up and the cartridge stub is ejected by means of two extractors. The cam can be set to manual mode which then prevents cartridge ejection during run-up. This facilitates the sealing of the system during BC warfare. A guardrail, incorporating a cartridge deflector, is mounted around the rear of the gun.

The barrel has a bayonet type thread to facilitate fast assembly and is autofrettaged in the high pressure regions to allow for the use of high pressure ammunition.

The 120 mm/52 calibre barrel is also fitted with a bore evacuator and a thermal shield with the latter having an efficiency in excess of 80 per cent. Provision has been made for the possible installation of a muzzle reference system and it is also possible to fit a muzzle brake.

The gun has been designed for use with ammunition using a semi-combustible cartridge case with a metal sealing stub.

Main weapon caliber (mm) 120
Barrel length (calibres) 53
Weight (kg) 3000
Recoil force (kg) 4000
Recoil stroke (mm) 400


I have no idea how accurate this is.

The GT-12 I think is a a lightweight 120mm as you mentioned, for vehicles weighing around 20 tons plus.

The TTD had a particularly sophisticated and advanced fire control set up for it's time.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 04:46:51 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #88 on: October 14, 2010, 05:29:24 am »
The Tank Technology Demonstrator, also called the Loggum or Loggim, was designed as the follow on to the Olifant, to enter service in the 1990's. This new tank was roughly in the class of the Leopard 2, weighing about 60 tons, carrying a 120mm smoothbore, and capable of speeds in the region of 70km/h. It had a sophisticated and advanced "hunter/killer" fire control system.


Some more pictures of the TTD below. Does anyone know how many were built? There is one at the Armour museum at Bloemfontein that appears to be taken out for a run every now and then. It generally carries the registration plate TTD001M and has what I think says "Alpha & Omega" on the turret side.

It also has a completely different engine type than the Continental diesels of the Olifants.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #89 on: October 14, 2010, 06:22:08 am »
A couple more:

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #90 on: October 14, 2010, 06:25:12 am »
And some more from that article:

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #91 on: October 14, 2010, 02:46:22 pm »
I see considerable similarities between the TTD turret and the Optimal, take away the Optimal's wedges and the Plan view looks remarkably similar even with the smoke grenade launchers in the cut out mid way down the side of the turret. The locations of the hatches and sights also look similar. Also, according to description, both turrets have the bustle-mounted carousel that automatically passes ammunition to the loader (The Merkava IV has a similar system).

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #92 on: October 18, 2010, 02:11:14 pm »
Kaiser, this the list I have for known designations of South African AT guns:

GT-2 90mm on the Eland and Ratel
GT-3 designation has been used for the 105mm L7 in the Olifant
GT-4 is the 76mm installed on the Rooikat
GT-6 Experimental 120/140mm gun
GT-7 was a low pressure version of the above for the Rooikat 105
GT-8 was an advanced rifled 105mm, apparently also for the Rooikat and Olifant
GT-9 was a dedicated 120mm gun for MBT applications
GT-12 was a lightweight 120mm intended for the Rooikat-120

What the GT-1, 5, 10 and 11 designations were used for I do not know.

I know Denel developed a version of the Soviet 125mm gun. It used the example on one of the Polish T-72's it "aquired" as a starting point. I'd imagine it not to be exactly the same as there would be no point. Perhaps this is one of the missing designations?

I have also heard that the Mechem 6X6 Krokodil could have been the prototype of a relatively low air transportable IFV, but I'm unsure whether this is truly the case or not. The TTD apparently was what its name implied, a demonstrator. The finished tank would have been based on it, but refined "considerably."

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #93 on: October 18, 2010, 07:05:38 pm »
My understanding was that Armscor's GT-3 was the Centurion's QF 20-pdr breech fitted with an RO L7 barrel for the Olifant Mk 1A. This is a shot in the dark but mightn't GT-1 have been a local designation for a tweaked 20-pdr in the Semel/Olifant Mk Is?

About the South African 125mm smooth-bore. The T-72/D-81 was received from Poland in 1989. Armscor began TTD in 1983. So, timing's off for a D-81 copy to fills that empty GT5 'slot'.  :(

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #94 on: October 19, 2010, 05:35:54 am »
My understanding was that Armscor's GT-3 was the Centurion's QF 20-pdr breech fitted with an RO L7 barrel for the Olifant Mk 1A. This is a shot in the dark but mightn't GT-1 have been a local designation for a tweaked 20-pdr in the Semel/Olifant Mk Is?

I have wondered the same, whether the GT-1 or GT-2 was the 20-pdr or maybe even the 17-pdr.

Quote
About the South African 125mm smooth-bore. The T-72/D-81 was received from Poland in 1989. Armscor began TTD in 1983. So, timing's off for a D-81 copy to fills that empty GT5 'slot'.  :(

Perhaps the development of the 120mm may have started before the TTD???

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #95 on: October 19, 2010, 05:49:53 am »
GT stands for Gun, Tank. Since the 90mm GT-2 would have entered production in or around 1962 South Africa had only two guns in tanks before this time: the 20 Pounder (Centurion) and the 77mm (Comet).  The Comet was in store so most likely it is associated with the 20 Pounder of the Centurion.
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Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #96 on: October 19, 2010, 05:08:44 pm »
Since we're in the realm of speculation, what changes to the 20 pdr might have been considered?

Am I right in thinking that the L7's 105mm is essentially a 'wildcatted' 20 pdr case? Is it even conceivable that South African thought that it could create a 105mm gun by boring out 20 pdrs? (I know that French CN-75-50s were rebored to 90mm but a 84mm to 105mm rebore would be a much bigger jump.)

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #97 on: October 20, 2010, 02:55:38 am »
Since we're in the realm of speculation, what changes to the 20 pdr might have been considered?

Am I right in thinking that the L7's 105mm is essentially a 'wildcatted' 20 pdr case? Is it even conceivable that South African thought that it could create a 105mm gun by boring out 20 pdrs? (I know that French CN-75-50s were rebored to 90mm but a 84mm to 105mm rebore would be a much bigger jump.)

The 105mm L7 is essentially a new 20 Pdr with a larger bore tube.  The chamber remains the same size, I believe.  This allowed units to switch between 20 Pdr and 105mm tubes easily, which they often did to expend old 20 Pdr rounds in training on the range.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #98 on: October 20, 2010, 06:26:38 am »
Since we're in the realm of speculation, what changes to the 20 pdr might have been considered?

Am I right in thinking that the L7's 105mm is essentially a 'wildcatted' 20 pdr case? Is it even conceivable that South African thought that it could create a 105mm gun by boring out 20 pdrs? (I know that French CN-75-50s were rebored to 90mm but a 84mm to 105mm rebore would be a much bigger jump.)

The 105mm L7 is essentially a new 20 Pdr with a larger bore tube.  The chamber remains the same size, I believe.  This allowed units to switch between 20 Pdr and 105mm tubes easily, which they often did to expend old 20 Pdr rounds in training on the range.

The South African Tankers used the 84mm 20 pdr for training alongside 105mm gun for years, which fits very neatly with your statement above, rickshaw.

With such a scarcity of info and pics of the LIW/Denel 120/53 smoothbore gun, I don't suppose there is any detail on their 140mm weapon?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 06:34:42 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #99 on: October 20, 2010, 01:02:21 pm »
rickshaw: Thanks, that's what I guessed (since the 20 pdr case is 618mm long with a 147mm rim and a 105 case is between 607mm and 627mm long and retains that 147mm rim). So, (and, again, total speculation) perhaps GT1 was an attempt to mate a locally-designed 105 barrel to the 20 pdr breech?

kaiserbill: you mention a smooth-bore 120/53. Is that the GT6 or GT9? (If the latter, I need to correct my GT list. I have 120/52 for the GT9. Otherwise, the list is much like sealordlawrence's.)

GT1 - ?
GT2 - 90mm gun (Eland-90, Ratel-90), based on French CN-90-F1
GT3 - 105mm/54 for the Olifant Mk 1A/'1B (QF 20 pdr/L7 hybrid, breech/barrel)
GT4 - 76mm/62 gun for Rooikat-76
GT5 - ?
GT6 - smooth-bore 120mm (optional 140mm barrel) for TTD
GT7 - 105mm/51 L7 development (L7/GT3 barrel, long-recoil system) for Rooikat-105, LMT 105
 - lower recoil GT7 variant under development (still?)
GT8 - upgraded 105mm L7 intended for Olifant Mk 1B (gun tested but never fitted?)
GT9 - smooth-bore 120mm/52 for TTD, 3 prototypes (trialled in LMT 105 turret?)
GT10 - ?
GT11 - ?
GT12 - lightweight, low-recoil 120mm (projected Rooikat-120)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 07:12:58 pm by Apophenia »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #100 on: October 20, 2010, 03:26:04 pm »
Apo, I have seen the South African 120mm given as 52 or 53 calibres long. Perhaps it is a typo, or perhaps either the GT-6, GT-9, or GT-12 had a marginally different barrel length?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #101 on: October 20, 2010, 04:33:35 pm »
On the GT-1, GT-2, GT-3 issue its important to understand the timelines.

GT-2 was the French 90mm gun for the Eland and entered production in 1962. The SA Army first brought Centurions (>200 Mk 2/3) in the 1950s as part of the Commonwealth, post Korean War defence plan where SA and Aus would deploy field armies to the Middle East to fight the Soviets. But the Afrikaner Nationalists government as part of its de-Britishing program slashed the Army and sold about 100 Centurions to Switzerland. Then came the “Winds of Change” and the arming of African nationalist movements by the Soviets (that has to this day ruined Africa). In response to this the Afrikaner Nationalists government sought to rebuild the tank force and about 100 Centurions were purchased from India and Jordan in the 1970s. The first South African Centurion upgrade to feature a 105mm gun was the Olifant Mk 1A in the early 1980s. The 20 Pounder was replaced by the GT-3 105mm which was a copy of the L7 provided via Israel. Whole new ordnance no need for upgrade of 25 year old clapped out 20 Pounders.

So what is the GT-1? Before the GT-2 the SA Army had the 20 Pounder (Centurion) and 77mm (Comet) high velocity guns in their inventory. The Comets were in store so it’s a pretty safe bet that GT-1 was the name given to the 20 Pounder. Especially as they were to give them pretty heavy service for 20 years and would have needed a domestic ammunition production capability.

PS: The GT-4 is not semi-auto it is a single shot manually loaded like most other tank guns.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 07:44:14 pm by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #102 on: October 20, 2010, 07:32:44 pm »

So, you're saying that the GT3 as 20-pdr/L7 hybrid is a myth. It is simply a reverse-engineered L7.

Armscor/Denel (or the SADF) would've applied the GT1 to 20 pounders for ammunition supply purposes.

If so, that might also explain the 'missing' GT5, GT10, and GT11.

With 20 captured T-55s, the 100mm D-10 would be one candidate for GT5  (ammunition for training and Rhodesian T-55LDs, perhaps? I can't imagine them bothering with ammo for the T-34/85s).

The previously mentioned T-72's would also require 125mm round (the ATE South Africa upgrade retained the original gun, right? So the 2A46/D-81 would need an ammuntion supply as well).

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #103 on: October 20, 2010, 07:47:43 pm »
So, you're saying that the GT3 as 20-pdr/L7 hybrid is a myth. It is simply a reverse-engineered L7.

As has been pointed out above the L7 105mm is just a rebored 20 pounder. The first prototypes were quite literally 20 pounder tubes bored out from 84mm to 105mm. Did the South African's play around with their 20 pounders to make 105mm? Probably. But the Olifant 1A upgrade benefited from tinjhe ection of L7 guns via Israel. In 1980 you'd be crazy to convert old 20 pounders to 105mm by reboring. SA was producing 155mm barrels so should have had no problem making brand new 105mm tubes. But to know exacelty what happened we would need someone with first or second hand knowledge to provide some input.
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Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #104 on: October 22, 2010, 05:11:57 am »
It appears as if the Skokiaan below was South Africa's 2nd look at testing modifications to the basic Centurion. The first seemed to be an attempt highlighted in the passage below.

The second phase seems to have been fitting a limited amount of Centurions with the Continental - AVI-1790-8 petrol engine rated at 810hp. This was a big leap up in power from the 650hp meteor. This seems to have resulted in the fastest and most powerful of any "conventional" Centurion, with a 50% increase in speed to around 50km/h. The range though, always the achilles heel of the petrol engined Centurion in South Africa, was poor. It appears the Skokiaan retained the 20pdr (84mm).

Quote
During 1968 the first attempt to overcome the problems encountered in South Africa with the Centurion tank (over-heating, spares etc.) was not made easy as South Africa had been placed under a United Nations arms embargo. The first modification upgrading took place with the installation of a 372 kW (500 hp), V12, Detroit diesel, model V71 two-stroke diesel engine. The second modification/upgrading took place in 1973 with the fitting of a Continental fuel-injection engine and a three-speed Allison Semi-Automatic transmission. Modifications took place at 61 Base Workshop, Pretoria, in-corporation with Armscor. This project was registered as ‘Project Skokiaan’ and three prototypes were built. Evaluation trials of these three prototype Centurions took place in Walvis Bay Namibia (SWA), and in Bloemfontein in 1973. The upgrading was not successful as the existing fuel tank layout could not cater for the high fuel consumption of the engine resulting in a poor operating range. A grand total of eleven tanks were modified. Nine were deployed on the Angolan Border in 1976. The project was terminated in 1974 with the start of ‘Project Semels’. The ‘Skokiaan’ on display is the original first prototype to be built (R90587).


http://www.saarmourmuseum.co.za/lesakeng.html

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #105 on: October 25, 2010, 10:10:31 am »
Photos and drawings of the 8x8 bridge vehicle, and Olifant Mk1b bridging vehicle. Note bulldozer attachment to tank.

I've never seen any others of the MK1b bridge, nor any ARV based on its chassis, although I'm sure that this must have been looked at for obvious reasons. Not too sure where I received these pictures originally from a few years back now.....

« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 11:26:49 am by kaiserbill »

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #106 on: October 25, 2010, 10:35:54 am »
The 68mm Mechem RO68 has a range of 6,500m. Basically, it was the 68mm SNEB as found on aircraft. This was built with a six-round tripod mounted launcher assembly weighing only 45kg, or 4 tube version which was lighter. Touted at special forces, the cheap, colapsible launcher was disposable. Timer or crew fired, proximity fuse could explode 3 meters above ground, spraying 3000 steel balls. Aimed with standard mortar sight.

I'm unsure whether this has actually been serially produced or productionised, but below are the only 2 pics I've ever seen of this concept, and I've never heard of any service induction over the years.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 11:28:30 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #107 on: October 26, 2010, 05:29:55 am »
Photos and drawings of the 8x8 bridge vehicle, and Olifant Mk1b bridging vehicle. Note bulldozer attachment to tank.

Not a bulldozer blade, per se, rather it its a wide stabiliser for helping to steady the vehicle while laying the bridge (and preventing the nose from dipping).  The Leopard Biber AVLB has one (indeed, that vehicle looks remarkably like the Biber).

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #108 on: October 26, 2010, 02:13:56 pm »
On pg5 post number 66, Sealord posted a picture of the Rooikat SPAAM equipped with the SAHV missile, now developed into the Umkhonto.

This missile was originally developed to replace the Crotale, which was originally developed by France and South Africa and called the Cactus. The SAHV was developed to replace the Cactus, as a superior bolt on replacement to the Cactus on the original vehicle in the airfield defence role, and as an army field weapon mounted on more robust platforms such as the Rooikat 8X8 vehicle to accompany mechanised flying columns in the field.

Below is the only picture I know of it on the original Cactus (Crotale) vehicle, apart from a picture of it being fired from the original vehicle at Overberg Test range. Any other pics would be welcome, as well as the obvious modifications needed to the carrier/firing vehicle

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #109 on: October 28, 2010, 08:31:04 am »
The SAHV missile was, as noted above, developed to be a replacement for the Crotale/Cactus in the airfield defence role, and as a more robust system for the field. To the latter end, there was to be a twin 35mm SPAAG and a SPAAM system with the SAHV-3. Platforms looked at were the Ratel, Rooikat, and G6, with the latter 2 being preferred, and the Rooikat being the favourite. These were the preferred wheeled platforms. Tracked platforms were also looked at, particularly in the export realm. To this end, both SPAAG and SPAAM turrets could be mounted on various tracked chassis, with the Olifant and T-72 being the ones particularly looked at. There is evidence that the Polish Loara system has the South African project as its genesis point.

Some pics of the tracked versions below, all seem to be on the T-72 chassis at a glance. The description for the 3rd picture was:

"This technical drawing shows the ZA-SPADS Self-propelled Air Defence System, incorporating the ESD-S ETS 2400 Radar/Optical Tracker fitted to a tracked vehicle. The complete system fitted in with this configuration with almost no modifications to the tracked transporter."

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #110 on: October 28, 2010, 08:55:08 am »
Photos and drawings of the 8x8 bridge vehicle, and Olifant Mk1b bridging vehicle. Note bulldozer attachment to tank.

I've never seen any others of the MK1b bridge, nor any ARV based on its chassis, although I'm sure that this must have been looked at for obvious reasons. Not too sure where I received these pictures originally from a few years back now.....



The only thing South African there is the Olifant chassis. The truck is the Spanish Kynos Aljaba (8×8) and the bridging system itself was supplied by MAN mobile bridges, now part of KMW. Hence the similarity to the Biber AVLB. 

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #111 on: November 02, 2010, 08:53:22 am »
I believe very few of the vehicles below were made. Obviously used as personnel transports, and as a school transport in certain areas. Were these SAMIL-100 based, like the Kwevoel or the vehicle that mounts the Bataleur MRL? Anybody know what it was called and how many were produced?

