Kenya operating DCD’s Springbuck APC


Kenya has been confirmed as a relatively new operator of DCD Protected Mobility’s Springbuck armoured personnel carrier (APC), with the vehicles being used for security and counter-terrorism operations.

On 20 March, Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Administration of National Government Kithure Kindiki commissioned and dispatched the first batch of equipment to support the security operation Maliza Uhalifu, and this included at least eight Springbuck vehicles fitted with roof-mounted light machinegun turrets.

The operation in North Rift Valley will be extended to cover the northern grazing area of Meru County, Isiolo and Marsabit Counties and counter-terrorism efforts in North Eastern Region and the Boni Enclave in Lamu County. Terrorists, bandits, livestock rustlers and organised criminals will be in the Kenyan security forces’ crosshairs.

Kindiki said frontline officers deployed in forward operating bases are being equipped and kitted out. He added that the Kenyan Government has in the last six months invested Ksh7.6 billion ($57 million) and will spend another Ksh29.4 billion ($222 million) in the next three years under the Police Equipment Modernisation (PEM) programme to acquire sophisticated protected and mobility equipment, including armoured personnel carriers and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), helicopter gunships, mine detection and personal protection equipment.

Kenya’s military has been operating the Springbuck for at least four years, with several surviving improvised explosive device (IED) hits in operations along the border with Somalia. However, until now there has been no official confirmation of this.

In 2019, DCD said it was manufacturing a new batch of Springbuck SD (Standard Duty) and HD (Heavy Duty) vehicles for East and West African customers, but provided no further details.

The company’s African clients, using Springbuck and Husky vehicles, include Angola, Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa.

DCD Protected Mobility said the Springbuck ballistic and landmine protected vehicle was built with simplicity, comfort, protection and cost effectiveness in mind and was geared specifically towards the African market.

The Springbuck SD is the Standard version, the HD is the Heavy Duty and XD is the Xtra Duty, with performance, payload and protection increasing with each model. The 4×4 SD has B6 ballistic protection (up to 7.62×51 mm rounds) and can withstand a TM57 landmine directly under the hull, or two under any wheel. The SD is the lightest in the series and weights 9 000 kg and has a 1 500 kg payload. It is powered by the MWM 6.10T 6.45 litre six cylinder turbocharged diesel delivering 194 hp.

The intermediate Springbuck HD is powered by an MWM 6.12TCA 7.2 litre six cylinder turbocharged diesel engine delivering 286 horsepower and giving a maximum speed of 110 km/h and range of 600 km. The 13 000 kg vehicle has a payload of 2 500 kg and B7 ballistic protection (up to 30.06 armour piercing rounds).

The Springbuck XD is the heaviest in the range and weighs 15 000 kg and has a payload of 3 500 kg. It carries two crew and eight personnel, who enter and egress via two side doors, a rear door and two roof hatches. With ballistic protection upgradeable to STANAG Level 3 (resistant to 7.62x52R rounds), the all-steel armoured V-shaped hull is certified against STANAG Level 4a under any wheel and 3b blast protection under the hull. A 6.7 litre Cummins turobdiesel delivers 360 hp and gives a top speed of 110 km/h and range of 600 km.