South Africa’s Bruisertech and Poland’s WB Group have collaborated to offer the Bruiser 212 armoured personnel carrier as the Combatmate on the export market.
The Bruiser 212-based Combatmate was displayed by the companies for the first time at the MSPO (International Defence Industry Exhibition) 2021 defence show in Poland this week.
Johnny Chabalala, Marketing Director at Bruisertech, told Army Recognition the Bruiser 212 is based on the earlier Bruiser 112, but features modifications such as increased armour protection, an upgraded engine and transmission, and weapon systems.
“The Combatmate is a combination of the South African vehicle Bruiser 212 and the system that is supplied by our Polish partners, WB Group. We design and manufacture the vehicle and we supplied the vehicle as is to the partners here in Poland…and then they went and integrated their systems. They integrated the remote control weapons system…and they also integrated a Warmate system, which is a small loitering munition,” Chabalala said.
At MSPO, the Combatmate was fitted with the Fonet tactical digital communication set and [email protected] and Perad mobile radios, as well as the Topaz integrated combat management system. These give VHF/UHF/HF communications as well as access to local civilian networks. The Combatmate was armed with a remotely-controlled ZSU-03 turret from Arex – a WB Group subsidiary – with an M2HB 12.7 mm machinegun and smoke-grenade launchers along with day and thermal cameras. It also featured a portable launcher for the Warmate-TL loitering munition.
Chabalala explained that the Combatmate can be fitted with two types of engines and is at present fitted with an MWM engine and an Allison transmission. When fitted with a 268 kW diesel engine, top speed is 140 km/h and range 1 750 km. The vehicle has upgradable protection levels, and is designed to take a 50 kg improvised explosive device explosion at least five metres to the side of the vehicle. The base vehicle takes two crew and ten soldiers, or a 3 ton payload.
The vehicle is ready is ready for production, Chabalala said, and has been tested by an independent body in south Africa with field trials, suspension trials, hill climb trials and blast tests. Although Bruisertech designed the Bruiser for tough African conditions and was aiming it at the African market, the company is now actively seeking entry into European and broader markets.
The original Bruiser 112 armoured personnel carrier was developed as a private venture and displayed for the first time at the 2018 edition of the AAD exhibition, but officially launched in early 2019.
The Bruiser 112 was designed to be cost effective, rugged and easy to transport (the 5.2 metre long vehicle can fit inside a standard 20 foot ISO shipping container). Designed for markets such as Africa, the base vehicle was built to avoid using complicated electronics and as a result does not require specialised equipment or highly trained technicians for maintenance and repairs – maintainability in rough conditions was a key design requirement.