9 firing ports on the visible side, with a vehicle commanders hatch visible.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 08:56:01 am by kaiserbill »

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #112 on: November 03, 2010, 12:43:44 pm »
As the development from the Centurion to the Olifant was a theme in this thread, I've
looked up in South African a magazine, I've got a while ago (thank you foiling !   ;)  )
There is a timeline with the versions, that emerged from the Centurion Mk.3.
Additionally I've attached two colour profiles of the Olifant Mk.1B and Mk.2
(from V.E.G. magazine 8. issue)
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #113 on: November 03, 2010, 02:07:30 pm »
Fascinating Jemiba!

Is the original article in Afrikaans? I can arrange a translation.

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #114 on: November 04, 2010, 09:56:49 am »
The rough translation for the legend beneath the side profile drawing of the Olifant Mk1B posted by Jemiba is:
"The 1B with turret that slopes from the front, and the synthetic side plates of the TTD, with the GT-8 cannon."

Not sure if the "side plates of the TTD" refer to the hull or the turret, but I think they mean the turret? Both have hidden, or protected 81mm smoke dischargers. The chart appears to show the Optimal as a contemporary of the TTD, and as the optimal version of the Mk1B pending the TTD, or as the first Olifant Mk2, again pending the arrival of the TTD and probably with technology from that project?

Below a side profile artwork of a TTD.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 11:12:53 am by kaiserbill »

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #115 on: November 08, 2010, 09:22:12 am »
Does anybody know what these are? They were variously labelled as "Klipspringer", "Kobra", or "Ratel B".

Are they related to the Mechem MC-90 programme in any way?

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #116 on: November 08, 2010, 11:32:39 pm »
Odd turret shape in the first four drawings.  Its base doesn't seem to match the ring.

Offline Sea Skimmer

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #117 on: November 09, 2010, 07:10:17 pm »
My guess is given the lightweight of these designs, that the turret housing is really just a superified kind of wrap around gunshield, with entry through the equivalent of a large hatch. The main advantage of doing that would be it makes the vehicle cheap and provides for an easily modified main armament. Because the opening in the hull is small you could have versions with no turret without worrying out a large gaping hole the roof as well. A reasonable hatch could be provided to close it off.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #118 on: November 09, 2010, 08:37:03 pm »
These vehicles look more like fan fiction than any kind of serious design. "Ratel-B"?
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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #119 on: November 10, 2010, 04:01:58 am »
Not too sure of where I got them from originally, so not too sure on the reality of the drawings. I was hoping somebody may shed some light on the matter.

On the small turret or ring: Some of the modern weapon stations/turrets produced in South Africa, particularly for some of the RG vehicles, are quite small or compact. The Iklwa also, from memory, has a rapidly modifiable top-hull segment, allowing different sized turrets/weapons to be installed.

On a side note, the Mechem MC-90 prototype is decaying away at Bloemfontein as can be seen below. It was based on Unimog mechanicals with an Eland 90 turret. The following versions were looked at:

MC-90 - Reconnaissance/fire support version armed with 90mm DEFA.
MC-20 - Paper proposal for an air defence version.
MC-81 - Paper proposal for a Mortar armed fire support version.

Anyone know anything further of these proposals, or have concept images? I assume the mortar version was an 81mm, and the AA version must have mounted one or more 20mm cannon?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 04:07:45 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #120 on: November 10, 2010, 05:00:26 am »
They appear to have a hatch on their top for crew ingress/exgress.  This is not in line with the turret ring.  Unless the turret crewman is expected to undertake a rather circuitous route, I find it rather unusual.  The turrets don't appear to be unmanned, either.

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #121 on: January 06, 2011, 06:37:45 am »
Risckshaw wrote, referring to the Mbombe (post # 41): Its turning circle would be enormous!

I think it may steer with the front and rear wheels. That would decrease the turning circle substantially.

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #122 on: January 06, 2011, 08:33:26 am »
Herman, do you know the history behind the 6X6 vehicle Reply 5 on Page 1? It is currently at the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein I believe. I've heard it variously described as a control vehicle for the G-6, and more convincingly as a low slung air transportable. It appears to have an opening in the rear hull roof.

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #123 on: January 09, 2011, 02:39:51 am »
Kaiserbill says (post 122):
Herman, do you know the history behind the 6X6 vehicle Reply 5 on Page 1? It is currently at the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein I believe. I've heard it variously described as a control vehicle for the G-6, and more convincingly as a low slung air transportable. It appears to have an opening in the rear hull roof.

Don't have a clue. It's an odd thing.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #124 on: January 09, 2011, 06:30:56 am »
Thanks Herman.

Any idea on the un-named vehicles in Reply 12 on Page 1?

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #125 on: January 12, 2011, 12:20:22 pm »
Any idea on the un-named vehicles in Reply 12 on Page 1?

Nope. Very interesting photograph. Doesn't look like an official photograph at all; more like something a troopie took with his private camera during a smoke break.

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #126 on: January 12, 2011, 12:29:36 pm »
Kaiserbill wrote: The Okapi was a large 6x6 armoured mine protected vehicle. I'm unsure of the timeframe of it's development, or of its purpose or role, although I've seen it described as a mobile command post.

The Okapi is discussed in Jane's Armoured Fighting Vehicles in the command vehicle section, as you suggest. I would guess the development time frame to be late eighties, possibly early nineties.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #127 on: January 18, 2011, 11:47:04 pm »
I was wondering if anyone here could clarify the status of the South African Army’s Centurion tank fleet before the major upgrade programs. In particular the buying and selling of Centurions after the initial acquisition.

As I understand it South Africa ordered some 200 Centurion Mk 3s for delivery from 1952. During the late 50s or early 60s a large number of these Centurions were seen as surplus and sold to Switzerland. Later after the start of the Bush Wars in the 1970s over 100 early mark Centurions were acquired from Jordan and/or India. Resulting in a tank park of some 200-250 for upgrade to Olifant in the 1980s.

I was hoping someone would have more definitive dates, numbers and destinations of these sales and acquisitions of Centurions.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #128 on: January 22, 2011, 07:52:15 am »
Not to sure AG. Everything I've seen has said that after half of the initial Centurions were sold off, great pains were taken to procure additional Centurions, with the main source being both India and Jordan. Some of these were in such poor condition that they required a complete reconstruction from the ground up. I've seen a number quoted as a total of 294 Centurions/Olifants before, as well as over 300 on occasion. Not too sure whether this total included trials/test vehicles, or the actual army operable total.

Israel was a major Centurion user, with well over a thousand vehicles, but I have never heard of any Centurion purchased from them by South Africa. Perhaps the Israelis valued them too much to sell?

Perhaps somebody else knows a little more?

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #129 on: January 22, 2011, 06:47:21 pm »
Depending on time frame the South Africans and the Israelis may well have been competitors for the purchasing of Centurions.  The Israelis in the 1960s and 70s were importers, not exporters of that MBT.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #130 on: January 25, 2011, 02:40:22 pm »
I've seen a number quoted as a total of 294 Centurions/Olifants before, as well as over 300 on occasion. Not too sure whether this total included trials/test vehicles, or the actual army operable total.

That would align with the Olifant holdings in the 1990s. Some 220 gun tanks, 25-30 bridge layers and a non specified number of ARVs (would have to be 20-40 to support the number of tanks). Anyway I'm still looking for that allusive figure of Centurion Mk 3/5s held during the 1960s...
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #131 on: February 05, 2011, 04:04:50 am »
I’ve found answers to my own question re the South African buying and selling of Centurions.

1955-59 Acquisition of 168 Centurion Mk 3 from UK
1961 Disposal of 100 Centurion Mk 3 to Switzerland (as Pz 60)
1973 Acquisition of 41 Centurion Mk 3 from Jordan
1978-79 Acquisition of 90 Centurion Mk 3 from India via Spain and Jordan

Source: SPIRI

This is somewhat out of sync in terms of initial supply of Centurions and final number of Olifants. However the same listing says 40 Comet tanks were supplied to South Africa but most other sources say only 26. So this extra 14 Comets could have been Centurions?
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #132 on: February 06, 2011, 08:04:01 am »
Who knows. The apartheid-era weapons procurement programmes are a byzantine maze still shrouded in secrecy.

That overall figure looks a little low from all the others I've seen. I was under the impression, as you've mentioned, that the initial Centurion purchase from Britain actually numbered 200, of which half (100) were sold relatively shortly after. These were to equip a force that would fight in North Africa/The Middle East if the Cold War went hot.

On a side note to the above AG, not all the Centurions found in SA's inventory were Mk3's as far as I'm aware, so there must be additional purchases from somewhere? I was chatting to an ex SADF tanker who said he would be very surprised if the total numbers were ever made public, as he didn't even know precisely apart from an educated guess.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 08:06:43 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #133 on: February 10, 2011, 03:50:00 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.

The vehicles in this picture - AC-100, AC-200, Krokodil, Gator and Mantis - were all prototypes for a SADF era Ratel replacement project. The program was cancelled for cost reasons before a downselect and the Ratel refurbished instead. Apparantly the vehicles were really good cross country performers.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #134 on: February 11, 2011, 03:22:17 am »
Here are some more pictures of the AC200. Looks like the AC100 was the IFV vehicle and the AC200 would cover a range of supporting roles.
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #135 on: February 11, 2011, 03:31:40 am »
The 'Holy Grail' of SADF wheeled vehicle projects: the Truck With No Name or LZN (Lorry Zonder Naam). More formally known as the High Mobility Logistic Vehicle (HMLV) the LZN was developed by LIW's Special B-Vehicles and was a logistics version of the G6 SP artillery gun. Only two prototypes were built of this 55 tonne monster. Was planned as a gun limber and support vehicle for the G6 and any other role needing a truck with super cross country ability that could carry 26 tonnes of cargo. I have only found one very small picture to date...
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #136 on: February 16, 2011, 01:31:24 pm »
Regarding the LZN: In Clive Wilsworth's book: "First In Last Out" (ISBN 978-1-920143-40-4), on the development and role of the artillery in the 1975-1988 SA Army, he refers to the LZN as the MLZN (Moerse Lorrie Zonder Naam) which translated loosely means "humongous truck without a name". Aside from the comical aspects of the name, it is also curious. "Zonder" is the Dutch spelling; in Afrikaans it would be "sonder". There is another picture of the MLZN in the book, next to a G6. One can see that the truck uses the same, enormous 21x25 tyres used on the G6. I assume it also used the same Deutz BF12L413C 525hp air-cooled engine and the same transmission.

The book is quite interesting and certainly the last chapter, describing the acquisition and development of new equipment during the arms boycott years, including the G5 and G6, is an absolute must for people on this thread.

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #137 on: February 16, 2011, 03:52:27 pm »
Herman,

http://152.111.1.88/argief/berigte/beeld/1991/09/13/999/13.html

This 1991 article says that the name derived from the Dutch band BZN (Band Zonder Naam) which I guess explains the Dutch spelling. The article also claims that Armscor was trying to sell the LZN as a civilian vehicle. A few details on the LZN from the article:

Cost was listed as R2M.

DWT was 29 tonnes. That 26t load included 1000 L of fuel and five occupants. The LZN could handle 50% vertical slopes, 20% side slopes, 1m trenches, and 600 mm vertical barriers.

Power provided by a twin-turbo, air-cooled V12 diesel of 386 kW @ at 2300 rpm at sealevel. I presume that refers to the 518 hp, 19 L Deutz BF12L413FC V12.

Maximum speeds are listed as 88 mph on hard sand, 30 mph in soft sand. The LZN's crane could lift 18 tons.

Question: is LZN related to the 'Project Wrinkle' Beestrok TEL for RSA-series missiles?

According to How SA built six atom bombs by Al J Venter, 39 Beestrokke were planned ("five flights of six TELs" with nine more as 'strategic reserve'). "By November 1989 seven had been built and six deployed."
According t

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #138 on: February 17, 2011, 12:25:05 am »
Apophenia, re: (M)LZN.

Ah, your explanation concerning the spelling of the name is without doubt correct. The Dutch band BZN was very popular during that time period. The engine is indeed the big Deutz unit. I do not know anything about project Beestrok and relatively little about the SA nuclear project. Do you have a reference to Al Venter's book?

Offline Herman

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« Reply #139 on: February 18, 2011, 04:49:51 am »
To Apophenia

The curious thing is of course, what has happened to this monster (LZN)? Surely it must be somewhere unless it has been broken up but that sounds highly unlikely to me. The following URL is quite interesting, in this connection.

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?64954-South-African-National-Defence-Force/page143

Offline Matt_Fisher

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« Reply #140 on: February 18, 2011, 12:28:39 pm »
Here are some more pictures of the AC200. Looks like the AC100 was the IFV vehicle and the AC200 would cover a range of supporting roles.

Is it just me, or does the BAE RG35 bear striking resemblance to the AC100 4x4?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #141 on: February 18, 2011, 03:40:50 pm »
The curious thing is of course, what has happened to this monster (LZN)? Surely it must be somewhere unless it has been broken up but that sounds highly unlikely to me. The following URL is quite interesting, in this connection.

My source on the LZN (old Janes) says two prototypes were built by B-Vehicles. They were probably reduced to parts to support the in service G-6s.
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #142 on: February 18, 2011, 08:01:05 pm »
There are a few more vehicles at that truck bone yard north of Pretoria near the corner of R327 and N1 (25 34' 45.63" S 28 16' 13.09" E). However nothing looks conclusively to be the LZN. It would be quite distinctive because of the MBT width about a meter wider than normal truck lane width (~2.5m). There is one thing near the building that could fit the bill. Needs an on the ground visit…
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Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #143 on: February 19, 2011, 06:52:52 am »
Abraham, well done!

I've been looking for info on the LZN for quite a while now.

Apo, as far as I have researched, there was a wheeled TEL vehicle for an RSA series ballistic missile. Everything I have seen so far seems to link the LZN and the "beestrok" as the same vehicle?

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #144 on: February 19, 2011, 10:15:16 am »
Well it probably would have had the load carrying capacity for the RSA-2, but it seems like the wrong shape (to me anyway) being a bit short and wide rather than longer and thinner. I always imagined the Beestrok to be more like the TEL's used by the Iranians for the Shahab 3? If it was the LZN then South Africa's missiles would have been very mobile considering they were the country's first generation.

Offline Herman

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« Reply #145 on: February 19, 2011, 10:26:29 am »
I'm not sure of the time line but could the LZNs have been broken up/modified to build Beestroks?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #146 on: February 19, 2011, 02:50:30 pm »
I thought the Beestrok was disgusied as a heavy crane carrier so used a more conventional truck chassis (2.5m width) rather than the G6 based LZN. Also the TELs were destroyed as part of the nuclear weapons decomissioning ordered by FW De Clerk before the ANC settlement. The LZN was around long enough after this to be promoted for further use. While the LZN would make a great cross country TEL I just don't see it as being crucial to the Project Arniston plans for the SADF IRBM capability.
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Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #147 on: February 20, 2011, 01:50:16 am »
Kaiser,

What are your sources for LZN being the Beestrok? South Africa clearly went for mobile TEL's and the next evolution of that is to move to off-road capable vehicles.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #148 on: February 20, 2011, 02:41:19 am »
A picture of the TEL is on the cover of "Those Who Had The Power: South Africa: An Unofficial Nuclear Weapons History" by Pierre Lowe Victor. It shows a standard 8x8 heavy truck as TEL.
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Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #149 on: February 20, 2011, 04:19:50 am »
Could be a MAN 8x8 or, less likely given the timeframe, the Kynos SA Aljaba. I guess it is plausible that the LZN was developed into an 8x8 and then became the Beestrok- the cab looks similar. Would probably have been easier to get some MAN trucks and say they were for the construction industry though- might explain where the crane disguise story comes from.

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #150 on: February 20, 2011, 06:36:09 am »
I was not aware of Magirus Deutz ever making anything with a particular resemblance to the MAN series though FAUN is certainly another possibility. I would be inclined to agree about SA using a generic MAN type 8x8- would probably be the path of least resistance.

The Aljaba / Cavallo family is really too late to have been used for Beestrok- unless SA covertly acquired some very soon after production began.

NK/Iranian/Chinese TEL's are a mishmash of various vehicles based on availability as much as anything else.

I am curious to see what Kaiser's sources are for the LZN being the Beestrok.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 06:49:29 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline Privateer

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« Reply #151 on: February 20, 2011, 08:11:27 am »
Great thead so far, especially the pics! It was really worth logging in again.  :)

I already posted this on another board:

The current Armada 1-2011 issue (available online) reports of the ongoing competition in India for up to 180 self-propelled artillery systems. The trials started in June 2010, and two wheeled systems were tested: the Rheinmetall RWG-52 (Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun) and the Konstrukta Zuzana. The RWG-52 is an improved version of the South African Denel G6-52 with number of changes: the biggest difference is that the turret now features the 155mm 52-calibre, 23-litre JBMoU artillery system of the tracked PzH 2000. The chassis looks quite similar to the one used on the original G6, but it was redesigned by the South African company Industrial Automotive Design and now features a rear door in the hull which allows for easier entry to the fighting compartment.



Note the same gun (and muzzle velocity radar) as in the PzH 2000.





Note the rear door in the hull in comparison to the original G6.





Access hatches in the turret to the vehicle's automatic ammunition handling system. The two replenishment arms are being used to raise the projectiles and modular charges (also seen in the pic) off the ground and load them into the two carousel magazines.





