Ratel replacement projects

kaiserbill

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Hello all.

As per a suggestion on the eGlas 35mm thread, perhaps it's a good idea to make a thread on the subject of a Ratel replacement.

The Ratel was an interesting and influential 6x6 vehicle that spawned a wide variety of versions tailored to various roles. Prototypes were produced in 1974 after design initiation in 1968. The standard 20mm Infantry Fighting Vehicle has a dual-feed cannon. This variant is joined by the 90mm fire support vehicle, 60mm mortar, turretless 81mm mortar, Ratel Command, Ratel EAOS Artillery Observation, and Ratel ZT-3 anti-tank missile versions. There were also various other prototypes and ideas tested, such as the Ratel 8x8 Logistic, Ratel Maintenance, and 120mm mortar variants amongst others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratel_IFV

The South African Defence Force has looked at various Ratel replacement programmes over the years. Recently, 264 Finnish Patria vehicles were selected, leading to much controversy, particularly as there has been evidence (and prosecutions) of corruption surrounding overseas arms purchases.

It has been difficult to figure out in which chronological order the various indigineous South African vehicles appear, so any assistance in this regard is appreciated. Most of the vehicles appear to be 8x8, although the AC-100 and iKlwa (based on the Ratel design) were 6x6 drive. The majority of the vehicles were armed with a cannon in the 30mm to 35mm range.

Anyway, one of the vehicles was based on Rooikat components, but was naturally larger due to the need to carry troops. It appeared to mount a Ratel 20mm turret, although this may have been for trials or weight/testing purposes.
 

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kaiserbill

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I'd noticed in various pictures that this Rooikat-based vehicle appears to be at the School of Armour museum in Bloemfontein. Unfortunately, it always appeared in the backround. I managed to convince my sister and brother-in-law to pop in to Bloemfontein whilst they were on holiday and gave them specific instructions on which vehicle to photograph. The vehicle is not in good condition and appears to be a testbed/prototype. Here are the results, with more to follow of this and other vehicles.
 

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kaiserbill

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A few more, with others to follow. Once more, this appears to be the same 8x8 vehicle noted to be the Rooikat-based infantry combat vehicle. It is bigger than the Rooikat, whilst the interesting 8x8 vehicle on the side of it with the tank turret is the huge Bismark prototype for a wheeled tank! But that is another topic...
 

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kaiserbill

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some more: Interestingly, the 6x6 vehicle in the last picture in this post was an entrant in the original Rooikat armoured car competition, but lost out to the South African 8x8 that is currently the Rooikat. Anybody willing to guess what it is? I think I have some basic info of its providence and country........
 

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kaiserbill

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Last pics. Some of the interior which is in a very poor state.
 

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kaiserbill

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Interestingly, the 8X8 vehicle below appears to have won the original "Hoefyster" Ratel replacement project. The other 2 vehicles which also competed appear to be a related Rooikat type vehicle to the one I posted first, and another seperate vehicle. All three vehicles have variations on a similar turret appearing to mount 30mm and 35mm cannon, which eventually appears to have found it's way onto the South African built versions of the Patria.
 

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kaiserbill

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Some of the photo's are from a variety of sources from over the years. I'll try and make sense of them.

Just for interests sake, below is the picture that led me to believe the Rooikat based ICV was at Bloemfontein. In this picture, the vehicle is in the backround, and appears in much better condition. (unless there are 2 there!) It appears to be in a different location.
 

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JFC Fuller

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Kaiser,

Excellent pictures, thank you very much for posting. It looks like the Rooikat ICV could seat six troops with 4 on one side and 2 on the other with the turret offset to the side with just two troops. I wonder, if they had used the extended chassis that the SPAAG was mounted on whether they could have increased the seating to 8? What is the standard size of a South African Infantry squad?

