Fact file: Special Forces main equipment
Written by Leon Engelbrecht, Thursday, 17 December 2009
During Angolan war (1975 to 1989), the average weight carried was between 60 and 80kg. For long-range deployments this could escalate to 100kg. The Special Forces League estimates the heaviest kit carried was 130kg. During that conflict 95% of all Special Forces operations were carried out behind enemy lines – over distances of anything from 10 km to 2000 km.1
For some deployments the Special Forces have used Casspir mine-resistant armoured personnel carriers as well as the “‘Bat’ Rapid Response Vehicle”, a rough-and-ready air-portable 4x4 design manufactured by Denel Mechem to transport a team and its kit. This has now been replaced by the Hornet Rapid Deployment Reconnaissance Vehicles (RDRV). 4 SF Regt also owns a variety of rigid, semi rigid and inflatable boats for waterborne operations.
Known SF armament
The Special Forces displayed an array of weapons and equipment at the Africa Aerospace & Defence show in 2006. Arms on display included the:
- Accuracy International SK1 sniper rifle
- Heckler & Koch PSG Sniper Rifle
- Heckler & Koch G3 battle rifle
- Heckler & Koch HK33 assault rifle in 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibre.
- Heckler & Koch MP5 machine pistol (submachine gun)
Other weapons include the:
- Denel Land Systems NTW-20 anti-materiel rifle
Former Warsaw Pact equipment in use include:
- RPG-7 (Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot hand-held antitank grenade launcher in Russian, translated as Rocket Propelled Grenade)
- ZU-23-2 (Zenitnaya Ustanovka 23-2) anti aircraft gun
- KPV (Krupnokalibernyj Pulemet Vladimirova, Vladimirov large calibre machinegun) 14.5mm heavy machine gun
- PK and variants (Pulemyot Kalashnikova, Kalashnikov machine gun) 7.62x54R general purpose machine gun.
- RPD (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova, Degtyaryov light machine gun ) 7.62x39mm light machine gun.
- AK47 and variants (Avtomat Kalashnikova, Kalashnikov automatic rifle, 1947 model), 7.63x39mm.
- Casspir mine-resistant armoured personnel carriers
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