Offline Herman

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« Reply #152 on: February 20, 2011, 11:23:39 am »
Reply to post nr 150
Also one does not use a 3.3m wide vehicle as an IRBM TEL in a defensive force in being strategy because they stand out like sore thumbs on satellite

The G6 was/is 3.4 meters wide and stands on a track of 2.8 meters, suspension being all independent. The LZN had solid axles and it would seem highly likely to me that the truck used the same axles as the FAUN FS 75.42 and SLT 50-2 trucks. These trucks stood on solid axles with a track of 2.6 meters and the trucks were 3 meters wide (3.07 to be axact). Still wider than a normal 2.5 meter wide conventional truck but not quite as big as the G6.

Offline Herman

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« Reply #153 on: February 20, 2011, 11:28:43 am »
Reply to post nr 152:
I would bet the RWG's were mainly built in South Africa. After the fiasco with the sale of the NTW 20 anti-material rifles, it would have been very difficult for the South Africans to sell the G6 to India. Now that it is being marketed by Rheinmetall, it should be easier.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #154 on: February 20, 2011, 03:39:07 pm »
I was not aware of Magirus Deutz ever making anything with a particular resemblance to the MAN series though FAUN is certainly another possibility. I would be inclined to agree about SA using a generic MAN type 8x8- would probably be the path of least resistance.

The key difference of a Magirus truck is they used Deutz air cooled engines. So they need a forward grill. However they did develop a family of forward cab trucks including a number of four axle (8x4x4) trucks. These would have been fine for the TEL role. Of course this is all speculative. The only insight I have read is the disguise as crane transporters.

Edit: Removed my responses to further ignorant trolling.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 08:50:36 pm by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #155 on: February 21, 2011, 01:14:34 am »
That is an 8x8 but it is certainly not in the same category as the MAN/Aljaba/Faun/LZN in terms of off-road capability and probably ability to carry weight. Its more a generic commercial truck- does not preclude one from using it as a TEL but it is not going to be as useful as the others.

Herman, thanks for the information, that to my mind makes it more likely that the LZN was related to the Beestrok.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 02:01:57 am by sealordlawrence »

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« Reply #156 on: February 21, 2011, 03:18:32 am »
There is also no evidence that the Beestrok was not an off-road capable vehicle.

Also, mobility and stealthiness are obviously enhanced by off-road performance, thus a cross-country TEL is more suitable as it increases operational area. Hence why Iraq/DPRK/PLA use off-road TEL's when they are available- check the TEL's that appeared in the latest NK parades (Musudan and a new No-Dong variant) or the latest Chinese TELs (DF-21C mounted on the WS2500) all show considerable MAZ influence and clearly have a degree of cross-country performance in mind. Iraq seems to have just used whatever it could get its hands on for TELs.

Finally, by the late 80s the MAN Category I A1 could carry up to 25,000kg if fitted with 13,000kg rated axles.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 03:45:05 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #157 on: February 21, 2011, 04:08:10 am »
Would South Africa have used its artillery vehicle programme to feed its nuclear weapons TEL programme? - Yes.

How is Iran geographically constrained? It is larger than France.

Virtually every country that has pursued land based ballistic missiles has pursued off-road TEL's. Providing greater mobility to missile TEL's greatly enhances their survivability by increasing available operational area and reducing infrastructure requirements irrelevant of the range of the missile (in fact a longer range missile will increase the size of the area from which you can fire your missile and thus potentially increase the desirability of a cross-country TEL). South Africa would have wanted a cross-country capable TEL.

With that said, if such a thing was not available to them they may have accepted a road only vehicle as many countries have done with their first generation TELS (Al Hussein / Shahab / DF-31) before trying to move to a cross country capable TEL.

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #158 on: February 21, 2011, 04:48:24 am »
The missile capability was air force not army artillery. Why didn’t they use a Centurion tank for the TEL or even a turretless G6 if this is so important to you? Besides the LZN was not developed by the South African Artillery but separate to the SADF by Special B Vehicles for a logistics role after the RSA-3 TEL was already in service.

G-6 Chassis/Tank Chassis- lack of mechanical suitability perhaps.

There is no reason why the G-6/LZN programme could not have been related to the Beestrok

Quote
But it isn’t France. It has significant mountain ranges and deserts and a very limited road network. Also it has little strategic depth for missile basing due to the proximity of threats and comparatively short range of missiles. The threat to Iran’s missile force is enemy strike aircraft operating from bases a few hundred km away.

And it is huge and geographically diverse with plenty of places to hide missiles, there have been reports backed up satellite imagery of fixed missile silos. Even if over half of Iran's total surface area was completely inaccessible to cross-country TELs Iran would still have an area larger than the entirety of France in which to deploy them.

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Do you see how this would require them to have a very different basing strategy to someone like China or South Africa who don’t have an air threat to their missile bases but a satellite and strategic weapons threat.

I repeat, virtually every county to have pursued land based ballistic missiles has pursued off-road TELs, including China (DF-21) which is also reported to be developing a cross country TEL for the DF-31 so is clearly not that happy. In fact Iran is probably the only land based ballistic missile wielding country (aside France) for which there is zero evidence of efforts to develop cross-country TEL's.

Quote
Because these missiles were either short ranged tactical weapons so needed to be positioned precisely or strategic weapons needing scoot to shoot responsiveness to avoid first strike. These situations are the ONLY reasons they are cross country vehicles and do not apply to South Africa. Israel and China are happy with semi trailer type road capable TELs because it supports their force in being basing strategy.

No, this is because cross-country capable TEL's offer superior survivability and greater deployment flexibility to road only TEL's irrelevant of whether the missile is long or short ranged. I mentioned the Chinese example above, but for Israel, as there are no clear images of Jericho TEL's in the public domain (only ones I am aware of are grainy satellite images of the Sdot Mikha air base) it is somewhat difficult judge exactly what they are.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 05:18:45 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #159 on: February 21, 2011, 05:29:01 am »
Except time. I say again: The LZN were built in 1992. South Africa decommissioned their nuclear force including the TELs in 1990-91. Since the LZN is unlikely to be equipped with a DeLorean time travel device it cannot be the Beestrok TEL. Chronology is a bitch and completely unnegotiable.

Indeed, but the G-6 was well under development in the time-frame and use of engineering solutions or even complete components from the G-6 into the Beestrok can not be discounted. The LZN could plausibly have been developed from the Beestrok platform.

Quote
China changed their missile deployment strategy in the late 1990s so they could harass Taiwan. Why they built large numbers of short range tactical missiles with cross country launchers. They still keep their strategic assets in caves with road mobile trucks that simply reverse out to shoot and scoot between sites when there is no sat coverage.

And are now trying to develop a cross country TEL for their ICBM, the only reason they dont already deploy ICBM's on cross country TEL's is because they have lacked the ability to manufacture TELs of sufficient size, this is now changing which is why the DF-21C IRBM now sits on a cross-country TEL, the largest PLA missile to date to do so and there have been leaked photos purportedly showing off-road capable DF-31 TELs.

Quote
Simply saying everyone else did it and not looking at the core reasons why is not good enough. Survivability is determined by the threat. For the RSA-3 missile how will cross country ability make them more survivable? The survivability system adopted was camouflage. Locating them in the bush just makes them easier to detect by satellite systems.


**edited**
Locating them in the Bush makes them harder to find- a much larger area has to be searched and they can be camouflaged in bush areas as easily as they can anywhere else, camouflage is not the sole preserve of road going TEL's. Road only TEL's only have to be looked for on hard surfaces, cross-country TELs dramatically increase the search area by expanding the deployment envelope and thus increasing the survivability of the missile.


**edited**
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 09:33:58 pm by Jemiba »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #160 on: February 21, 2011, 08:48:44 am »
Regarding the LZN: In Clive Wilsworth's book: "First In Last Out" (ISBN 978-1-920143-40-4), on the development and role of the artillery in... snip...
The book is quite interesting and certainly the last chapter, describing the acquisition and development of new equipment during the arms boycott years, including the G5 and G6, is an absolute must for people on this thread.

Is this book recently published Herman? Does that last chapter deal exclusively with the Army, and artillery in particular?

That Beeld article posted by Apophenia implies that there is a drawing with that article of the LZN.

Sealord, I may have my wires crossed in connection with the link between the LZN and Beestrok. I seem to recall a connection, but still do not have access to my library due to my move, so cannot categorically say either way from what I have. I am going by memory here, and that sometimes lets me down. ;)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 08:51:38 am by kaiserbill »

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #161 on: February 21, 2011, 09:23:43 pm »
Folks (YES, YOU BOTH !), I have the feeling, this
discussion is going off course in a way, we had several times before.
Please, for debating who knows what, who knows more and who knows
nothing about anything, use PM, not this or any other thread ! 
I've cleaned up some posts a little bit, but if the tone won't come
back to a more polite level, there will be other consequences.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #162 on: February 22, 2011, 12:13:08 am »
The only reason? If they needed a cross country TEL and lacked the heavy weight truck capability then why didn’t they use a tank? They had plenty of those. You are fitting circumstances into your beliefs and shaping it with a fair dose of ignorance (not for the first time). Chinese nuclear tactics during the 70s, 80s and 90s are well understood and there are plenty of articles written about it. I suggest you get a basis of understanding about these tactics before weighing in with simplistic and inaccurate assessment. That they are now moving to a first strike hold at risk capability should not be confused with the requirements of their previous second strike force in being strategy. Nor should it be confused with the SADF’s requirements for a survivable but limited nuclear deterrence.

The Chinese have not used cross country TELs for their missiles before simply because they have not had access to them (DF-3/4) and their missiles have been to large and primitive (DF-4/5), as soon as they got missiles light enough to go on the cross country TELs they could construct they started using them (early 90s) and have been increasing their use ever since. An MBT chassis is completely impractical for carrying a ballistic missile (with the possible exception of something very small and short range) due to the size of the overhang that would be required at either end.

Quote
While I’m sure its much harder for you to find a TEL hidden in the bush compared to one using the road system it is a very different matter for satellite surveillance.

No it is not, irrelevant of the search apparatus an increase in the search area will increase the difficulty of locating what is still a relatively small object. You also increase the diversity of the terrain in which you can hide the TEL which increases the ability to camouflage it.

Quote
While I have never discounted that the Beestrok TEL was cross country capable I have been pointing out that it is unlikely and not an absolute requirement.


And if you read back through my posts I have never claimed that an off-road TEL was an absolute requirement- simply that there is no evidence beyond conjecture that it was not pursued.

Quote
The simple facts are that evidence exposed to date are that the Beestrok was a four axle vehicle built in the mid 1980s that would have to carry a 25 tonne missile and a 5-10 tonne missile gantry. How many four axle vehicles can carry a 35-40 tonne load cross country?

What facts? By your own admission earlier in the thread the only thing we have reported in the open source about the Beestrok is that it was disguised as a crane carrier- nothing about the number of axles it had.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 12:28:43 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline Herman

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« Reply #163 on: February 22, 2011, 01:05:42 pm »
Is this book recently published Herman?

The book, "First in Last out" by Clive Wilsworth was published in 2010. I got my copy from Amazon UK. The last chapter deals with the development of new equipment for the SA artillery during the period 1975 to the end of the eighties. It discusses the development of new artillery control systems, the introduction of the Isreali 120mm mortars into the SA Army, and the whole saga of the G5 and G6 developments, including the G3, G4 and G5 guns. The extensive Canadian connection with the development of the G5 is discussed. The development of the 127mm MRL missile systems is also described.

Some interesting facts mentioned are that South Africa had 183, 25 pounder field guns and 52, 140mm G2s (5.5 inch) medium guns in service in 1973. The army stated at that time that they required 232 field guns and 84 medium guns. Of the 140 Sexton self-propelled 25 pounders, only 54 were runners due to a lack of spares.

There also is a photograph of a LZN, serving as an ammunition supply vehicle for a G5 in the book. The caption states that the photo was taken in the Arabian desert in 1990, during the marketing effort of the G6, a week or two before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #164 on: February 24, 2011, 08:03:57 am »
On the topic of 8x8 vehicles and Magirus Deutz, post 16 on Page 2 of this thread I posted a one-off armoured 8x8 development of the standard SAMIL 100 6x6 heavy truck, which used the Magirus Deutz 320D22AL 6x6 as it's design origin. Granted, the cab and engine location are probably not suitable for a TEL, but I thought I'd mention it in passing.

A few years back I saw a line drawing of a G6 chassis tht had a large turret with a bulbous protrusion out the front. I seem to remember speculation that this was perhaps a vehicle that could deliver a FAE, perhaps something to do with minefield clearance, or perhaps even a cruise or ballistic missile launcher.

Does anyone recall this? Was it an authentic concept? I'd imagine that the G6 chassis, due to its size and strength, must have been considered for a number of various projects.

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #165 on: February 24, 2011, 08:13:55 am »
On the topic of 8x8 vehicles and Magirus Deutz, post 16 on Page 2 of this thread I posted a one-off armoured 8x8 development of the standard SAMIL 100 6x6 heavy truck, which used the Magirus Deutz 320D22AL 6x6 as it's design origin. Granted, the cab and engine location are probably not suitable for a TEL, but I thought I'd mention it in passing.

Up until this recent discussion I had always imagined something like that 8X8 SAMIL as a tractor towing a trailer TEL in a similar fashion to the Iranian Shahab TEL or the current DF-31 TEL in China, simply as it would probably be the easiest solution. Tangentially the LZN was proposed as a Tractor unit as well.

Offline Herman

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« Reply #166 on: February 26, 2011, 07:39:40 am »
In Wilsworth's book on the history of the South African artillery in the priod 1975-1988, he states that a 300km range artillery missile capable of delivering either a nuclear or conventional payload was developed as project Hibiscus. The project inviolved the use of an Israeli missile. The H2 guided bomb, developed at the same time, was however seen as a more feasible system and the missile project was scrapped. According to the author, all the effeort was not wasted though as a prototype heavy transporter was developed for the missile. This was known as the MLZN (Moerse Lorrie Zonder Naam) and this later served as the basis for an an ammunition vehicle for the G6 system.

So, apparently the truck was originally developed as a missile transporter and was then known as the (M)LZN, later named the Beestrok. The same vehicle, still known as the LZN, was then modified into a support vehicle for the G6.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #167 on: February 26, 2011, 03:05:27 pm »
So, apparently the truck was originally developed as a missile transporter and was then known as the (M)LZN, later named the Beestrok. The same vehicle, still known as the LZN, was then modified into a support vehicle for the G6.

The Beestrock was the TEL for the 3,000 km range RSA-3 (Jericho) missile not a tactical range artillery rocket.
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Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #168 on: February 26, 2011, 04:49:54 pm »
I dont think Herman was referring to the beestrok, merely providing information as suggested by a source.

The interesting question is which Israeli missile, off the top of my head I can not think of one, will have to have a hunt through my library!

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« Reply #169 on: February 26, 2011, 05:07:57 pm »
Having thought about it the Israeli missile could have been the Jericho 1, range reported at about 300 miles (not Km, though a heavier warhead would have reduced the range)- that would certainly make sense as preliminary cooperation prior to the Jericho/RSA2/RSA3 effort. The SA missile history is somewhat confused with many sources stating that RSA3 was just a space launcher and RSA2 was the ballistic missile- even sources saying it was an MRBM go on to call it a Shavit equivalent which is of course a satellite launcher.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 05:12:42 pm by sealordlawrence »

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #170 on: February 27, 2011, 08:57:24 am »
I wonder if the LZN had anything to do with the Spanish Aljaba? According to Jane's Military Vehicles and Logistics, developmenty of the the Kynos Aljaba started in 1982 with initial field trials in 1985 and production in 1987. It is about the same size as the LZN and uses the same engine and most probably the same transmission and, to put the cherry on the cake, SA selected the Aljaba as its tank transporter in the shape of the Cavallo. It is probably coincidence though. The time frame does not seem quite right and, if you want to build a very big truck using European built components, you tend to end up with the same components (engines, axles, transmissions, etc.) from the same (generally German) manufacturers.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #171 on: April 13, 2011, 09:14:28 am »
A video from the 1992 DEXA show. There is some brief footage of various systems, the Rookat ZA-35mm SPAAG at around 02:33, and 08:22, E-Glas single 35mm at 2:53, and a launch of the SAHV SAM at 08:07.

This is the only footage I've seen of these systems so far, although there was a gentleman on another forum who had quite a bit of footage of the ZA-35. He is no longer active there, so I've been unable to source it.

Video was posted by Playtym over at youtube.


Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #172 on: April 13, 2011, 11:19:51 pm »
Gents ,new here but Ill to try to clear the confusion on the MLZN. It was in fact a localized version of the Spanish truck Kynos Aljaba which we bought a bunch of for evauation and as part of the marketing of the G6 as in the G6 is not a stand alone system but has the logistical support in the form of the MLZN (either local 6X6 version of Spanish 8X8 version). The 2 were built to local conditions (changed cab and axels and wheels) and planned to consist of both 8x8 and 6X6 versions but only 6X6 was built. See reply 19 with camo version of the propsoed 8X8 MLZN, a G6 and its command vehicle with was an Okapi.
The MLZN was planned to be a family of large heavy lift all terrian trucks .Assesment of  imported 8x8 and local 6X6 was as far as it got when it was all canned
Saw them at Lohatla a few times and not sure where they are now but were massive when one saw then next to Samils.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #173 on: April 13, 2011, 11:43:21 pm »
Thanks PS for clearing that up. I was always perplexed by the disparity between the LZN's axle dimensions and that of the G6 despite the claim that they were both the same... But anyway a truck version of the G6 will have to remain an idea (a nice one) until someone converts a surplus G6 hull into a truck to win Dakar or something.
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Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #174 on: April 15, 2011, 10:58:55 am »
Welcome aboard Panzerskool. :)

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #175 on: April 15, 2011, 10:04:08 pm »
axel dimentions the same as the G6 were done so that one set of tracks through soft sand allowed both vehicles to use them. No point having a G6 poes klap its way through the bush with nice wide tyre tracks and then a SAMIL following had to make its own tracks. Lessons leant from ops in Angola showed the soft sand to be a real issue with logistics.the MLZN was meant to take 2 SAMIL 100s out the game with simmilar load capacity and  to keep up with highly mobile G6 troop. Lessons from 88 showed the dominance of the big guns but the constant repositioning caused considerable headaches for the logistic guys as they would be resupplying a troop of G5's but had no idea where they would be when they got close. The need to reposition G5 troop 2/3/4 times a day doesnt allow for max impact as they were in positions to set up fire for 10 and then pack up and move.