The vehicle selected for Hoyfoester is a variant of the Patria AMV that is to be manufactured locally with an indigenous turret and mine protection system.
 

kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
Kaiser,

Excellent pictures, thank you very much for posting. It looks like the Rooikat ICV could seat six troops with 4 on one side and 2 on the other with the turret offset to the side with just two troops. I wonder, if they had used the extended chassis that the SPAAG was mounted on whether they could have increased the seating to 8? What is the standard size of a South African Infantry squad?

The vehicle selected for Hoyfoester is a variant of the Patria AMV that is to be manufactured locally with an indigenous turret and mine protection system.

I also wondered about the extended Rooikat chassis used in the SPAAG. Having not seen this vehicle personally, I can't judge its size. It does appear to be bigger that the standard Rooikat armoured car, considerably so to my eyes. It may be that essentially it shares the running gear only, although I am only speculating here.

The basic size division of the South African Defence Force infantry units was basically similar to the British. Platoon size could vary from 25 to 35, depending on whether various elements were tacked on. Divided again into about 3 sections of around 7 to 10 men, and once more into smaller sticks of around 4 to 6 men.

I'd imagine there would be room for about 7 soldiers, if it mirrored it's predecessor, the Ratel. I do see your point about there only being 6 infantry hatches.
 

kaiserbill

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The next vehicle in the original "Hoefyster" seems to be closest to the Rooikat ICV and was called Concept S. It appears far less complete than the other 2 vehicles, which were running. There are big differences here with the Rooikat ICV that I posted first though, so it is very difficult to get things clearer in a chronological manner.
NGICV stands for New Generation Infantry Combat Vehicle. I personally strongly believe this vehicle is linked to the Rooikat, although whether it is an earlier concept model, or later development concept I'm not too sure.
 

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kaiserbill

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The next one was labelled the Piranha, and is also a 8x8 vehicle with related 35mm turret.
 

kaiserbill

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The next vehicle, labelled Piranha.
 

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kaiserbill

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Further pictures of the Piranha, with some internal. All these vehicles appear to be at the School of Armour museum in Bloemfontein.
 

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JFC Fuller

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I must admit that I dont know anything about Concept S but I am interested in it. The vehicle marked Piranha would be the OMC entry based on the Mowag Piranha.
 

kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
I must admit that I dont know anything about Concept S but I am interested in it. The vehicle marked Piranha would be the OMC entry based on the Mowag Piranha.

I'm not so certain Sealord. OMC manufactured the Rooikat as far as I know, so it is unlikely IMHO that Piranha would be their entry. Also, the timeline when these vehicles were developed from (Apartheid-sanctions) makes it extremely doubtful that the Piranha above shares anything with Mowag's product of the same name. Having briefly perused the 2 vehicles from various angles, I can't see many, if any, similarities apart from the engine placement. Any info you may have in this regard would be most interesting.

Sealord, I also have some pictures in PDF format concerning these vehicles in this thread that I will endeavour to post.

Interestingly, I have seen it said that the Rooikat programme started with 3 prototypes based on the Ratel, Saracen, and Eland, all of which were 8x8 and equipped with a 77mm gun from retired Comet tanks. Neither of these 3 vehicles were deemed acceptable in 1979. All 3 prototypes are at Bloemfontein, and I have pictures of them all.

New designs were called for and in 1982 the new vehicles, which included front and rear engined vehicles, and 8x8 as well as 6x6, light and very heavy vehicles were tested. Vehicle 2b, a rear engined vehicle, was selected. This meant a similar infantry carrier variant became impractical. Hence the Rooikat ICV not being a straightforward variant of the Rooikat, which is an uncompromised fighting vehicle unlike many of the converted infantry carriers out there.
 

kaiserbill

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Attached is a PDF with assorted images of the 3 8x8 vehicles posted above. Also pics of the associated turrets. I must apologise if they are a little disorganised, but these were sent to me as you see them. I intend in the future to sort through them more thoroughly.
 

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kaiserbill

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The next one. I have 5 in total. If anyone could extract and post the images it would be greatly more convenient for other viewers I suspect.
 

