The South African National Defence Force is getting 200 new armoured fighting vehicles from defence and aerospace firm Denel. Under the newly-announced contract's terms, the defence force will be supplied with Badger ICVs (infantry combat vehicles) over the coming decade.
In South African National Defence Force service, the 200+ 8x8 Badger ICVs will take over from a host of armoured vehicle designs, the 1980s-era Ratel among them.
The Denel Badger ICV's roots lie in a Finnish design, with modifications made to optimise it for South African service. This original design, the Patria AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle) was rolled out in 2001 and is now available in three versions, 'basic', 'high-roof' and 'heavy weapon'. The Badger is among several international AMV variants developed. It features Land Mobility Technologies' underfloor armour technology and Denel's MCT (Modular Combat Turret) system.
Badger Armoured Vehicle
Part of the South African National Defence Force's modernisation programme, the Badger ICV acquisition will deliver improved levels of mobility, armoured protection and firepower.
According to Denel's chief executive, Riaz Saloojee, the Badger armoured vehicle contract is "the most significant...signed with a South African company in at least the last 10 years and demonstrates government and the SANDF's confidence in the ability of the local industry to provide frontline equipment."
"The production order for the Badger vehicle represents a significant chapter in the history of the SANDF in that it provides a much needed capability for troops involved in critical peace keeping operations in other African countries", added the nation's Secretary for Defence, Sam Gulube.
South African Badger Contract
'The 8x8 Badger is a best-of-breed vehicle in its class and will contribute to the modernisation of the SA National Defence Force', said national weapons procurement agency ARMSCOR, in a statement on the South African Badger contract. 'The recent involvement of South African troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has again emphasised the need for protective mobility on the battlefield, which the Badger now provides.'
Established in 1991, Denel manufactures a wide range of military technologies including guided missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, ammunition, artillery systems and bombs.
Image copyright JMK - courtesy Wikimedia Commons