G6 and MLZN was meant to make this repositioning for counter fire much faster and more indipendant. Great idea but after 88 and the withdrawl became a nice to have , not a must have item so it died. Would love to know where those 2 SA built MLZN trucks are today

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #176 on: April 15, 2011, 10:11:02 pm »
On the issue of the Beestrok ,Pierre lowe was very accurate in his book on history of the vehicle etc and I think if memory serves me well around 89/90 ish I saw what might have been the template for the beestrock in Bloem but it had a MAN cab and was painted in German army green and obvioulsy no missile on the back. I recon it was bought/borrowed/procured to see how it worked and to model our ones made at Littelton.

Saw lots of cool shit when I was in Bloem and Lohatla. Saw some of the battle damage on the Oliphants and Ratels when the tiffies were fixing them in 89, shrapnel dishing on the armour and shattered glass pannels etc, also amazing photos of the battles at CC in 88 from inside the oliphants

Offline curious george

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« Reply #177 on: April 16, 2011, 05:17:09 am »
On the issue of the Beestrok ,Pierre lowe was very accurate in his book on history of the vehicle etc and I think if memory serves me well around 89/90 ish I saw what might have been the template for the beestrock in Bloem but it had a MAN cab and was painted in German army green and obvioulsy no missile on the back. I recon it was bought/borrowed/procured to see how it worked and to model our ones made at Littelton.

Saw lots of cool shit when I was in Bloem and Lohatla. Saw some of the battle damage on the Oliphants and Ratels when the tiffies were fixing them in 89, shrapnel dishing on the armour and shattered glass pannels etc, also amazing photos of the battles at CC in 88 from inside the oliphants

welkom panzerskool,

I wonder if this was the same vehicle I saw biefly parked at my unit towards the end of "modular in Rundu.(also there was a command ratel & a G5 that suffered a barrel burst)
I posted a question in another forum linked to earlier here.I have read subsequently that this MAN was used by the "tiffies"(technical services/mechanics) in one of the many bushwar related books/online(?),memory not quite recalling which one tho!I did take pics of it,but got permanently seperated from my camera & kit a few weeks later!

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #178 on: April 20, 2011, 07:02:05 am »
Fascinating stuff Panzerskool.

I take it from your username that you were in tanks? Any info you can relate on some of the vehicles would be most interesting, especially the Loggim/TTD.

You might like to see the following 2 threads, if you have not seen them yet:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8913.0.html

and

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8883.0.html
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 07:05:25 am by kaiserbill »

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #179 on: April 20, 2011, 08:24:05 am »
Hi KaiserBill, yip was a school of armour and i have followed some of these threads  for a while but the Ratel replacement concepts and test beds wernt there when I was. The TTD was there and was tehe pride and job of the school of armour. I belive the Oliphant 1B was a halfway house between the Oliphants and the TTD as it allowed some features of the TTD to be incorporated into existing vehicles as the TTD would be a new build. We also had the T-72 floating around there and regulary took it out to die brug and Lohlatla to play as well as the kooi pad just in front of SOA.

As for the other concepts etc some were at SOA and some down at SSB and also some at maintenance which was across the road from the bats at the bottom of the hill next to the shops.

I find it criminal that our history as a military is not well documented and captured for future generations and even for old farts like us and the same can be said for 30 years of SA military developments, concepts and tests. I have built up quite a comprehensive libray over the years on books and bits and pieces on aerospace, nuclear issues in SA and this conventional hardware is whats missing. One day Ill do a proper book on this stuff me thinks.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #180 on: April 20, 2011, 08:52:11 am »
I agree wholeheartedly about the history part of the South African arms industry. That's precisely why I started these threads, so that various contributors can add pieces to the puzzle. There should be a wealth of detail out there, and one hopes that it sees the light of day before age catches up with us all.

There was a poster over on the AFM website that obviously had sound knowledge of the Carver fighter programme, as he knew who the chief designer was, and mentioned that he had seen many of the engineering blueprints. He was going to enquire (at work?) whether it was time to release more information on the project, but thereafter went silent and has not posted again!

Very frustrating.

Any info or pieces of the puzzle you may be able to contribute over the various related threads would be most appreciated. :)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 08:55:27 am by kaiserbill »

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #181 on: April 20, 2011, 12:30:18 pm »
on carver, i had a quite day today so was trawling through the aviation section here and found a IAI project (name escapes me) that was carver through and through. im convinced there was much more co-development than has been admitted and the IAI plane looks almost idential to Pierres drawings in those that has the power. Im sure it was more developed than we have managed to dig up

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #182 on: April 20, 2011, 01:29:27 pm »
... found a IAI project (name escapes me) that was carver through and through ...

Was that IAI project a variation on Lavi or a different development altogether?

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #183 on: April 23, 2011, 11:58:51 pm »
different, not F16 based but more Mirage in design style. will go looking again and post when I find it, it was like 50 pages back into planes

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #184 on: April 24, 2011, 02:02:06 am »
different, not F16 based but more Mirage in design style. will go looking again and post when I find it, it was like 50 pages back into planes

The Israelis had a plan for a twin engine Mirage/Kifir with twin tails in the 1970s. The later version of the Carver had twin engines and except for the tails looked similar but they were seperated by 10 odd years (and 10,000km).

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2684.0
(Still with "Cava" mistake name in the title. Project Carver it was until a journalist misheard the South African accent as "cava": ja, its called Cava boet...)

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,513.0
IAI Arie (Eagle)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 02:08:25 am by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #185 on: April 24, 2011, 06:12:00 am »
I deliberately kept "Cava" in the topic title because it is widely known under that, even if it was wrong.
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Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #186 on: April 24, 2011, 01:39:10 pm »
Thanks panzerskool ... now back to Army stuff  ;D

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« Reply #188 on: April 28, 2011, 09:32:46 am »
It certainly looks like it.

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« Reply #189 on: April 28, 2011, 03:11:15 pm »
Imposing looking vehicle. Welcome aboard Marius.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #190 on: April 30, 2011, 07:25:42 am »
Okay, so the MLZN is also the LZN? And it is based on the Spanish Aljaba, although redesigned with some G-6 components? And that it was an all terrain logistics vehicle that was to accompany the G-6 in whatever terrain it goes? And 6x6 and 8x8 versions were envisiged?

And the Beestrok was a different vehicle, an 8x8, that was to be the TEL for the South African ballistic missile programme then being tested, as the mobile component thereof?

Where is that vehicle stored in the photos Sa-bushwar?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 07:27:37 am by kaiserbill »

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #191 on: April 30, 2011, 10:10:04 pm »
yip that looks like her, seems she is a civi truck now. Kaiser you are spot on with the info on teh 2 seperate truck development projects. I also belive that there were some MAN trucks floating aorund at some stage as I saw them at Lohatla but may be been on trial/ used for development work etc for the above mentioned projects.

I belive pierre said in his book that the TELs were chopped up as scrap which seems such a waste as the RSA 3 at teh airforce museaum would have looked great sitting on the back of that as a static display somewhere.

Strange that after all these years simple things like photos of thr TEL's are not available anywhere, sad this part of history seems to be forever gone

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #192 on: May 03, 2011, 06:54:49 am »
Okay, so the MLZN is also the LZN? And it is based on the Spanish Aljaba, although redesigned with some G-6 components? And that it was an all terrain logistics vehicle that was to accompany the G-6 in whatever terrain it goes? And 6x6 and 8x8 versions were envisiged?

And the Beestrok was a different vehicle, an 8x8, that was to be the TEL for the South African ballistic missile programme then being tested, as the mobile component thereof?

Where is that vehicle stored in the photos Sa-bushwar?


This MLZN is at N4 Trucks east of Pta, visible from the N4. Some interesting other remnants there as well...

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #193 on: May 03, 2011, 07:07:45 am »

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« Reply #194 on: May 07, 2011, 07:04:56 am »
Don't know if that Ratel 2000 project was a real project sa_bushwar. I think it was posted over on the Ratel replacement thread here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8883.0.html



Any other interesting pictures you have from that N4 truck depot?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 07:08:04 am by kaiserbill »

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #195 on: May 10, 2011, 07:38:46 am »
This looks like a Rooikat derivitive IFV with a Rooikat suspension back to front?!

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« Reply #196 on: May 10, 2011, 01:17:45 pm »
Reply to post #194: The vehicle depicted is a fantasy. The lay-out depicted is impossible. Look at the position of the radiator. This is obviously copied from the Iklwa (sp.?) but it would put the engine and the turret in the same place. The very clodely spaced axles (wheelbase no more than 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 meters) would also create difficulties with the placement of the transfer case. The turret is decidedly on the small side for a 35mm cannon and the mention of a "V12" engine is also silly. Modern engines in the required power range for this vehicle (400-600hp) are all inline 6 cilinder, V6 or possibly V8 engines.

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #197 on: May 11, 2011, 05:08:43 am »
Not impossible at all. it has exactly the same wheel and chassis configuration as the Rooikat. Engine mounted accross in front in fire proof compartment, offerring additional crew protection from frontal fire. Turret is remotely controlled and purposely small as all modern turrets of this nature, such as the 35mm Denel turret on the Hoefyster Patria. No mention of V12 engine, could be V8 or V6.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #198 on: May 11, 2011, 09:56:27 am »
Sa-bushwar, I don't think Herman was talking about the picture you posted above, but rather the one from your post before that, which is the same one I linked to on the ratel thread.

The later picture you posted above is interesting.

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #199 on: May 11, 2011, 11:16:28 am »
Aha - you are right!

Offline Herman

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« Reply #200 on: May 11, 2011, 12:42:40 pm »
Reply to post #197.
The vehicle depicted in post #195 looks somewaht like the Ratel-based prototype for the Rooikat. It seems to be quite high off the ground, suggesting solid axles such as used in the Ratel. The engine could be mounted in front, next to the driver, with the transmission behind it and the transfer case positioned between the second and third axle. In a live axle setup, you need a minimum of about 2.2 meters bewteen axles for the transfer case and still have adequate axle movement. On the Spähpanzer, for instance, it is 2.365m, although it is only about 2.1m in the Transportpanzer. The Ratel has 2.8 meters between the first and second axles. This is where the transmission with integrated transfer case is situated. The illustration seems to have enough space. With a modern independent suspension setup, you obviously need much less space: 1.5 or even 1.4 meters should be enough. If the vehicle shown had independent suspension, for instance the Panhard/Rooikat type of internally driven trailing arms, I would expect it to be much lower.

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #201 on: May 12, 2011, 03:33:32 am »
...or it could have independant suspension with variable/adjustable ground clearance? Good ground clearance is important in the African bush, but if the vehicle could "crouch" for concealment purposes, it will be an added advantage.

Offline Herman

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« Reply #202 on: May 12, 2011, 11:02:40 am »
Reply to #201
...or it could have independant suspension with variable/adjustable ground clearance?

Absolutely. The Spanish BMR 600 built in the late seventies had adjustable height suspension.

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« Reply #203 on: May 12, 2011, 03:35:04 pm »
The Krokodil and the Gator  seem to be very interesting vehicles.  Does anyone have any more pics of these armoured animals? 

Thanks in advanced

Rad72
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 02:26:10 pm by RAD72 »

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #204 on: May 13, 2011, 12:53:53 pm »
This seems to be amongst others an Eland and Buffel replacement....?

Offline sa_bushwar

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« Reply #205 on: May 13, 2011, 01:43:07 pm »
Anybody knows the history behind this prototype at the Bloemfontein armour museum? The 2 rear axles are from a 6x6 Magirus Deutz gun tractor used by the SA field artillery till replaced by the SAMIL 100's.

Offline JAZZ

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« Reply #206 on: May 13, 2011, 03:39:42 pm »
New BAE RG-35?

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #207 on: May 13, 2011, 05:13:54 pm »
Thanks JAZZ. There's more difference between the original 6x6 prototype and the 4x4 then was first apparent.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #208 on: May 14, 2011, 08:35:35 am »
Nice pics, sa-bushwar.

That last vehicle you posted, I've never seen it before.
It has vision firing ports on the sides, as well as bench type seats at the back, with outward opening roof hatches over the troop(?) compartment. Rear and side doors for dismounting. There also appears to be an aperture for a turret over the centre part of the hull. So probably an Infantry combat vehicle prototype? Maybe based on Samil components?

Fascinating.

I'm due to go to South Africa in December, and feel that a trip to the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein is an absolute must. Just got to keep the wife and daughter occupied with something else at the same time.... ;)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 08:52:13 am by kaiserbill »

Offline curious george

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« Reply #209 on: May 14, 2011, 09:29:45 am »
Thx for clearing up a mystery for me!(dankie M.) ;)

Always wondered about in the vehicle in the background...,I have to wonder tho if this proto took at least some inspiration from captured FAPLA BTR152's in Angolsch?

http://gallery2.ipmssa.za.org/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=9403&g2_serialNumber=6


I'm due to go to South Africa in December, and feel that a trip to the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein is an absolute must. Just got to keep the wife and daughter occupied with something else at the same time.... ;)
[/quote]

Lol,good luck with that in Bloem!  ;D
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 09:31:32 am by curious george »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #210 on: May 14, 2011, 10:04:36 am »
Hey, nice catch, curious george! I've seen that Rooikat photo before, but never noticed that vehicle parked in the backround. It appears to be the same vehicle.

My basic analysis above is just me guessing what this vehicles intended role was, going by what I can see on the photo.

I may be completely wrong though.

Offline Grey Havoc

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« Reply #211 on: May 14, 2011, 10:40:59 am »
New BAE RG-35?

That, my friends, is the BAE submission for the Canadian TAP-V requirement. This is from the Ares article linked below:

Quote
We’ve known for some time that the company was submitting a refitted RG-35 to the Canadians, but the company said today that it’s 4x4 RG35 RPU is about 5.2m long, 2.6m wide, and with a ground clearance of 414 millimeters, and has a gross vehicle mass of 21,000kg with a payload of 3,000kg and seats a driver plus 9 crew members. The TAP-V, which is being pegged as the replacement to Canada’s RG31 and Coyote reconnaissance, will be used by Canadian forces in a reconnaissance role on the battlefield, and domestically as a general utility vehicle. An award for the TAP-V contract of 500 vehicles is due this fall.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a94409f5d-37d4-4e87-8eb4-540cf7ed14c0&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest


Here's a bit more on the TAP-V requirement and it's place within the overall FLCS (Family of  Land  Combat Systems) program:
http://www.casr.ca/bg-army-combat-systems-flcs.htm#tapv
http://www.casr.ca/doc-dnd-armour-tapv.htm


The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #212 on: May 14, 2011, 05:34:15 pm »
That, my friends, is the BAE submission for the Canadian TAP-V requirement...

It is indeed. But, just to be anal-retentive, no hyphen in DND's TAPV designation (not sure if that errant hyphen got stuck in by Aviation Week or Defense Update).

It'll be interesting to see whether the Canadian Forces' overall experience with product support for the APV (RG 31) will be a detriment or work in South Africa's favour. It'll also be interesting to see what RWS BAE will pair the RG35 with. The SD-ROW is too small for TAPV and the TRT-25 may be too big.

Offline Herman

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« Reply #213 on: May 15, 2011, 01:22:36 am »
Reply to posts 205 and 208

Never seen this vehicle before. I would guess it might predate the Ratel, i.e. an ICV based on Magirus components (funny front axles though) in a conventional lay-out. Biggest problem is poor forward visibility; always the case with a front-engined vehicle with solid axles, unless the vehicle is very high.

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #214 on: May 15, 2011, 01:35:41 am »
The TAPV has independent suspension, like the RG 41 and unlike the solid axles of the RG 35. The suspension units of the TAPV look a bit like TAK 4 units.

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #215 on: May 15, 2011, 04:05:54 am »
The TAPV has independent suspension, like the RG 41 and unlike the solid axles of the RG 35. The suspension units of the TAPV look a bit like TAK 4 units.

To me at least, the crew compartment looks narrower as well, there has clearly been a deliberate effort to make sure the wheels are outside the footprint of the crew compartment. The more I look at this vehicle the less it seems to have in common with its supposed 6x6 family member.

Offline RAD72

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« Reply #216 on: May 15, 2011, 04:48:39 am »
I would like to see Canada go for the Textron Mobile Survivability Vehicles.  It is an improved version of the M1117.  I have post a link below that shows both the MSV and the RG-35 RPU.

http://www.air-defense.net/forum/index.php?topic=14740.0

Offline sa_bushwar

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #217 on: May 15, 2011, 09:26:21 am »
The vehicle in the background is the same one I posted photos of in post 205. it apears to have a Magirus Deutz aircooled V8 engine. The Rooikat photo must have been taken at Armour School in Bloemfontein.

Offline sa_bushwar

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #218 on: May 15, 2011, 09:31:57 am »
Nice pics, sa-bushwar.