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kaiserbill

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Another one. The last 2 are just too big to post, exceeding the maximum post size. I'll attempt to make them a little smaller before I post them.
 

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JFC Fuller

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The Mowag Piranha was definitely offered by someone for Hoefoyster, and I find it hard to believe that someone would name an unrelated vehicle Piranha. The location of the engine might well betray the fact that the drive chain and chassis are in fact a Mowag Piranha whilst the later turret certainly implies a more modern vehicle.
 

Apophenia

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The 'Piranha' suspension resembles that of the Mowag Piranha IV but the hulls sure look different
 

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Apophenia

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I saw that attached mention of a Predator remote weapon system being used on the Rooikat IFV.
Does anyone know if the turret shown on this "Rooikat Anti-Tank" is the Predator?

"Predator RCWS for Temsah and Rooikat IFVs"
Chris Foss, "Predator-Equipped Rooikat Unveiled", JDW 12 May 2004.
South Africa and Jordanian companies cooperate to design a new tank destroyer.
 

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kaiserbill

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Not too sure Apophenia, but that turret looks very similar to the one fitted to various Ratel replacements that were either Ratel based, or used similar configurations. Fits neatly into the thread topic actually. The 3 other Ratel replacement projects that spring readily to mind are the AC series, the iKlwa, and the completely upgraded Ratel MkIV with repositioned engine. The iKlwa demonstrated a similar turret to the one shown by Apophenia on the Rooikat chassis above.
 

kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
The Mowag Piranha was definitely offered by someone for Hoefoyster, and I find it hard to believe that someone would name an unrelated vehicle Piranha. The location of the engine might well betray the fact that the drive chain and chassis are in fact a Mowag Piranha whilst the later turret certainly implies a more modern vehicle.

Interesting. As I mentioned before, putting things chronologically in order is difficult, particularly regarding the South African vehicles.

From what I gather, the Rooikat ICV vehicle at Bloemfontein in the first posts is a mid 1980's vehicle, or thereabouts. The next 3 I posted, including NGICV Concept S, Piranha, and the winner of the original Hoefyster seem to be from the late 1980's, or early 1990's at the very latest. Hence they would be indigineously developed vehicles due to sanctions, although I'm sure that there was or might have been some overseas interest or development ideas incorporated ala the "foreign" 6x6 entry that was discarded during the Rooikat armoured car programme.

I'm open to correction on the dates, though this is what I have gathered thus far.
 

kaiserbill

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I posted 3 PDF's earlier with a variety of pictures, and had 2 others that were too big. Here are some pictures from them.
 

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kaiserbill

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And more...
 

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JFC Fuller

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The different hull to the Piranha IV is easy to explain: The IV has a larger hull than the earlier variants whilst the South African one appears to be an earlier variant with the rear hull built up to take the Denel 35mm turret.

Kaiser,

the Patria AMV (which I believe you have posted) is what has been selected and is being procured.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Apophenia said:
The 'Piranha' suspension resembles that of the Mowag Piranha IV but the hulls sure look different

Hydro pneumatic shock absorbers tend to look like other hydro pneumatic shock absorbers… Project Hoefyster and the development of the MOWAG Piranha IV both happened in the early part of this millennia. Earlier Piranha’s had mixed coil and torsion bar suspension.

Looking at the picture of the bow of the South African Piranha shows that it does not have the Swiss Piranha’s under axle steering arms. No doubt the South African’s place them above the wheels to avoid mine damage.

It would appear the only thing the South African’s copied was the name.
 

kaiserbill

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Abraham Gubler said:
Apophenia said:
The 'Piranha' suspension resembles that of the Mowag Piranha IV but the hulls sure look different

Hydro pneumatic shock absorbers tend to look like other hydro pneumatic shock absorbers… Project Hoefyster and the development of the MOWAG Piranha IV both happened in the early part of this millennia. Earlier Piranha’s had mixed coil and torsion bar suspension.

