Armscor issues 6×6 Land Cruiser tender for Special Forces


Armscor has issued a tender for the development of modified 6×6 Land Cruiser vehicles for the South African Special Forces to enhance their firepower during operational deployments.

The bid, EWSD/2024/18, for ‘Multi-Platform Vehicle (Procurement of Automatic 6×6 Toyota Land Cruiser)’ was issued on 30 April and has a closing date of 14 May. It was originally issued (as tender ESPD/2023/91) on 4 December 2023, with a closing date of 26 January 2024 and testing of vehicles at Gerotek scheduled for February, but was subsequently cancelled and reissued.

According to the latest tender document, Armscor is seeking “fixed cost for a Toyota Land Cruiser Single Cab converted to 6×6 with automatic transmission, fitted with front Bull Bar and rear flatbed load carrier capable of carrying 3.5 tons. Appropriate tie-down points must be fitted to the rear flatbed load carrier.”

Technical requirements include an automatic transmission; differential locks on each axle; ability to switch from 6×2, 6×4 and 6×6 modes; ground clearance of at least 235 mm; non-pneumatic suspension; and standard Toyota Land Cruiser V8 diesel engine. The vehicle will need to make use of new parts and not used or remanufactured items.

The modified vehicle should preferably be delivered on or before 31 July 2024, and testing and qualification is to completed on or before 30 August 2024.

Armscor specified that the request for bids (RFB) “is to place two orders with different bidders (one order per successful bidder for a maximum of two orders) to conduct OT&E [operational testing and evaluation] before progressing to further development phases.”

A separate request for bids will be issued following testing and evaluation, for the accepted/preferred platform to be integrated with an armoured cab and user-specific rear platform.

Then, Armscor will issue a bid for the procurement of 26 complete vehicle systems. “This phase will involve manufacture in accordance to the baseline approved for preceding phases, for the preferred platform. Including integration of the user specific rear platform variants in support of the operational system.”

The purpose of the 6×6 bid is to place two orders with different bidders (one order per successful bidder for a maximum of two orders) to conduct testing and evaluation before progressing to further development phases. “In the event more than two bidders comply to all critical criteria, then the preference points system will apply and the top two will be selected.”

If only one bidder complies with all criteria, then only one order will be placed with the successful bidder.

Operational testing and evaluation “is subject to test conditions specified for Gerotek evaluation.” This will include rollover angle evaluation, side slop verification, step climb capability, incline capability, overcoming suspension track obstacles, and sand trail testing.

The bidder should be able to support the modified Land Cruisers for at least ten years and provide the necessary spares.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is already a big user of Land Cruisers, particularly for border patrols. The Special Forces several years ago took delivery of modified Land Cruisers fitted with armoured cabs and weapons platforms on the back – notably ZU-23-2 cannons. These were supplied by SVI, which has also developed a 6×6 Land Cruiser and will most likely compete with Armormax Defence for the new Armscor tender, as Armormax also offers a modified 6×6 Land Cruiser (TAC-6) that can be armoured.

In February, SVI delivered two 4×4 and four six-wheeled Max 3 armoured vehicles to the SANDF. They were fitted with armour and modified cabs on their load beds. The Max 3 is based on the proven Land Cruiser 79 chassis.