That last vehicle you posted, I've never seen it before.
It has vision firing ports on the sides, as well as bench type seats at the back, with outward opening roof hatches over the troop(?) compartment. Rear and side doors for dismounting. There also appears to be an aperture for a turret over the centre part of the hull. So probably an Infantry combat vehicle prototype? Maybe based on Samil components?

Fascinating.

I'm due to go to South Africa in December, and feel that a trip to the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein is an absolute must. Just got to keep the wife and daughter occupied with something else at the same time.... ;)

Better drop the wife and daughter at the Boer War Museum (also fascinating!) or Waterfront shopping centre!

Offline curious george

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« Reply #219 on: May 15, 2011, 12:08:34 pm »
Always wondered about in the vehicle in the background...,I have to wonder tho if this proto took at least some inspiration from captured FAPLA BTR152's in Angolsch?

http://gallery2.ipmssa.za.org/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=9403&g2_serialNumber=6


*my eyes always "saw" a saracen,and only much later picked up on the 8 x 8 bit.*

take it then that you're from Bloem SAbushwar  ;)

Also,how accesable to the public is the Armour museum and those protos at 1SAI?Dont pass through Bloem too often,so it will take planning from my side.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 12:11:46 pm by curious george »

Offline sa_bushwar

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #220 on: May 15, 2011, 01:16:43 pm »
Always wondered about in the vehicle in the background...,I have to wonder tho if this proto took at least some inspiration from captured FAPLA BTR152's in Angolsch?

http://gallery2.ipmssa.za.org/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=9403&g2_serialNumber=6


*my eyes always "saw" a saracen,and only much later picked up on the 8 x 8 bit.*

take it then that you're from Bloem SAbushwar  ;)

Also,how accesable to the public is the Armour museum and those protos at 1SAI?Dont pass through Bloem too often,so it will take planning from my side.

Not from the city of roses, but use every opportunity to visit the armour museum. Just go to the gate and say you are going to the museum. Sometimes inhouse exhibits closed on weekends, but sometimes weekend the best as no one stopping one climbing in or on the exhibits!, it just depends who is on duty at the gate! The hoefyster/Ratel/Rooikat/Olifant prototypes are scattered around parade grounds and gate entrances and are fully accessable, just ask permission before you go through a gate!

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #221 on: May 15, 2011, 02:10:43 pm »
The TAPV has independent suspension, like the RG 41 and unlike the solid axles of the RG 35. The suspension units of the TAPV look a bit like TAK 4 units.

Herman: Thanks for that, I wasn't aware that the 6x6 RG35 had live axles.

RAD72: Canada rejected the V-150 (along with the Urutu) when it was put forward for the AVGP contest in 1975-76. What does Textron's warmed over MSV descendant offer that make you believe that it suits TAPV so well?

Offline RAD72

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« Reply #222 on: May 16, 2011, 05:18:39 am »
RAD72: Canada rejected the V-150 (along with the Urutu) when it was put forward for the AVGP contest in 1975-76. What does Textron's warmed over MSV descendant offer that make you believe that it suits TAPV so well?
[/quote]


Just my personal opinion.  It seems to have a good suspension, and apparently the US MP's and others that operate the M1117 seem to give it positive reviews.  The RG-35 RPU seems to be an excellent vehicle as well.  I love the South African designs, and they are excellent makes of MRAPS

Again just my 2 cents, or with the exchange  rate 2.1 cents Canadian

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #223 on: May 16, 2011, 06:24:34 am »
I have never heard anything positive about the M1117 from anyone who has used it.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 10:52:54 am by sealordlawrence »

Offline RAD72

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« Reply #224 on: May 16, 2011, 07:03:56 am »
Just what I have read.  I am in no way an expert.

Offline Herman

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« Reply #225 on: May 17, 2011, 10:47:06 am »
The URL posted by RAD 72 shows several very interesting, modern, medium-sized MRAP vehicles. The best "proven" of these vehicles are the Australian Bushmaster and the US ASV M1117. The Bushmaster has seen extensive service with Australian and Dutch forces in Afghanistan and seems to be highly regrarded by the users. The RG 35 derived vehicle, at 21 tons, is quite a bit heavier than the others. This does mean in excess of 5 tons per wheel. Under hard and dry conditions (read Afghanistan), this is OK but in mud its mobility will suffer. The Rooikat, for instance, only carries about 3.5 tons per wheel.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #226 on: May 17, 2011, 05:25:04 pm »
The Bushmaster has seen extensive service with Australian and Dutch forces in Afghanistan and seems to be highly regrarded by the users.


And the UK SAS TF Black in Iraq. The armour design leadership on the Bushmaster was provided by South African émigrés. The initial protection design provided by the Irish company Timoney failed the testing and it had to be redesigned.

The RG 35 derived vehicle, at 21 tons, is quite a bit heavier than the others. This does mean in excess of 5 tons per wheel. Under hard and dry conditions (read Afghanistan), this is OK but in mud its mobility will suffer. The Rooikat, for instance, only carries about 3.5 tons per wheel.

The Bushmaster has an empty weight of 12.4 tonnes (GVW 15 tonnes) only with the monocoque armour of 1cm thick HHS. When you start to add additional armour, weapon systems, CIED jammers, mine rollers the GVW climbs and so does the axle weight. It then becomes an issue of how the vehicle can handle the additional weight. The 6x6 RG-35 has a much more powerful engine and a third axle so is designed for this high weight to being with. The 4x4 version of the RG-35 as a GVW of 21 tonnes but an empty weight of 12 tonnes. So its axle loading can be as low as the Bushmaster. But with its bigger engine it can motor at higher GVW without loss of on road performance.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 11:18:47 pm by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #227 on: May 17, 2011, 07:30:55 pm »
Just my personal opinion.  It seems to have a good suspension, and apparently the US MP's and others that operate the M1117 seem to give it positive reviews.  The RG-35 RPU seems to be an excellent vehicle as well.  I love the South African designs, and they are excellent makes of MRAPS

Thanks for the reply RAD72. Good suspension is one of the definers for TAPV. The Mobile Survivable Vehicle has the same Timoney system as ASV. The Cougar 4x4 and Oshkosh prototype have TAK-4. The RG35 RPU has AxleTech ISAS, etc. I'm not sure that any of this independant suspension systems give an edge to a particular contender.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 01:35:19 pm by Apophenia »

Offline Herman

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« Reply #228 on: May 18, 2011, 12:59:38 pm »
Reply to post #227
 I'm not sure that any of this independant suspension systems give an edge to a particular contender.  
They are all double wishbone setups with coil springs. You're probably right; all much of a muchness. 
 

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #229 on: May 18, 2011, 01:37:11 pm »
Yes, that was my sense too Herman. The Timoney system has been around a bit longer perhaps. Has anyone heard of any problems with the Timoney suspension, Axletech 4500 series ISAS, or TAK-4?

Offline Herman

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« Reply #230 on: May 18, 2011, 10:46:25 pm »
Reply to post #229
Has anyone heard of any problems with the Timoney suspension, Axletech 4500 series ISAS, or TAK-4?

As far as I know the grand daddy of this lot is the Timoney suspension. This was first seen in the Timoney armoured car developed in Ireland in the late seventies or early eighties. The design was sold to Oshkosh who then developed the TAK 4 on the basis of the Timoney. What Timoney/Oshkosh did was not really revolutionary. They simply built a double wishbone suspension with shock absorber and coil spring, such as has been around since at least WW2, but they incorporated it in a unit. The TAK 4 therefore consists of a subframe containing the differential, articulated half shafts, disc brakes, wheel hub with steering attachments, coil spring, shock absorbers, etc.

The first MRAP vehicles, such as the role-defining Casspir, were fitted with solid axles. In the event of a mine encounter, the leaf springs and shock absorbers could be unbolted, the brake lines and tie-rods disconnected and the axle removed to be replaced by a new one by reversing the process: simple and quick. A bit of hull distorsion didn't matter; there was enough play in the system to soak that up. With conventional independent suspension units, all the components were independently attached to the hull. In the event of damage, the upper wishbones, lower wishbones, half-shafts, tie rods, brake lines, differential, etc. all had to be removed seperately and then replaced, and in case of severe damage, the process had to be repeated on the other side. If the hull had been distorted in the blast, and everything did not line up properly, the thing wasn't reparable anyway. All MRAPS until fairly recently had therefore been fitted with solid axles.

With the TAK 4 unit, the whole subframe can be unbolted as a unit and replaced with a new one. This has also made it possible to replace the solid axles on existing MRAP vehicles with TAK 4 units.

WIT

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #231 on: May 19, 2011, 02:29:34 pm »
Fascinating. Thanks Herman.

I hadn't realized that TAK-4 was a direct descendant of the Timoney design. I guess the best example of the evolution process you're describing is the RG31 -- all models up to Mk5 have that Casspir-style live axle, then the TAK-4 and ISAS are introduced into the Mk5 EMs.

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #232 on: May 19, 2011, 02:39:15 pm »
There is a prototype next generation TAK-4 that has been displayed by Oshkosh on their diesel electric LCTV (basically a highly modified M-ATV design) technology demonstrator, that variant comes with 20 inches of independent wheel travel compared to 16 inches for the current production version.

Apophenia,

My understanding is that only an RG31 with an M in the designation (ie; RG-31 Mk5EM) have the independent suspension, so even the Mk6 still has the live axle.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #233 on: May 21, 2011, 01:28:24 am »
I recently came across a comprehensive articles series by Helmoed-Romer Heitman on the Centurion tank in SA Army service in a US Army magazine. Here is a summary of some of the facts in the article.

The original supply of 200 Centurions in Mks 3 and 5 was in 1954-56 to provide a Commonwealth defence armoured division (a similar scheme was also underway in Australia). The Comet tank was ordered for reconnaissance use and Saracen for the APC role. The Centurion was known at this time in the SA Army as the “Meteor” after the engine and was difficult to maintain (mostly the FCS). With South Africa leaving the Commonwealth 100 Centurions were sold to Switzerland as surplus to requirements for African defence.

Because of problems the Meteor engine and the British embargo on defence equipment an engine replacement project was launched in 1972. Project Skokiaan (Afrikaans for home brewed spirits) replaced the Meteor with a 30.3 L, 810 hp at 2,800 rpm, 2,264 Nm torque at 2,200 rpm, fuel injection, air cooled, V-12 petrol motor coupled to a new three speed automatic transmission. Only eight vehicles were converted but extensive training and trials work was conducted.

In 1974 the Skokiaan tanks were upgraded under Project Semel with some engine modifications and new fuel tanks for 1,400 L capacity. The new Semel standard improved performance across the board over the original Mks 3/5 Centurion. Top speed was 50 kph up from 34 kph and range doubled to 200 km on roads and 100 km cross country. Power to weight ratio was 16.5 hp/ton compared to 13 hp/ton making the tank far more ‘driveable’.

With the deployment of Cuban tanks to Angola in 1975 the Centurion projects were given greater emphasis and resourcing. 35 tanks were upgraded to Semel standard and deployed to northern South West Africa in 1976 to equip a tank regiment to counter any southern movement of the Communist tanks. A new Mk 2 Semel project was launched with a diesel engine. No engine was immediately available so a larger scope, longer term upgrade was launched in 1976. It was called Project Olifant which I will cover in a later post.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #234 on: May 21, 2011, 03:18:43 pm »
My understanding is that only an RG31 with an M in the designation (ie; RG-31 Mk5EM) have the independent suspension, so even the Mk6 still has the live axle.

sealordlawrence: Good point. I didn't mean to imply a one-way, ratcheting evolutionary process. The extra weight of the RG31 Mark 6 may explain the live axle. The extra expense of independents would be another. Still, I'd expect an 'RG31 Mk6EM' to be offered eventually.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #235 on: May 21, 2011, 08:17:16 pm »
In 1976 the SA Army launched Project Olifant to upgrade the Semel/Centurion tank’s mobility, firepower and reliability to provide a tank combat effective against the new Communist threat into the 1990s. A series of prototypes were built and trialed at the SA School of Armour. “Proto 1” in 1976 was followed by Protos 2 and 3 in 1977 and 78 with the last vehicle passing the acceptance trials and being ordered into production as the Olifant Mk 1. Crew training began straight away in 1978 on several pre-production vehicles.

The new engine was a 29 L turbo charged V-12 diesel delivering 750 hp at 2,300 rpm and 2,332 Nm of torque at 1,800 rpm. The same three speed automatic transmission as the Semel was used but modified for the diesel engine. The suspension was improved but the larger engine required only 1,240 L fuel tanks which of course feeding a diesel engine increased range. Compared to the Semel power to weight ratio was down from 16.5 hp/ton to 13.4 hp/ton reducing top speed to 45km. But range was much better at 250 km on roads and 200 km cross country. All of the South African Centurions were Mks 3/5 with a shorter hull compared to later Centurions so limited in their fuel volume. Combat weight was increased to 56 tons but centre of gravity shifted to the rear improving trench crossing to 3.45m (from 3.35m).

The 84mm ’20 Pounder’ cannon was replaced by the 105mm L7 gun and 72 rounds were carried (compared to 64 105mm in the Centurion Mk 13). A minor cosmetic difference was the fitting of a different fabric shield between the turret and the mantle which exposed the mantle plate on the Olifant compared to covering it on most other Centurions. The fire control system was improved and a Metascope IR sight fitted for use with a spotlight. The commander was issued a hand held laser range finder as an interim measure. A squadron of Olifant Mk 1s was deployed to South West Africa in 1984 but they did not see action.

The new step was the Olifant Mk 1A which entered production in 1983 with a new fire control system. The gunner’s sight was replaced with a dual channel Eloptro MZS-2 unit with integral laser rangefinder (10 km range). The right hand sight channel ad a 8 degree field of view (FOV) sight with x8 magnification. The left hand sight channel had a night firing image intensification unit with x7.2 magnification and 7 degree FOV. This could be replaced with a day surveillance unit with x1 magnification but 40 degree FOV. The Mk 1A received a new electrical system, metric fasteners and new storage bins. Mk 1s were upgraded to Mk 1A standard but did not receive the new electrical system or metric fasteners.

The Mk 1A was used in combat in Angola during 1987/88 during the battles that defeated FAPLA and their Cuban allies. The tank was used extensively as a bush basher clearing paths for other vehicles. An indication of how extreme the bush was one unit of Olifants were only able to penetrate 800m of bush in four hours of hard driving. The Communist forces deployed T-54/55 with 100mm guns, RPG-7, B-10 and some Sagger ATGMs against the Olifants. Also BM-21 122mm MRLs were used in direct fire against tanks but not the D-30 122mm field gun. No anti tank weapons penetrated the Olifant’s armour but several were damaged. One T-55 100mm shell destroyed the front idler of an Olifant and similar was caused by direct fire of BM-21. The only Olifant crewman killed in action was a driver who was killed after a direct hit on the front of his tank by an indirect fire BM-21. It did not penetrate the armour but he was unable to close his dual hatches in time and was killed by blast and fragments. In return the Olifants shot out 32 T-54/55 tanks and destroyed numerous other targets. Most engagements were at short range due to the forested terrain and the new FCS was hardly tested. One T-55 was destroyed at only 50m range leaving the APDS sabots embedded in its armour plate.

The most severe threat to the Olifants were anti tank mines with many tanks losing tracks and roadwheels to this threat. One Olifant spent most of the campaign short-tracked after an anti tank mine hit. Short tracking is when you lose the front road wheel so loop the track around the second road wheel and then back to the return rollers. Three Olifants lost tracks in a mine field towards the end of the campaign. They were left undestroyed because the SA Army expected to recover them immediately but were ordered to withdraw because of the political settlement leaving the tanks to the enemy who paraded them as a great victory. While the Mk 1A was in production the Mk 1B was under development which I will cover later.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 08:20:39 pm by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #236 on: May 22, 2011, 01:30:54 pm »
Re: South African Centurions:

The 810 hp petrol engines used in the initial repowering project (only 8 tanks) were American Continetal AV-1790 units. These 29 liter, air-cooled, petrol engines were originally fitted to the M48 tank. The M48's of many countries were upgraded during the seventies to M48A3 or higher standard. This involved, amongst other things, replacement of the petrol engine with a diesel derivative of the same engine, the AVDS 1790. The South African Centurions were re-engined with AV-1790 units removed from the M48's and the engines almost certainly came from either Germany or Israel. The diesel engines fitted to later modifications of the Centurion (Olifant) were AVDS-1790 units. This engine was widely used to repower the Centurion, notably by the Israelis. It was also the standard engine for the US M60 tank. As a side-note, it is also the engine Britain should have used in the Chieftain instead of that dreadful Leyland L60 two-stroke job.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #237 on: May 25, 2011, 03:27:49 am »
Very interesting stuff Abraham. Waiting in anticipation for your next post.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #238 on: May 25, 2011, 05:13:28 am »
Here's a nice picture of the ZA-35 prototype.
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Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #239 on: May 25, 2011, 09:10:28 am »
That vehicle posted by sa-bushwar in post 205, the 8x8 vehicle that appears to be an ICV with Magirus Deutz components.
I wonder what time frame it is.
It could be, as has already been speculated, a prototype in the original ratel ICV competition, which is back in the 1970's. But I wonder also if perhaps it could have been part of an excercise in parts standardisation? The SAMIL's are modified "ruggedized" Magirus Deutz's, and much like the Buffel APC that was initially frowned upon in some quarters due to it's Unimog components, I wonder if this wasn't a stab at producing something with parts commonality with the large SAMIL truck fleet in the SADF? There was the project to design a Buffel APC type vehicle that used SAMIL 20 components in the Rhino and Bulldog APC's.

