BENONI, South Africa --- BAE Systems has received a USD $33 million order for 94 RG31 Mk5 mine-protected vehicles, designed, developed and manufactured by the company’s Land Systems OMC unit, South Africa’s largest and leading manufacturer of armoured and mine-protected vehicles.
Following a 2005 contract for 148 of the Mk3 version of the RG31 from the U.S. Army via General Dynamics Land Systems in Canada (GDLS-C), the Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command ordered another 60 vehicles – the upgraded Mk5 – for delivery early 2007, and has now exercised its option for a further 34 vehicles, all via GDLS-C.
In service with forces around the world, the RG31 is a highly effective multi-role mine-protected vehicle capable of a variety of military applications. The Mk5 version offers significant increase in power, payload and protection upgrade potential to meet emerging requirements.
By mid 2007, the two-year total of RG31 vehicles delivered worldwide from the BAE Systems’ facility in Benoni, South Africa will reach 413 vehicles; 242 to the U.S., 75 to Canada, 76 to the United Arab Emirates and 20 in Africa.
“The scope and growing volume of our international orders, in parallel with our huge role as local supplier to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African Police (SAPS), underscores the company’s leadership in the armoured vehicle sector,” says Johan Steyn, BAE Systems’ managing director for Land Systems South Africa. “And we are proud to be able to enhance our national strategic support role with company growth and our continuing contributions to local job creation and earnings,” Steyn added.
U.S. interest has, until recently, focused largely on the anti landmine expertise of Land Systems OMC, saving the lives of troops in combat areas and earning global recognition for the South African company. The successes have stimulated further interest in the broader range of armoured vehicles from BAE Systems Land Systems OMC.
The company recently unveiled the new 6x6 RG33L mine-protected vehicle at the U.S. Army’s annual meeting and exhibition in Washington, one of the largest defence industry events in the U.S. The RG33L was developed in record time through co-operation between South African and U.S. units of BAE Systems.
ABOUT RG31 MINE-PROTECTED VEHICLE – from Mk3 to Mk5
The already life-saving protection of Land Systems OMC’s RG31 has been enhanced with further mine blast resistance, as well as protection against both improvised explosive devices and ballistic threats. This has seemingly been recognised by the US Army in ordering the Mk5 to supplement the many Mk3s currently in US Army service and which have been credited with saving scores of lives.
The RG31 protects its occupants against a double landmine detonation (14kg of TNT) under any wheel, or a single mine (7kg) anywhere under the vehicle. Ballistic protection is against 7.62mm armoured-piercing ammunition with the possibility of further enhancement through add-on armour.
Land Systems South Africa is a business unit of BAE Systems Land Systems and is jointly owned by BAE Systems (75%) and South African black empowerment company, DGD Technologies (2001) (Pty) Ltd (25%). Land Systems South Africa comprises two business units, Land Systems OMC, a complete systems house for armoured vehicles, and Land Systems Gear Ratio, a transmission specialist.
The combined units employ over 800 people and have an annual turnover of more than one billion rand. Land Systems OMC is located in Benoni in the Gauteng Province and is South Africa's premier armoured vehicle facility. As a complete systems house, the company covers all disciplines of the armoured vehicle spectrum including conceptualisation, design, development, manufacture, production, re-manufacture and global in-service support. Land Systems OMC has supplied and supports more than 95% of armoured vehicles in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African Police Service (SAPS).
BAE Systems is the premier trans-Atlantic defense and aerospace company, delivering a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions, and customer support services. BAE Systems, with 88,000 employees worldwide, had 2005 sales that exceeded $22 billion, excluding the group's former interest in Airbus.
BAE Systems Receives $33 Million Order for RG31 Mine-Protected Vehicles