Looking at the picture of the bow of the South African Piranha shows that it does not have the Swiss Piranha’s under axle steering arms. No doubt the South African’s place them above the wheels to avoid mine damage.

It would appear the only thing the South African’s copied was the name.

I tend to agree.

Any sanctions busting carried out by South Africa was done with a certain degree of stealth, with code names and 3rd party/country entities the norm. There is no way in my mind they would be so clumsy keeping the Piranha name, the clear differences between the vehicles notwithstanding.
 

kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
Kaiser,

the Patria AMV (which I believe you have posted) is what has been selected and is being procured.

Sealord, I have not posted a picture of the Patria AMV.

What I have gathered so far is that Project Hoefyster was the programme to develop a successor to the Ratel. The 3 vehicles that I have posted thus far are from this earlier phase. All the vehicles to my knowledge were local South African vehicles, and were basically concept vehicles with fully representative turrets. The vehicle that won this Project Study Report has the plaque on its nose. Project Hoefyster was then unfortunately put on the backburner due to cost and the severe paring back of the defence budget caused by the end of apartheid.

Patria then sent a newly completed pre-production vehicle as an unsolicited bid in a postponed programme. This was suddenly accepted rapidly, leading to dismay amongst local producers and allegations of corruption. The rest of the arms deal has unfortunately been mired in corruption with various South African businessmen and politicians convicted and jailed. Bae in the UK has recently announced they will now be looking into their end of the South African arms deal, which doesn't bode well for certain individuals.

Nevertheless, the vehicle that won the original Hoefyster Project Study Report has certain similarities with the Patria AMV, but is a different vehicle to my knowledge. The fact that it was already presented to the museum in Feb 2005 by LMT after being left at the trots for ages, whilst the first demo Patria's were only delivered to the Finnish army during 2003 only reinforces this. South Africa placed a contract for the Patria AMV in May 2007.

I must say that after looking at them they look very similar, but I do pick up subtle differences in the shaping and angle of the vehicles. I must say the similarity of the vehicles, coupled with the identical turrets is quite confusing.
 

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kaiserbill said:
Abraham Gubler said:
Apophenia said:
The 'Piranha' suspension resembles that of the Mowag Piranha IV but the hulls sure look different

Hydro pneumatic shock absorbers tend to look like other hydro pneumatic shock absorbers… Project Hoefyster and the development of the MOWAG Piranha IV both happened in the early part of this millennia. Earlier Piranha’s had mixed coil and torsion bar suspension.

Looking at the picture of the bow of the South African Piranha shows that it does not have the Swiss Piranha’s under axle steering arms. No doubt the South African’s place them above the wheels to avoid mine damage.

It would appear the only thing the South African’s copied was the name.

I tend to agree.

Any sanctions busting carried out by South Africa was done with a certain degree of stealth, with code names and 3rd party/country entities the norm. There is no way in my mind they would be so clumsy keeping the Piranha name, the clear differences between the vehicles notwithstanding.

Very little of Hoefyster actually occurred under sanctions. There was a very open competition and the Piranha IV was offered by OMC Vickers in the early stages and by MOWAG in the later stages so a prototype would have been provided. I fail to see why the South African's would have called a truly indigenous 8x8 Piranha. The circumstantial evidence seems pretty conclusive. The fact that it has the Denel LCT-30 turret which was not developed until long after the end of sanctions further reinforces this.

kaiserbill said:
Interestingly, the 8X8 vehicle below appears to have won the original "Hoefyster" Ratel replacement project. The other 2 vehicles which also competed appear to be a related Rooikat type vehicle to the one I posted first, and another seperate vehicle. All three vehicles have variations on a similar turret appearing to mount 30mm and 35mm cannon, which eventually appears to have found it's way onto the South African built versions of the Patria.

The above is the Patria AMV variant for project Hoefyster. It even has the date 2005 on it.
 
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kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
Kaiser,

The above is the Patria AMV variant for project Hoefyster. It even has the date 2005 on it.