Again, just speculation on my part.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 09:15:35 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #240 on: May 25, 2011, 06:59:08 pm »
The next stage (the third) of the Olifant project was the Mk 1B upgrade with first prototypes ready for evaluation in 1986. The 1B focused on restoring mobility to Semel level, improving protection and maintainability. After this upgrade the only thing left from the original Centurion Mk 3 acquired by the SA Army was the steel hull and turret.

The powerpack was uprated to 900 hp providing a power weight ratio of 15.52 hp/ton at combat weight of 58 tonnes. Third generation AMTRA automatic transmission provided four forward and two reverse gears and double differential steering. The rear hull was also stretched by 20cm to allow for rapid power pack change which only requires 60 minutes for a swap. To further improve driving a new electronic speedometer and a gyro compass were fitted to the driver’s controls. To improve ergonomics the driver’s station was rearranged and three new wide angle fixed periscopes replaced the previous two trainable scopes mounted in twin hatches. The centre periscope can be replaced by a night visions device and a new single piece rotating hatch improved access for the driver.

Matching the improvement in the powerpack was an entirely new suspension system. The old Horstman bogies were replaced by individual torsion bars on all road wheels. Despite weight disadvantages and mine vulnerability torsion bars were chosen over hydro-pneumatic suspension because of their ease of maintenance. The new suspension provided 435mm of wheel travel compared to 146mm available to only one wheel in every paired bogey. Hydraulic bump stops were fitted to all road wheels except the inner pair. Because torsion bars take up internal volume the Olifant solution was to add them under the existing hull bottom and then add a new second  bottom over the bars creating a double hull for enhanced mine protection. The crew escape hatch in the hull bottom was retained. This did reduce ground clearance to 34.5cm at the lowest point. A polyurethane coating enhanced wheel life from 300km to 1,200km.

The end result of the mobility upgrade was a top speed of 58kph on roads and up to 30kph cross country. Acceleration to 30kph was in 12 seconds and 500m could be covered from the stop in under 50 seconds. Top reverse speed was 36kph and a 2m trench could be crossed at 30kph. At crawl speed a 3.45m trench could be crossed at a 98cm high step traversed. Fuel capacity was 1,468 L providing a road range of 360km, cross country 260km and 200km in heavy sand.

The most noticeable element of the Mk 1B upgrade was a new appliqué armour suite. This consisted of a single array fitted to the glacis and seven “packets” fitted to the turret to provide protection from fire across the frontal 120 degrees. The armour used a passive composite array and was said to be proof against any 100mm gun (T-55) fire from 100m range and RPG-7 class weapons. Total weight of the eight packages was 4.1 tonnes. New external storage boxes of high hardness steel were fitted to provide additional standoff protection and all were fitted with steel hatches designed to be resistant to napalm attack. Inside the tank a fire/explosion suppression system was fitted to the crewed areas triggered by optical detectors. The engine bay also received a new fire suppression system. All ammunition was stored in the hull below the turret ring.

The Mk 1B received only minor firepower improvements from the Mk 1A including a barrel thermal sleeve and a new electric gun training system. The later could rotate the turret at 22.5 degrees a second. The turret bustle was cut out and extended to provide proper balance for the 105mm gun and additional internal space, The torsion bar suspension was also fine tunned to make for good firing stability and rapid levelling after coming to a quick firing halt. The loader’s station was also improved with a new single piece hatch and two periscopes for more surveillance potential.

The final major change was incorporation of add on points at the bow for engineering equipment. This includes a 3.5m wide, 7 tonne electro hydraulic bulldozer blade that can be fitted in 15 minutes by the crew of 7 minutes with a crane. Also an 8 tonne mine roller mounted 1.4m in front of the bow with explosive bolts for rapid removal. Finally a “bush basher” comprising a 1 tonne steel bar in a flat V shape for extreme gardening and reducing the strain and damage on the tank when clearing bush.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 07:01:29 pm by Abraham Gubler »
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Offline DFS 228

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #241 on: May 26, 2011, 12:48:57 pm »
Hi Guys,

I'm new to the forum, however I would like in time to comment on various items being discussed here. For the moment I just wanted to mention that MLZN as per the photo a few posts back was meant to be the support vehicle for the TEL. I will make more info available in due course.

What I really wanted to say is that I am part of a team that is looking seriously at reprinting the real South African nuclear story "Those who had the power". This time we want to print it in A4 size, full colour throughout and on good quality paper too. We feel that this will eradicate most of the shortcomings of the initial publication. We are also looking to update it a little, in particular around two subjects: TEL/Beestrok and project Carver. We felt (also backed up by some of the discussions on this forum/thread) that this is where most of the questions/confusion lay. Also Carver seems to be of high interest to a whole lot of people.

The limited run of the initial publication left many people still wanting copies and not being able to find it. Furthermore it was initially printed by a company that mostly prints school type text books, thus inheriting much of that world's pedigree (read cheap printing, paper etc...).

We therefore hope to satisfy many interested parties out there who are still looking for a copy. Those who have it know that the info contained therein is explosive (pardon the pun) and very detailed to say the least.

Something (a photo) printed in the book however, that has been totally missed by most readers actually reveals the most hair-raising part of the program, as far as I am concerned - those with the Intel understanding and acumen, obviously kept it to themselves.

Anyhow, I must run... ;)

Offline thebig C

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #242 on: May 27, 2011, 03:40:13 pm »
Hey:)

Abraham, some good info on South African tanking. I really enjoyed reading it.

I don't mean to drap this off topic, but, DFS 228, are you intending to publish any significant additional info? For my own part I would be interested in SA naval projects which I have been told were very much glossed over in the original book.

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #243 on: May 28, 2011, 05:28:47 am »
DFS 228, thanks for the update and i feel privelaged to have got my ORIGIONAL PRINT, of those who had the power. It was sent to me in the Middle East a few years ago along with all 7 issues of VEG which is with out a doubt the best mag I have seen in along time and something all people here would love to get their hands on.

Some feedback form an avid reader is there should be more real photos of TEL as most are pierres drawings which are amazing but real life colour pics just make them more real. things like were they ever painted in camo? any pics or more into on the tunnels they were stored in?

I also met someone in Australia whos dad worked ( as a civil engineer) on what he described as silos at Langaban AFB. Said they were for long range missules and this was told to me like 12 years ago before my real facination with these started.Was never mentioned in the book and something Im sure might still be a secret.

As for the photo refered too, which plate #?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 05:33:51 am by panzerskool »

Offline DFS 228

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #244 on: May 28, 2011, 11:59:51 pm »
Apologies thebig C, I should have mentioned that the MLZN pics I mentioned where posted by SA_Bushwar in post number 187. Good point on the naval stuff, I will raise this as a point with the team. I do remember a drawing of one of our Daphne subs showing where 2 cruise missiles were supposedly situated, with a section forward of the sail (fin) raised ready to fire said cruise missiles.

Panzerschool, I was told (by one of the TEL/MLZN designers) that the vehicles were not based on the Spanish Aljaba as suggested by someone in a earlier post, so too the wheels are definitely not those of the G-6. My further understanding is that two TEL's where moved around the country at the time, one disguised as a Coca-Cola truck and the other as a vegtable truck. I believe that 7 were made (TEL) and that they were sent out of country, when we opened up about our nuclear program and showed of the 6 (+1 half built) nuclear devices we had (certainly not the full picture in terms of our nuclear capability...).

I have yet to see a pic of the TEL, my understanding is also that to publish such pics anyway would seriously upset certain people (I am a scale plastic modeller, so understand your want for pics). BTW the TEL drawings as published in the first print were also purposely a little incorrect, we might look at rectifying that as part of our new reprint.

Interesting on the info from the guy in Australia, if he has hard facts of any sort I would be very interested (it must be factually backed up whenever you want to print something of this nature). The book describes missile silos being based within the mountains of Lohatla.

I will also talk at a later stage how practically all the current MRAP vehicles out there are actually South African designs, or had massive input by South African institutions/people etc, however I need to find some old notes/info first and sit and write a nice story around them.

I must point out that my military interests are so vast and wide that for me to get into specific detail about drives trains, chassis etc is perhaps a little beyond me  :-[.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #245 on: May 29, 2011, 12:04:21 am »
I will also talk at a later stage how practically all the current MRAP vehicles out there are actually South African designs, or had massive input by South African institutions/people etc, however I need to find some old notes/info first and sit and write a nice story around them.

Which themselves were all based on the mine and ambush protected vehicle concept developed in Rhodesia.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #246 on: May 29, 2011, 01:24:48 am »
Some definitive information on SA Army tank numbers. 203 Centurion Mks 3 and 5 supplied in the 1950s from the UK (Mk 3s quickly upgraded to Mk 5 via replacement of Besa MGs with Browning MGs). 17 Centurion ARV Mk 2s also supplied. Sold to Switzerland were 100 Centurion Mk 5s and 10 ARV Mk 2s.

Additional Centurion Mk 5 acquisition from Jordan and India resulting in a total force after upgrade activity of 224 Olifant Mks 1A and 1B, 16 Olifant ARV Mks 1 and Mk 1A (including nine converted from gun tanks) and 2 Olifant AVLB. Meaning at least 132 Centurions were acquired in the 1970s and 80s.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline panzerskool

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #247 on: May 29, 2011, 07:11:37 am »
thanks and waiting for the next instaulment from you.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #248 on: May 31, 2011, 03:05:56 am »
Abraham, thanks for the writeups regarding the Olifant. Very interesting indeed.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #249 on: May 31, 2011, 03:12:24 am »
DFS228, welcome aboard. Any contribution on the topic is most appreciated.

I read Those who had the Power. I realise the original book had to, by nature, put details in a "speculative nature" type of way. I assume this was done on purpose?

Will any further solid information on the Carver be forthcoming? I found the Carver info in the original book to be perhaps a little too generalised, and mostly, but not all, from open source material. It has been 20 years now, so let's hope more info is released.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 03:16:03 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #250 on: May 31, 2011, 01:16:34 pm »
Reply to post #244
I will also talk at a later stage how practically all the current MRAP vehicles out there are actually South African designs, or had massive input by South African institutions/people etc, however I need to find some old notes/info first and sit and write a nice story around them.

I believe that there are South Africans involved with the Force Protection company in the US and there may be with ADI in Australia (builders of the Bushmaster but to state that all MRAP vehicles out there are South African designs or "had massive South African input" may be a bit of an exageration. The basic principles of wheeled MRAP vehicles were most certainly developed in the RSA but it isn't rocket science and any competent manufacturer of armoured vehicles can copy these design principles in vehicles of their own once they have had a good look at a Casspir or a RG31, for instance. A profusion of MRAPs are now appearing everywhere and it seems highly unlikely to me that there are South Africans working in all these companies or that South Africans designed all of these vehicles.

Offline RAD72

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #251 on: June 01, 2011, 07:28:46 am »
If I am not mistaken, I believe that the Bushmaster was based on the Irish company Timoney's design.  Anyone know more?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #252 on: June 01, 2011, 01:37:57 pm »
Something like this:

The Bushmaster has seen extensive service with Australian and Dutch forces in Afghanistan and seems to be highly regrarded by the users.


And the UK SAS TF Black in Iraq. The armour design leadership on the Bushmaster was provided by South African émigrés. The initial protection design provided by the Irish company Timoney failed the testing and it had to be redesigned.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #253 on: June 01, 2011, 02:30:01 pm »
Reply to post #251
If I am not mistaken, I believe that the Bushmaster was based on the Irish company Timoney's design.  Anyone know more?

The Timoney APC was designed and developed by Technology Investments Ltd, in Ireland, during the early seventies. They built about 100 of these vehicles for the Irish government and the vehicle was licenced to Beherman Demoen in Belgium who built a number of vehicles for the Belgian government. The suspension developed for the Timoney APC was, I believe, later licenced to Oshkosh and they developed the TAK 4 suspension from this. The Timoney was a wheeled APC; it was not designed as a MRAP vehicle. The MRAP concept barely existed at that time. It therefore lacked the mine resistance which is an essential part of a modern MRAP vehicle.

How much the Bushmaster has in common with the Timoney is not quite clear to me but the similarity seems to be quite tenuous. The Bushmaster uses the TAK 4 suspension or a suspension derived from the TAK 4, otherwise, it is very different from the Timoney. The layout is different and the hull shape is totally different. In view of the enormous number of South African emigres in Australia, it seems quite feasible that there was South African input in the design of the Bushmaster.

Offline Apophenia

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« Reply #254 on: June 01, 2011, 03:12:03 pm »
The Bushmaster was based on Timoney's MP44 prototype. (MP44 = Mine-Protected + 4x4 - there was also a later stretched, 6x6 MP66 demonstrator). Perry Engineering (later ADI) refined the Timoney design with assistance from Stewart & Stevenson to meet LAND 116. The real South African connection with LAND 116 was the Mamba-derived Taipan from Australian Specialised Vehicle Systems (ASVS).

On the marketing side, the 'Bushie' puzzles me. Independant suspensions are de riguer for MRAP refits and trendy for latest models. So why was Bushmaster shut out of North American MRAP competitions?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #255 on: June 01, 2011, 07:40:53 pm »
In view of the enormous number of South African emigres in Australia, it seems quite feasible that there was South African input in the design of the Bushmaster.[/color]

Its not just feasible its factual. I was there, meet them, I could post their names but that wouldn't be so appropiate.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #256 on: June 01, 2011, 07:45:17 pm »
The Bushmaster was based on Timoney's MP44 prototype. (MP44 = Mine-Protected + 4x4 - there was also a later stretched, 6x6 MP66 demonstrator). Perry Engineering (later ADI) refined the Timoney design with assistance from Stewart & Stevenson to meet LAND 116. The real South African connection with LAND 116 was the Mamba-derived Taipan from Australian Specialised Vehicle Systems (ASVS).

Perry Engineering sold their Bushmaster bid to ADI who later had to redesign the whole thing to meet the mine blast standards. Stewart & Stevenson just provided the engine and transmission support. The powerpack is mounted on a special jig so it can be replaced in minutes and this needed quite a bit of design work.

On the marketing side, the 'Bushie' puzzles me. Independant suspensions are de riguer for MRAP refits and trendy for latest models. So why was Bushmaster shut out of North American MRAP competitions?

It didn't meet the spec. It didn't have side hatches for the driver and it wasn't left hand drive. Changing to left hand drive was the big problem, not because of the steering wheel and gear stick but because of the windscreen wipers. Yep the windscreen wipers scuttled Oshkosh and ADIs chance to build thousands of monocoque hulled MRAPs for the US Forces.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #257 on: June 02, 2011, 12:44:33 am »
Reply to post #256
It didn't meet the spec. It didn't have side hatches for the driver and it wasn't left hand drive. Changing to left hand drive was the big problem, not because of the steering wheel and gear stick but because of the windscreen wipers. Yep the windscreen wipers scuttled Oshkosh and ADIs chance to build thousands of monocoque hulled MRAPs for the US Forces.
 
 
Interesting. I read that it did not meet the specs but it wasn't specified why. The Dutch army Bushmasters are also right-hand drive. The Dutch urgently needed MRAPS for use in Afghanistan. They initially wanted to buy RG 31s, having used a number on loan from the Canadians, but orders were backed up for many months. They then acquired the Bushmasters directly off the production line for the Australian army. The Australians were obviously very keen to provide the vehicles as the Dutch order was the first export order for the Bushmaster.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #258 on: June 02, 2011, 12:54:47 am »
They then acquired the Bushmasters directly off the production line for the Australian army. The Australians were obviously very keen to provide the vehicles as the Dutch order was the first export order for the Bushmaster.

The initial batch were supplied from ADF stocks not from the production line. The impetus for rapid supply was not commercial, the Australian Govt. and ADF cares very little for overseas sales, but because the ADF was deploying a PRT alongside the Dutch battlegroup in Afghanistan.

If anyone wants to rapidly acquire Bushmasters now is the time. The ADF has hundreds sitting around they can't issue to units. They haven't been fitted with the radio wiring system because the OEM stopped making them and the Australian procurement authority hasn't sourced a replacement... Madness.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #259 on: June 02, 2011, 11:13:14 am »
Reply to podt #259
The initial batch were supplied from ADF stocks not from the production line. The impetus for rapid supply was not commercial, the Australian Govt. and ADF cares very little for overseas sales, but because the ADF was deploying a PRT alongside the Dutch battlegroup in Afghanistan.

I stand corrected. I had read that the vehicles came off the production line and I just assumed that the willingness of the Australians to provide the cars at such short notive was due to commercial considerations. From all reports I have heard, we (the Dutch) are very satisfied with the vehicles and several, small additional batches have been procured since the initial buy, both to replace lost vehicles and to increase numbers.

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #260 on: June 02, 2011, 05:44:54 pm »
It didn't meet the spec. It didn't have side hatches for the driver and it wasn't left hand drive. Changing to left hand drive was the big problem, not because of the steering wheel and gear stick but because of the windscreen wipers. Yep the windscreen wipers scuttled Oshkosh and ADIs chance to build thousands of monocoque hulled MRAPs for the US Forces.

Hmm. The Bushmaster was withdrawn from Canada's TAPV contest reportedly because the RfP favoured a smaller vehicle (5 seat than 10), with a tighter turning circle, and an emphasis on urban patrol rather than IED armour protection.

That'd make sense if it weren't for some of the remain candidates -- eg: the Force Protection Timberwolf (a 'Canadianized' ISAS Cougar 6x6) and (for some South African content) the BAE RG35 RPU. And the Bushmaster was too big?

The striking thing about the TAPV Bushmaster offer was that it would have been assembled in Canada - presumably with left-hand steering and 'right-way' wipers. AFAIK, none of the competitors were offering local assembly.

