International Vehicle & Equipment Marketing (IVEMA) has just shipped the last of 24 South African designed and produced GILA 4×4 Mine Resistant and Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles funded by Canada for supply to African countries deployed to the hybrid United Nations/African Union peacekeeping force in the Darfur province of Sudan.
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) selected the GILA as the preferred protected patrol vehicle for four African Formed Police Units (FPUs) that will deploy under the mandate of the hybrid African Union / United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Each about 140-strong FPU requires six MRAP vehicles.
The FPU’s are all deploying at the moment or early next year.
The joint IVEMA AND CCC press release did not give a contract value or name the four recipient countries. News reports have previously identified Senegal, Nigeria and Egypt in that context.
“IVEMA’s value proposition in the provision of the GILA 4×4 MRAP patrol vehicle allowed Canada to meet its fleet standardisation objective within aggressive timelines while ensuring a high level of vehicle, equipment and training support made possible through the continental presence of a South African supplier” said CCC representative Stefan Dery.
The African FPUs selected to receive Canadian in-kind support are being provided with the modern high mobility GILA, manufactured in Midrand, South Africa and supplied directly to the country of receipt with a comprehensive spares and training package.
“The supply of new, modern, South African designed GILAs ensures these police forces are equipped with a high mobility protected capability for their operational commitments under the United Nations,” said IVEMA CE Brigadier General (Retired) Damian de Lange.
“Being equipped with modern and new equipment will also ensure such troop contributing countries meet the UN’s requirements” he added.
The GILA 4×4 MRAP was designed and developed in 2006 and was first displayed to the public at the African Aerospace and Defence Exhibition in Cape Town in September 2006.
IVEMA has also supplied the GILA to a number of African forces in the armoured personnel carrier, protected patrol and battlefield ambulance variants. The GILA Battlefield Ambulance was deployed to Darfur by Nigeria earlier this year.
The GILA, which has undergone various qualification and testing programmes in South Africa, South America, South East Asia and the Middle East, has successfully withstood a mineblast equivalent to 19kg of TNT and within an hour was repaired in the field using a recovery vehicle, prepared axle and the recovery crew.
The standard GILA is fitted with a modern powerpack, automatic transmission, run flat inserts in all tyres, central tyre inflation system, air conditioning and more.
“The GILA provides an opportunity for forces to move quickly into the realm of modern technology that is based on proven, reliable, repairable and maintainable main components,” said Andre Mouton, IVEMA’s Director of Operations.
“The training programmes and the follow-on training IVEMA provides is supported by a complete and comprehensive document service which includes work shop repair and operator manuals and illustrated parts catalogues,” said Andre Mouton.
“This allows the client to train their own people, service and maintain their own equipment and manage their supply of spares,” he added. IVEMA has made documentation services and training programmes available in both English and French.
IVEMA’s GILA supply programmes includes comprehensive training in SA, follow-on training in the country of receipt, a thorough acceptance programme by the client in SA, a receipt programme in the country of receipt, technical and operator advisory services, logistic support services and the ability to provide additional maintenance and repair services in the operational areas.
“Providing African forces with modern 21st Century South African designed and manufactured GILAs is driven by IVEMA’s desire to support the growing relations between South Africa and Africa as well as to provide the framework for the transfer of knowledge and skills from South Africa to other African countries,” added De Lange.
“We are proud that Canada selected IVEMA and the GILA for its supply to African forces” he added.