Sealord, all I can say at this point is that the gentleman who sent the PDF's to me stated that this was not the Patria, but an earlier vehicle. He was in the South African Armoured Corps at the time.

The Feb 2005 date is when the vehicle was presented to the museum, after it had lain around awhile along with the other concept vehicles. This was over 2 years before Denel stated they had just signed a contract to manufacture them (2007). Hence the tests and these vehicles must have been conducted from 2004 at the very latest, and most likely earlier, which was long before any of the 2 prototype Patria AMV's then in existence and being trialled by the Finnish army left Finnish shores.

Hence my statement earlier when I stated that the chronology is confusing and that any assistence would be appreciated.
 

kaiserbill

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The Ratel MkIV. A revamped Ratel which, like the rival iKlwa project has taken advantage of the advances made in automotive technology over the last 30 years. The original Ratel had 2 side doors, as well as a rear door at the end of the corridoor alongside the engine. The smaller, compact, but more powerful engines available now 30 years on have enabled the designers to place the engine centrally on the left hand side, and increased the door size to the rear. There still remains the one original side door in use.

A picture first of the original Ratel setup, followed by the MkIV as displayed.
 

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kaiserbill

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On a side note, but still related.
First picture is of the remote contolled 12,7mm MG mounting. I believe a developed naval version now equips the Valour Class frigates.
Second is of a normal Ratel fitted with a 35mm gun in a turret. Sorry the pic is so small.
Third and Fourth are of a twin 23mm turret pitched at Jordan. I'm not sure how many were built.
 

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JFC Fuller

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kaiserbill said:
sealordlawrence said:
Kaiser,

The above is the Patria AMV variant for project Hoefyster. It even has the date 2005 on it.

Sealord, all I can say at this point is that the gentleman who sent the PDF's to me stated that this was not the Patria, but an earlier vehicle. He was in the South African Armoured Corps at the time.

The Feb 2005 date is when the vehicle was presented to the museum, after it had lain around awhile along with the other concept vehicles. This was over 2 years before Denel stated they had just signed a contract to manufacture them (2007). Hence the tests and these vehicles must have been conducted from 2004 at the very latest, and most likely earlier, which was long before any of the 2 prototype Patria AMV's then in existence and being trialled by the Finnish army left Finnish shores.

Hence my statement earlier when I stated that the chronology is confusing and that any assistence would be appreciated.

Actually,

An AMV was in South Africa being modified as of July 2004: http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthAfrica/News/1059/3e87240f69774f598d0004866d1c95ef/29-07-2004-11-30/SANDF_may_buy_Finnish_

Testing was ongoing in 2005 and it is highly probable that the AMV prototype was handed over to the museum as soon as the Armscor had finished with it. The picture you have posted is of the South African AMV variant.
 

Apophenia

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Abraham Gubler said:
Hydro pneumatic shock absorbers tend to look like other hydro pneumatic shock absorbers… Project Hoefyster and the development of the MOWAG Piranha IV both happened in the early part of this millennia. Earlier Piranha’s had mixed coil and torsion bar suspension.

Abraham: Quite right. I didn't make it clear but my point was that the suspension arrangement generally resembled that of the Piranha IV only -- not the earlier model Mowags. Rear pair struts on the IV are upright while on Piranha I, II, III, and even GDLS' Wheeled Combat Vehicle Demonstrator they are angled.

As you said: "the only thing the South African’s copied was the name."
 

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While this thread is seems to be attracting some intrest, and a liitle off topic does anyone have further information on MC-90 project. I have taken a poor black/white photo and turned it into a colour one (not sure if thats made it beter or worse). But it shows a small recon vehicle armed with 90mm gun. A replacement for the Panhard AML90? vehcile.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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I must admit to knowing little about Project Hoefyster (Horseshoe). It would appear however from the information Kaiser has supplied that these prototypes were developed in the late 1980s when the project was an Apartheid era Ratel replacement. Subsequently after the fall of Apartheid it has become the international, possibly corrupt, licensed production of the Patria AMV that we are all familiar with.

