State arms manufacturer Denel on Wednesday said a first batch of RG31 mine-resistant vehicles manufactured by Denel Vehicle Systems had been shipped to the Middle East for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces.
The RG31 is a Mobile Mortar Platform (MMP) which is highly-regarded for its 4×4 capabilities, mobility and the protection it offers against anti-tank mines and explosive devices.
Johan Steyn, chief executive of Denel Vehicle Systems, in a statement said an order for 24 RG31 MMP vehicles was placed by its client in the UAE, the International Golden Group (IGG), in June last year.
Steyn did not disclose the amount of the contract between Denel and IGG.
This followed on the successful delivery of 73 vehicles that were already in service with the UAE Armed Forces. The first batch of eight vehicles was shipped off to Abu Dhabi where IGG would fit further customised equipment required by the client.
The company is currently producing the second batch that would undergo further testing by the clients within the next two months.
In terms of the follow-on contract, Denel Vehicle Systems was required to make some 30 improvements to the performance and reliability aspects of the vehicle based on assessments in the operational environment.
IGG recently visited Denel for static acceptance of the vehicles as well as dynamic testing conducted at Armscor’s Gerotek test facilities in Pretoria West.
“The vehicle was put through rigorous testing and met all the expectations and requirements of the client,” Steyn said.
Denel Vehicle Systems – formerly known as BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa – produces a number of armoured protected vehicles including the RG12 and the RG21.
Variants of the RG31, now acquired by the UAE, are widely used by the United Nations and peacekeeping forces from countries such as Canada, Spain and the US.
The RG31 MMP has a range of 800km at a speed of 80m/h and carries a crew of 4 people, including the driver.
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