Then there's basic marketing. For the Bushmaster's launch at CANSEC 2010, Thales Canada and DEW Engineering thought it would be clever to have their top suits deliver speeches in front of an ADF Bushies with a black maple leaf added. Yep, killer pitch!

ps: the Dutch Ministry of Defence was one of those saying that their Bushmasters came from ADF orders rolling down the production line. Maybe Defensie was just trying to maintain the illusion of a 'new car smell'?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #261 on: June 02, 2011, 08:11:40 pm »
presumably with left-hand steering and 'right-way' wipers. AFAIK, none of the competitors were offering local assembly.

Bushmasters now have ambidextorous wipers. Two medium ones rather than one big one and one small one.

ps: the Dutch Ministry of Defence was one of those saying that their Bushmasters came from ADF orders rolling down the production line. Maybe Defensie was just trying to maintain the illusion of a 'new car smell'?

They were new from the non issued stock. Some of them may have come off the production line as there were a few batches but the first batch were from the Army's stock after they had taken delivery from ADI and before they had been issued to units.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #262 on: June 03, 2011, 01:07:07 am »
Hmm. The Bushmaster was withdrawn from Canada's TAPV contest reportedly because the RfP favoured a smaller vehicle (5 seat than 10), with a tighter turning circle, and an emphasis on urban patrol rather than IED armour protection.

That'd make sense if it weren't for some of the remain candidates -- eg: the Force Protection Timberwolf (a 'Canadianized' ISAS Cougar 6x6) and (for some South African content) the BAE RG35 RPU. And the Bushmaster was too big?

IMHO the TAPV contest is odd, the range of vehicles that are present is vast, everything from hard core MRAPs to old school APCs with a dash of everything in between, the whole affair is made even stranger by the failure of KMW to actually submit all the correct paper work and the withdrawal of Bushmaster. TAPV looks like it is going to provide plenty of fodder for this forum.

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #263 on: June 03, 2011, 05:54:40 am »
Guys more on our own past not someone elses future.
 
Keen to know more about TEL's and other things where not much is known.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #264 on: June 07, 2011, 03:01:25 am »
On this link below, you can see the MLZN in company with the G-6, as mentioned earlier.

http://www.30degreessouth.co.uk/SA-Border-War/firstinlastout.htm

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #265 on: June 07, 2011, 05:37:49 am »
That was in the UAE in 91 and led to the UAE orders for the G6 along with Oman. Must have shipped both over and then back to SA. I wonder if the MLZN we saw painted blue actually is driveable?

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #266 on: June 08, 2011, 03:34:53 am »
On Page 1 of this thread, Reply 5, I posted that unusual looking 6x6 vehicle, the Mechem Krokodil. In the same post is the tiny picture of the Mechem Gator, which is obviously an 8x8 version of this vehicle.

Does anyone know anything further about the Gator? Where is this vehicle at present? That is the only picture I've seen of it ... does anyone have any others?

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #267 on: June 08, 2011, 04:07:17 am »
I only know fragments of that vehicles history but at some point it cam to involve a company called Technical Solutions Group (TSG) who were based in the US and were a subsidiary of Force Protection Inc. There were to build a version of the Gator using US automotive components that was to be called Rhino (this being in 2003, to my knowledge that never happened). The original 6x6 was apparently referred to as Ratel Mk4 and used Ratel components and was built as a technology demonstrator rather than as a production ready vehicle. Supposedly it was fitted with composite steel-ceramic plate armour to defeat EFPs. How the 8x8 came about I do not know, maybe just a logical extension of the 6x6?

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #268 on: June 10, 2011, 09:59:00 am »
Thanks for that Sealord.
As said earlier in the thread, I had seen it (Mechem Krokodil 6x6) mentioned that it was designed as some sort of control vehicle, then later, and more plausibly, as a low-height infantry combat vehicle that was air transportable. ( By SAAF C-130 most obviously?)


I also do not know much about that Mechanology Design Bureau Mantis MPWAVS pictured in the same post. So any info anyone has on that 6x6 vehicle would also be most appreciated.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 10:04:17 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Old_ROF

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« Reply #269 on: June 11, 2011, 02:54:30 am »
Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I've come across the "Jounal of Military Ordnance" magazine and in the January 1997 and September 1999 issues are a couple of articles about the DEXSA exhibitions and these discuss and show pictures of various prototype and in-service equipment.
.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #270 on: June 11, 2011, 12:45:25 pm »
Old_Rof, that sounds interesting..... any pics or snippets you can share would be most interesting.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #271 on: June 11, 2011, 07:05:42 pm »
Old_Rof, that sounds interesting..... any pics or snippets you can share would be most interesting.

x2!
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Offline Old_ROF

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« Reply #272 on: June 13, 2011, 12:54:36 pm »
Note sure if this will work, but some pages from the Jan 1997 issue. Hope they are legible.

Offline xiaofan

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« Reply #273 on: June 14, 2011, 04:50:19 am »
Found these pictures sometime ago. I am not so sure the vehicle in the pictures is South African origin.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 05:03:17 am by xiaofan »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #274 on: June 14, 2011, 06:16:15 am »
This is the Spanish Kynos Aljaba assembled in South Africa by SHE as the Cavallo (as seen by its badges) with a mine proof cab. These trucks entered service post Apartheid but were possibly selected before hand, or had some SA hand in their development, judging by their Deutz engines and SA-Spanish co-operation in the late 1970s, 1980s.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #275 on: June 14, 2011, 09:09:14 am »
that truck is the maneer

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #276 on: June 18, 2011, 07:41:23 am »
So on reflection, the real holy grail appears to be the TEL trucks built at Lyttleton for the carriage of the nuclear ballistic missiles? And it seems these vehicles ( Also known as the Beestrok, 7 were built?) were most probably destroyed as part of the dismantelling of South Africa's nuclear weapons programme?

DFS228, I know the book mentioned described the TEL drawingsin it as "generic TEL's", as you mention that they were purposely drawn with incorrect features.

I find it amazing that one can go and inspect a RSA series ballistic missile in it's erector cradle at the SAAF museum, yet no one seems to have pictures in the public domain of the secretive vehicle that carried it.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 07:48:53 am by kaiserbill »

Offline curious george

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« Reply #277 on: June 18, 2011, 01:15:34 pm »
I find it amazing that one can go and inspect a RSA series ballistic missile in it's erector cradle at the SAAF museum, yet no one seems to have pictures in the public domain of the secretive vehicle that carried it.
[/quote]

Thats a very valid observation!Me then thinks,that maybe we should then rather ask as to who would be embarressed if this came to light even today?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #278 on: June 18, 2011, 07:47:02 pm »
I’ve been researching the role of West Germany in supporting the RSA in the 70s and 80s and I’ve found a few interesting tidbits. West Germany along with Spain were major under the counter suppliers of the SADF that are less well known than Israeli support.

On trucks – and possibly TELs – the Germans supplied a number of military trucks without cabs with the proviso that the South Africans would fit their own cabs that would be externally dissimilar to the standard German models. These MAN trucks were widely used as recovery vehicles in the SWA Bush War. Possibly they could have been used as TELs which would explain their expungement from the records. Its one thing for West German finger marks to be all over RSA AFV development but to have their trucks rolling around with the ‘Apartheid Bomb’ would be too much.

On AFVs in the mid-late 1970s the SAAC pondered purchasing a number of Leopard 1 tanks. They left it too late and the imposition of compulsory arms sanctions by the UN meant none could be supplied. The SA Anti Aircraft Corps had no such questions and ordered a number of Gepard SPAAG. But due to the delays in decision making by the SAAC the Gepards were apparently being readied for shipment to RSA when sanctions were enacted.

Of course all of the above could just be Oke’s canteen gossip but it smacks of truth. Also, but unrelated to West Germany, the supply of Continental tank engines for the Centurion upgrades was from the USA where they were openly purchased and exported for use on agricultural machinery. Obviously RSA kept it very quiet that they were going into tanks so as to not cut off this sanction busting supply line.

Plus here is a picture of a heavily modified Centurion turret before addition of appliqué armour for creation of an Olifant Mk 1B or Mk 2.
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Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #279 on: June 19, 2011, 02:33:01 am »
Ok some of this makes sense now as I saw part of a TEL in Louhatla in 1990 as in I saw the front of the cab and a bit of the 8 X 8 chasis (obviously no missile on it) and  it was deffinatley a MAN cab with the flat face like the west German Military versions which was in one of the workshops and the tiffys were playing with it.


Abraham, what was the picture in those who had the power that you mentioned previously was of concern?


If i remember correctly in TTHTP it is mentioned that the TEL's were cut up as part of the dismanteling of the program. I too am amazed that there are pics of the actual missiles, A bombs, pelendhaba, etc etc but no trucks?




Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #280 on: June 19, 2011, 05:02:12 pm »
Abraham, what was the picture in those who had the power that you mentioned previously was of concern?

I'm not sure what I might have said and haven't read back through the posts to confirm. However I do think I was referring to the cover picture on TTHTP which shows a line drawing for an 8x8 truck with MAN type forward cab with the missile.

If i remember correctly in TTHTP it is mentioned that the TEL's were cut up as part of the dismanteling of the program. I too am amazed that there are pics of the actual missiles, A bombs, pelendhaba, etc etc but no trucks?

I think the key thing here is the truck record was destroyed because an image would have shown where it came from. Missiles, bombs are all pretty indescript being various forms of tubes and were all built in RSA. The truck was probably an import from MAN and the RSA did not want to embarrass their supporters.
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Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #281 on: June 19, 2011, 08:15:46 pm »
even now after all these years and a change in government? history is history and fact is fact so there is no way of making the origin of the TEL's disapear and they will come out eventually.


there has to be pictures of the TEL.s even ones with the missiles on them. It was too big a project for it to completley secret.


On the issue of TTHTP , you mentioned something about one of the pictures being very intresting and potentially something that shouldent have been published due to its sensitive nature. Went through the whole book and cant see anything that I fits that catagory. Please tell me  the plate no?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #282 on: June 19, 2011, 08:54:28 pm »
even now after all these years and a change in government? history is history and fact is fact so there is no way of making the origin of the TEL's disapear and they will come out eventually.

there has to be pictures of the TEL.s even ones with the missiles on them. It was too big a project for it to completley secret.


Yeah but its nuclear weapons. They are kept under wraps a lot more so than conventional weapons. The Israelis have supposedly had TELs with missiles for 40 odd years and no picture has made it into the public domain.

Pictures no doubt exist but they haven’t been released for clearance by the SA Government. Only a handful of pictures in relation to the RSA nuclear program have been released. Since the trucks would indicate outside help (if they are MAN vehicles) then it is even more unlikely they will be released. Too much embarrassment for the ANC government and the Germans.

On the issue of TTHTP , you mentioned something about one of the pictures being very intresting and potentially something that shouldent have been published due to its sensitive nature. Went through the whole book and cant see anything that I fits that catagory. Please tell me  the plate no?


I don’t know about that. I went through the thread history and the only thing I said in relation to TTHTP was:

Quote
A picture of the TEL is on the cover of "Those Who Had The Power: South Africa: An Unofficial Nuclear Weapons History" by Pierre Lowe Victor. It shows a standard 8x8 heavy truck as TEL.


In this drawing the truck looks a lot more MAN than Kynos/MLZN.
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Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #283 on: June 21, 2011, 03:38:52 pm »
The description of the TEL vehicle as depicted in Those that had the Power is described purposefully as a "generic TEL vehicle".
I think the inference being, as Abraham is suggesting, that the actual South African TEL is not being depicted by the authors on purpose.
 
I too remember hearing somewhere, as Abraham wrote above, that the Continental diesels as used on SA tanks were not sourced via Israel, as they have configurational or model differences with the types Israel used. (gearbox?)

Offline panzerskool

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« Reply #284 on: June 21, 2011, 08:13:02 pm »
havent read TTHTP for a while but remember Pierre saying the TEL,s were built by Littleton Engineering Works. If so they built at least 7 and must have drawings, pictures etc


Secondly if we built our own TEL,s  then I assume that the borrowed ones (MAN or otherwise) were returned. I have read the unspoken alliance which suggests that Israel "lent" SA some Jericos with "special warheads"and TEL,s in the mid 80s in exchange for some titrium. This may confirm the fact that 2 separate types of TEL,s are discussed (the MAN one and the LEW one). In the book the Sampson Opition about Israels bomb, the TEL,s are described as being imported for the first generation Jerricos and locally developed for the later versions.


This adds weight to the assumption that the original TEL,s were borrowed from Isreal and were MAN,s with generation 1 missiles and then SA got the drawings for a locally produced TEL from the Israels and made them at LEW and subsiquentley gave back the borrow missiles and TEL,s.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #285 on: June 22, 2011, 04:07:48 am »
Anybody know what this is? It was listed as a G6 Cruise missile, but perhaps it's a FAE of some type, if it was a real concept? I'm sure the G6 platform in any event was considered for a range of projects, considering its capabilities.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 04:12:34 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #286 on: June 22, 2011, 04:55:52 am »
Looks ultra fake to me.
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« Reply #287 on: June 22, 2011, 05:12:43 am »
I'm inclined to cautiously agree. If anybody knows otherwise though..
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 10:24:37 am by kaiserbill »

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« Reply #288 on: June 22, 2011, 10:23:11 am »
And on the G6, here is a model of the proposed twin 35mm SPAAG mounted on it's chassis. I think it's the British Marksman, so must be a post Apartheid concept as opposed to the indigineous SPAAG that resulted in the Rooikat SPAAG.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #289 on: June 22, 2011, 10:44:33 am »
Here are other views of the Olifant turret posted by Abraham Gubler in Reply 278 on the last page.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #290 on: June 23, 2011, 08:56:16 am »
Old_rof, any other articles that you can post as mentioned?
 
Below are two similar vehicles, with small basic differences, that I have labelled as Hippo's. Obviously early to mid 1970's vehicles.
The actual Hippo was one of the earliest of the South African mine-proofed Armoured Personnel Carriers, and were produced starting from the very early 1970's, to the tune of a several hundred, in two variants.
These two vehicles though, are certainly not that Hippo APC, although I suspect that they use Bedford components just as the Hippo APC did. These Bedford components were produced in South Africa, as were Bedford trucks before being replaced by the SAMIL range.
 
Anybody know anything further about these vehicles below?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 10:32:43 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #291 on: June 23, 2011, 02:45:37 pm »
Okay, this next post is me trying to figure out a few things, and so I'm basically thinking or pondering out aloud.
 
South Africa were looking at developing the Ratel. As Keith Campbell explains it in his article:
 
http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/south-africas-armoured-vehicle-success-steeped-in-impressive-design-manufacture-history-2008-10-10
 
The paragraph of interest goes like this:
 
Quote

Meanwhile, the South African Army needed new armoured vehicles for more conventional warfare operations, to replace the Saracens and Elands, and to be able to provide more effective support for the tank force. This programme started in the early 1970s, when the South African Army evaluated four AFVs - the Unimog UR-416 from Germany, the French Panhard M3, the Brazilian Engesa Urutu, and a vehicle from local company Springfield Bussing, confusingly named Buffel. The three foreign designs were all APCs - basically, armoured ‘battle taxis', armed only with a machine gun, which carried troops into battle, at which point they had to disembark to fight. But the South African Army decided to go with a new concept, pioneered by the West German Army - the armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV, but usually referred to in South Africa as IFV). An AIFV carries a powerful gun (20 mm or 30 mm) as well as a squad of troops, who have their own vision ports and firing ports, so that they can fight from within the vehicle. So, around 1975/1976, the South African Army decided to adopt an AIFV based on the Springfield Bussing vehicle.
This became the Ratel (honey badger, in English), which was mass-produced by Sandock Austral. Another monocoque design, the Ratel hulls were made in Sandock.....

My only concern with the above is the dates, as Ratel development was started in 1968, and prototypes already produced by 1974.
 
Anyway, the Bosbok vehicle in the very first post on page 1 in this thread is clearly the French Panhard M3 APC as noted above. I'd imagine that this Bosbok test vehicle was manufactured in SA, due to the established mass production in South Africa of the similar armoured car called the Eland. (This would explain the small differences as noted in the first post.) The German UR-416 and Brazilian Engesa Urutu are self explanatory.
 
But what was this Springfield Bussing Buffel prototype, produced in South Africa? This was obviously a vehicle that was a little more than just a APC or battle taxi, and the Ratel was developed from this vehicle.
 
So does anyone know anything further about this Springfield Bussing Buffel? Some further info or pictures would be really appreciated.
 
And speculation time here...
I wonder if that 8x8 vehicle as posted in this thread by sa_bushwar on Page 14, Reply 205, and curious george in Reply 209 at the Armour museum in Bloemfontein has anything to do with this? Could this perhaps be this Springfield Bussing Buffel? Or perhaps a competitor test vehicle as part of that second stage? I'd never seen that vehicle before it was posted.
 
Any opinions or clarifications out there?
 
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 03:01:40 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline Grey Havoc

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« Reply #292 on: June 23, 2011, 03:03:06 pm »
The source makes one relatively minor error; the UR-416 was a design from the Rheinstahl Maschinenbau (later Thyssen Maschinenbau) company, based on the chassis of the Mercedes-Benz/Unimog 404 4x4 truck.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 03:09:56 pm by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #293 on: June 23, 2011, 05:05:36 pm »
But what was this Springfield Bussing Buffel prototype, produced in South Africa? This was obviously a vehicle that was a little more than just a APC or battle taxi, and the Ratel was developed from this vehicle.
 
So does anyone know anything further about this Springfield Bussing Buffel? Some further info or pictures would be really appreciated.
 