Apophenia said:
Abraham: Quite right. I didn't make it clear but my point was that the suspension arrangement generally resembled that of the Piranha IV only -- not the earlier model Mowags. Rear pair struts on the IV are upright while on Piranha I, II, III, and even GDLS' Wheeled Combat Vehicle Demonstrator they are angled.

On the Piranha/LAV I/II/III vehicles the aft pair of axles have torsion bar suspension and the forward angled tubes that appear above the wheels are the hydraulic shock absorbers. They are not “struts”. The forward suspension units are coil springs. The Piranha IV would appear to copy the South African Piranha by replacing the mixed coil/torsion suspension with hydro pneumatic suspension with integral hydraulic shock absorbers.

The suspension and steering of Piranha/LAV I/II/III vehicles are notorious with their operators as being vulnerable to damage by under belly mines/IEDs and ground strike (fortunately but with eight wheels you can still run after losing one or two). The Hoefyster Piranha being developed with the extensive South African Bush War experience appears to avoid all this with the hydro pneumatic suspension and over wheel steering.
 

kaiserbill

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sealordlawrence said:
Actually,

An AMV was in South Africa being modified as of July 2004: http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthAfrica/News/1059/3e87240f69774f598d0004866d1c95ef/29-07-2004-11-30/SANDF_may_buy_Finnish_

Testing was ongoing in 2005 and it is highly probable that the AMV prototype was handed over to the museum as soon as the Armscor had finished with it. The picture you have posted is of the South African AMV variant.

Very interesting. Thanks for that Sealord. I'm beginning to think I may perhaps have misunderstood the gentleman who gave me the pictures. I will see if I can make contact him again sometime soon.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Here is a news story that sets out some of the Project Hoefyster timeline.

http://www.armsdeal-vpo.co.za/articles08/icvs.html

Also looking at the picture of that IFV presented to 1 SAI Bn the name plate says it was built as part of Armscor’s Project Hoefyster concept definition – a normal process where something is built to test and play with to develop the specifications for a contractible tender. So it would appear that Project Hoefyster is solely a post Apartheid program and any other 1980s IFVs are unrelated.

The Piranha vehicle and Concept S seem to be the same vehicle. It has a deep V hull (seen in the rear angle shots) which the Swiss Piranha doesn’t have. The lack of below axle steering arms (which the AMV has) could be because it has no steering arms at all – being a non driving test bed? All very interesting even without answers.
 

kaiserbill

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Abraham Gubler said:
I must admit to knowing little about Project Hoefyster (Horseshoe). It would appear however from the information Kaiser has supplied that these prototypes were developed in the late 1980s when the project was an Apartheid era Ratel replacement. Subsequently after the fall of Apartheid it has become the international, possibly corrupt, licensed production of the Patria AMV that we are all familiar with.

The beginnings of the Ratel replacement was started in the 1980's when the new generation armoured car was being developed to replace the Eland 90. The idea was, as with the Ratel, to use the chassis or running components as the platform to produce a wide range of vehicles. This would have included air defence and infantry combat vehicle's amongst others. The Rooikat based ICV at the beginning of this thread, and the Rooikat 35mm SPAAG are indications of this.

The plaque on the Rooikat ICV indicates a mid 1980's timeframe, which fits neatly in with the other Rooikat developments. The Ratel replacement programme beginnings dates back to from mid to late 1980's with the end of the Cold War and subsequent dismantelling of apartheid and drastic cutting of defence spending basically halting the effort. It is common knowledge that the Patria was an unsolicitated bid in a stalled/postponed programme that caused a lot of discontent when it was subsequently rapidly adopted without letting the previous contenders a look in. In fact, it was strange in that when the Patria was tested, no other vehicles were tested to compare. Hence the stink. Please note I am not criticizing the vehicle, which by all accounts is a very good one.

I'm probably going to start a new generation armoured car (Rooikat thread) as there are some interesting vehicles there in what was an interesting programme.
 

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