And speculation time here...
I wonder if that 8x8 vehicle as posted in this thread by sa_bushwar on Page 14, Reply 205, and curious george in Reply 209 at the Armour museum in Bloemfontein has anything to do with this? Could this perhaps be this Springfield Bussing Buffel? Or perhaps a competitor test vehicle as part of that second stage? I'd never seen that vehicle before it was posted.
 
Any opinions or clarifications out there?

Surely the first Buffel would be a proto Ratel? If so I doubt it would have much to do with that 8x8 which has a very different configuration to the Ratel. It looks like a Saracen hull that has been lengthened and fitted with a new engine and running gear arrangement.
 
As to the origins of the Ratel design it bears considerable similarity to the Berliet BL-12. The BL-12, also known as the VXB-170 and VBRG by its major user (French Gendarmes), was first unveiled as a prototype in 1968. The Ratel is effectively a lengthened version fitted with an air cooled engine and two man turret.
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Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #294 on: June 23, 2011, 06:24:24 pm »
Below are two similar vehicles, with small basic differences, that I have labelled as Hippo's. Obviously early to mid 1970's vehicles.

The differences aren’t small they are huge…
 
The actual Hippo was one of the earliest of the South African mine-proofed Armoured Personnel Carriers, and were produced starting from the very early 1970's, to the tune of a several hundred, in two variants.
These two vehicles though, are certainly not that Hippo APC, although I suspect that they use Bedford components just as the Hippo APC did. These Bedford components were produced in South Africa, as were Bedford trucks before being replaced by the SAMIL range.
 
Anybody know anything further about these vehicles below?

The two vehicles are the Hippo Mk 1 and the Hippo Mk 2. The Mk 1 on the right is a late version with a more advanced and complete armoured body with windows and firing ports as used on the later Casspir. The vehicle on the left is totally different but was called the Mark 2. It has a monocoque hull and has done away with the Bedford truck’s chassis.
 
Dr. Vernon Joynt of CSIR (South Arican national science council) conceived the deep 60 degree V concept to defeat mine attack in 1972. The initial vehicles, Camel/Hyena, Hippo, etc, all used armoured capsules mounted on a pre-existing truck chassis (Ford F250, Bedford, etc). Then Rhodesian Ernst Konschel in 1974 took this a step further by utilising the capsule as a monocoque hull to do away with the chassis to save weight and improve resistance to mine blast. So the South Africans applied this advance to the Hippo making the Mk 2 and later the Casspir.
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Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #295 on: June 24, 2011, 02:44:39 am »

 
The two vehicles are the Hippo Mk 1 and the Hippo Mk 2. The Mk 1 on the right is a late version with a more advanced and complete armoured body with windows and firing ports as used on the later Casspir. The vehicle on the left is totally different but was called the Mark 2. It has a monocoque hull and has done away with the Bedford truck’s chassis.
 
Dr. Vernon Joynt of CSIR (South Arican national science council) conceived the deep 60 degree V concept to defeat mine attack in 1972. The initial vehicles, Camel/Hyena, Hippo, etc, all used armoured capsules mounted on a pre-existing truck chassis (Ford F250, Bedford, etc). Then Rhodesian Ernst Konschel in 1974 took this a step further by utilising the capsule as a monocoque hull to do away with the chassis to save weight and improve resistance to mine blast. So the South Africans applied this advance to the Hippo making the Mk 2 and later the Casspir.

Thanks for that AB. That makes perfect sense.
I remember climbing in and all over a Hippo APC about 20 years ago now, and remembered certainly that it was different than the two vehicles pictured above. So these are later developments along the path of mine-protected vehicles leading to the Casspir and Buffel. On that note, I have a pic somewhere of the first Casspir prototype, which had differences from the production type.
 
That original Hippo I climbed all over was basically the same type shown below.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #296 on: June 24, 2011, 03:06:54 am »

Surely the first Buffel would be a proto Ratel? If so I doubt it would have much to do with that 8x8 which has a very different configuration to the Ratel. It looks like a Saracen hull that has been lengthened and fitted with a new engine and running gear arrangement.
 
As to the origins of the Ratel design it bears considerable similarity to the Berliet BL-12. The BL-12, also known as the VXB-170 and VBRG by its major user (French Gendarmes), was first unveiled as a prototype in 1968. The Ratel is effectively a lengthened version fitted with an air cooled engine and two man turret.

Thanks for the feedback AB.
 
I must admit I see no real similarity at all with that mystery 8x8 and the Saracen, apart from perhaps the fact that they are front engined. I also don't really see too much similarity between the Berliet BL-12 and the Ratel, apart from some layout ideas regarding the powerpack and drivers position?
 
What you say about the Springfield Bussing Buffel probably being far more similar to the Ratel than this 8x8 vehicle makes perfect sense. I see your point in it being very, very different to a Ratel. I was just speculating about this 8x8 vehicle after having never seen it before, nor that Spring Buss Buffel that ultimately led to the Ratel. Anybody have any further info/speculation on these two vehicles?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 03:10:48 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Old_ROF

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« Reply #297 on: June 24, 2011, 02:42:40 pm »
kaiserbill
These are the pages from the March 1993 issue. Hope they are of interest.

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« Reply #298 on: June 24, 2011, 03:35:16 pm »
Old_ROF, they are certainly very much of interest!
 
There is that top view of the Tank Technology Demonstrator turret from an angle I've never seen before.
The Rooikat with the airless tyres I've not seen before.
I've ever only seen a tiny picture of that Ratel with the 35mm turret, which I posted earlier in the thread. This one is much more detailed, and from the side.
The Rooikat IFV: I've ever only seen the vehicle with the Ratel(?) 20mm turret in a tiny picture, from the front. The vehicle as it currently is in Bloemfontein armour museum does not have this turret. This image you have posted makes things much clearer.
 
All in all, very good stuff. Thanks for posting it up Old_ROF.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 03:45:21 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline JFC Fuller

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« Reply #299 on: June 25, 2011, 03:30:12 am »
Seconded, very interesting documents, especially to large picture of the Rooikat based IFV.

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« Reply #300 on: June 25, 2011, 04:49:47 am »
I've taken the liberty of cropping some of the more interesting photos from Old_ROF's post, so as to view them a little better perhaps.
 
First off, the TTD.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 04:51:37 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #301 on: June 25, 2011, 04:56:01 am »
Next, the Rooikat IFV with turret. The hull/chassis of this vehicle is at The Armour Museum in Bloemfontein. Photos of this can be seen in the Ratel replacement thread here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8883.0.html
 
The caption is as follows:
 
"Reumech has been tasked with with developing an Infantry Fighting Vehicle with the mobility to keep pace with the Rooikat. The Path has lead to this demonstrator vehicle based on Rooikat components."
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 05:36:48 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #302 on: June 25, 2011, 04:59:31 am »
The Rooikat with airless tyres. Caption as follows:
 
"The Rooikat with a South African designed set of airless tyres that have been field tested and provide the operational performance required without compromising road speed."

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« Reply #303 on: June 25, 2011, 05:05:15 am »
The Ratel fitted with a different turret and a 35mm gun. Caption is as follows:
 
"The Ratel IFV is in need of replacement as it cannot keep pace with the Rooikat, which will assume many of the roles of fire-support and reconnaissance. Although a replacement is in development, there may still be some additional upgrades (beyond the current Mk3) in its future. Here a Ratel is shown mounting a new 35mm gun and turret arrangement."
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 05:37:55 am by kaiserbill »

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« Reply #304 on: June 25, 2011, 05:12:59 am »
And the Okapi. Caption as follows:
 
"The Okapi was originally designed as the command vehicle for artillery units and primarily for the advanced Artillery 2000 system of artillery fire control teamed with the G-6 SPG and the towed G-5 systems."

Offline Herman

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« Reply #305 on: June 26, 2011, 01:37:33 am »
Reply to post #293
As to the origins of the Ratel design it bears considerable similarity to the Berliet BL-12. The BL-12, also known as the VXB-170 and VBRG by its major user (French Gendarmes), was first unveiled as a prototype in 1968.
 
The Ratel is indeed similar in lay-out to the Berliet and in my opinion the latter vehicle played a significant role in its design. The idea of having an off-set engine in the back in a vehicle with solid axles to allow the overall height to be lower probably originated with the Cadillac Gage V100 Commando which was designed in the early sixties and which saw extensive service in Viet Nam.
 
The information about the "Springfield-Bussing" vehicle is interesting. I've always wondered why the Bussing engine was chosen for the Ratel while better known companies like MAN and Mercedes were well represented in RSA at that time and both these companies had inline, 6 cylinder diesels similar to the 12 litre Bussing unit. The Ratel did use MAN axles however; the same axles used in the series of MAN tactical trucks used by Germany and several other European armies. The Belgian SIBMAS vehicle was clearly based on the Ratel but used a MAN engine and ZF gearbox instead of the Bussing engine and Renk transmission of the Ratel.

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« Reply #306 on: June 29, 2011, 03:46:40 am »
On the subject of the various tank turrets, I've had these two images for years.
I'd always assumed them to be the turret type fitted to the TTD, but having a closer look last night, it is clear that this is not the TTD turret.
These are from LIW as far as I know, and are newly built turrets, not a variation on the Olifant turret. It's also not the same turret as fitted to the TTD.
 
Does anyone know anything further, and for which vehicle this turret type was intended?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 03:52:42 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #307 on: June 29, 2011, 03:32:36 pm »
Judging by the canted inwards turret basket I would say this turret is probably for a wheeled vehicle like the "Bismarck" wheeled tank. Tanks using torsion bar suspension (like the TTD and SA efforts) tend to have straight sided baskets because their hulls are slab sided. But wheeled AFVs tend to have angled outwards hull sides because of the space demands of their externally mounted suspension and steering gear.
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Offline Miker

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« Reply #308 on: June 29, 2011, 10:14:11 pm »

  Reference Post 265, the photos are of the LIW prototype of their proposed 120mm smooth bore MBT turrent & the 105mm, which was the one selected for the Oliphant I guess.

  I found these two photos years ago on the FAS site, & that was the caption.

  MikeR

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« Reply #309 on: June 30, 2011, 01:46:48 am »
Miker, are you talking about the 2 turrets above in post 306?

Offline Abraham Gubler

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« Reply #310 on: June 30, 2011, 02:50:00 am »
Miker, are you talking about the 2 turrets above in post 306?

I think he got the post # and the number of posts by Kaiserbill crossed. When you posted the picture you were at 265 posts.
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« Reply #311 on: June 30, 2011, 03:33:02 am »
 
   Ja, sorry the two tank turrets were the ones I was refering to.
 
   I think if you look closely you can see one barrel is rifled & one smooth, & generally one has a bigger bore than the other. The smooth is the 120mm.
 
  Anyway the FAS site claimed that was what they were.
 
  What do you guys think?
 
  MikeR
 

Offline Miker

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #312 on: June 30, 2011, 03:53:28 am »

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #313 on: July 01, 2011, 07:21:12 am »
Judging by the canted inwards turret basket I would say this turret is probably for a wheeled vehicle like the "Bismarck" wheeled tank. Tanks using torsion bar suspension (like the TTD and SA efforts) tend to have straight sided baskets because their hulls are slab sided. But wheeled AFVs tend to have angled outwards hull sides because of the space demands of their externally mounted suspension and steering gear.

Interesting observation AG.
 
I've had a look at the only picture of the "Bismarck" with its turret that's out there, which admittedly is very small and indistinct. That turret seems to have straight sides with the 81mm smoke canisters mounted externally, which is unlike those two turret pics above. Those have a protected recess for the smoke canisters? The sighting systems appear different too, and also an angle on the turret roof to the front for a sighting aperture.
 
That's not to say that turret wasn't destined for it though?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 07:24:06 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Old_ROF

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #314 on: July 01, 2011, 07:34:09 am »
Kaiserbill: There is another image here of the Bismarck (post #23) - somewhat bigger,  :) might help. See also post #27.
 
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?118123-Wheeled-armored-vehicles-with-big-guns/page2
 
Also this one, appears to be the same place but tasken from a different angle.
 
http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/rooikat/p15007-bismark-prototype-for-rooikat-projectsouth-african-army.html
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 07:43:17 am by Old_ROF »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #315 on: July 01, 2011, 07:39:32 am »
Old_ROF, those pics of the Bismarck in the links you posted are at the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein, where it has been fitted with an Olifant Mk1B tank turret. That Olifant Mk1B turret still in fact has the spare track links on the back of the turret.
This I believe was used for weight trials of some sort, so is not the turret that was meant for the Bismarck, as pictured in my previous post. Perhaps this was an early Olifant Mk1B turret fitted for these trials...
 
Below is a picture where you can see this Olifant Mk1B turret with track links at the rear which would be found on a tracked tank, as is currently on the Bismarck hull at the Armour Museum.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 07:57:06 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #316 on: July 01, 2011, 08:05:35 am »
Here is the front view of the Bismark as fitted with an Olifant Mk1B turret. This is at the Armour Museum in Bloemfontein, and the Rooikat Infantry Fighting Vehicle hull can be made out to the right..
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 01:12:46 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline dan_inbox

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #317 on: July 11, 2011, 10:30:18 pm »
Below are two similar vehicles, with small basic differences, that I have labelled as Hippo's. Obviously early to mid 1970's vehicles.
The actual Hippo was one of the earliest of the South African mine-proofed Armoured Personnel Carriers, and were produced starting from the very early 1970's, to the tune of a several hundred, in two variants.
These two vehicles though, are certainly not that Hippo APC, although I suspect that they use Bedford components just as the Hippo APC did. These Bedford components were produced in South Africa, as were Bedford trucks before being replaced by the SAMIL range.
 
Anybody know anything further about these vehicles below?

I think that this thing was called "Kwevoel".
 
 

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #318 on: July 12, 2011, 12:32:21 am »
Dan, the Kwevoel, whilst looking superficially similar, is a completely different vehicle based on the SAMIL 20, 50, and 100 vehicle range. For example, here is the Kwevoel 100 recovery vehicle based on the SAMIL 100 heavy truck.

Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #319 on: July 12, 2011, 08:46:44 am »
I'm aware that Namibia is now a seperate country, but before the end of Apartheid, the then SWA it was basically a province of South Africa, with central funding and planning from Pretoria, much like any other South African province. (schools, roads, education, military service, passports etc.) So I'm going to include the following in this thread.
 
The Wolf was a powerful vehicle developed in Windhoek to replace the Casspir in theatre. There was a 6x6 vehicle called the Sterk Hans (Strong Hans) that was developed from the 4X4 Wolf. Does anyone know what happened to it? I've heard from another source that it was a very capable vehicle indeed. Are there any other photo's or information out there about this? It is the vehicle in the attachment on the bottom right.
 
 
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 08:49:29 am by kaiserbill »

Offline Herman

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #320 on: July 12, 2011, 12:38:07 pm »
Reply to post # 319.
Afaik the Wolfs are still in service in the Namibian Army. I suppose Sterk Hans (one or more) will also still be in use.

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #321 on: July 12, 2011, 12:54:34 pm »
Reply to post # 319.
Afaik the Wolfs are still in service in the Namibian Army. I suppose Sterk Hans (one or more) will also still be in use.

So were they actually produced? (The 6x6 Sterk Hans I mean.)
 
I've never heard anything nor seen a picture about the Sterk Hans apart from what is posted above. It was, according to the writeup above, the first monocoque 6x6 mine-protected vehicle in the world.
 
EDIT: I see they actually said first monocoque 6x6 armoured mine-protected recovery vehicle. The Ratel obviously predates this vehicle by a decade or more.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 12:59:39 pm by kaiserbill »

Offline Apophenia

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Re: South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.
« Reply #322 on: July 12, 2011, 06:39:49 pm »
kaiserbill: when they say 'mine-protected', I'm sure they mean a designed-as-such MPV. So, call 'Sterk Hans' the first 6x6, Casspir-style, V-hulled ARV.

BTW, another WMF Wolf derivative (Wolf Turbo III, in this case) was the Mine Killer prototype. Built by MWF at the behest of Vernon Joynt, Mine Killer wasn't especially successful as built and was shipped to Mechem for further tweaking.

After a period in the weeds, Mine Killer eventually led circuitously to the Force Protection Buffalo. But before that, a 4x4 evolution of Mine Killer emerged as the well-known WMF Wer'wolf. All of these mine-resistant vehicles had Mechem involvement at some point so still qualify as "South African prototypes, projects, concepts, etc.".

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #323 on: July 13, 2011, 01:47:24 am »
Thanks Apo.
 
I must admit that when I first saw the Force Protection Buffalo, the Sterk Hans immediately sprang to mind.
 
By the way, the only other WMF Wolf 6x6 vehicle I've seen is this one below. It doesn't appear to be the Sterk Hans as there are too many differences, not least of which is the rear axle spacing.
 
 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 05:46:13 am by kaiserbill »

Offline kaiserbill

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« Reply #324 on: July 13, 2011, 05:55:10 am »
Have been reading up about Dr Vernon Joynt. Quite fascinating. He has had a massive influence on mine proof/MRAP vehicles, as well as a host of other military devices.

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« Reply #325 on: July 21, 2011, 02:23:41 pm »
The Spinnekop was a mine-proof mine detection vehicle concept developed in the the late 1970's. 18 were produced, to test the concept of fast mine sweeping. They were trialed and saw limited service testing in the SADF before being retired. They had an interesting hydraulic propulsion system.
Does anyone know anything about those South African Milton mine detectors that equipped this vehicle, as well as the Rhodesian Pookie?
 
Also on the 1st attachment is the Hotnotsgod, an interesting mine detection/detonating vehicle concept developed in the 1970's. It could also be controlled remotely.

Offline xiaofan

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