The Mossel Bay Municipality in the Western Cape has put two new SVI Max 3 Troopy armoured vehicles into service to fight crime in the area.
The vehicles were officially taken into service on 12 July during a ceremony attended by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, at the Mossel Bay Town Hall.
“Curbing crime of all kinds is a critical priority if we are to grow our economy. High levels of crime are a major impediment to growth and economic development. Residents, business owners and rural communities deserve to feel safe. I welcome Mossel Bay Municipality’s efforts to enhance safety and security,” Winde said as he inspected the vehicles.
Each Max 3 Troopy can transport eight people and forms part of the municipality’s newly established K-9 Unit. They will be utilised in various crime-fighting operations, such as responding to illegal land occupations and protests, in partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS). They will also be deployed to offer protection to secure infrastructure services in volatile areas, the Western Cape government said in a statement.
The municipality’s K-9 Unit – funded by the Western Cape Government – will soon be sniffing out crime when it is officially launched in the coming months. It consists of four Belgian Malinois dogs. Winde added, “fighting crime comes in many forms. From the use of armoured vehicles to man’s best friend, we have to use all resources at our disposal to make our communities places of hope and dignity.”
“I would like to congratulate the Mossel Bay Municipality for deploying these armoured vehicles. This is an exciting moment for the residents of the entire area, and they can be proud of their municipality,” Allen said. “It brings me great joy to note how our partners at local government level are also prioritising safety. In due course, the safety initiatives in the area will be strengthened when our K-9 Unit is also formally launched. This will provide yet another layer to creating a safer Western Cape where our people can live in dignity.”
The Max 3 is based on the popular Toyota Land Cruiser 79 platform. In addition to upgraded brakes and suspension, the vehicle is modified with an armoured cab with B6 ballistic level standard protection (against 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm assault rifles), but this can be upgraded to B7 and blast protection. The design is also resistant to riot-type attacks, as it has been designed for military and non-military roles, including armoured personnel carrier, ambulance, command and control, crowd control, special forces and police. The vehicle is available in single cab, double cab and as an armoured personnel carrier with an enclosed rear loadbed.
The Max 3 weights 3.8 tons with weapons systems – the vehicle is lighter than most armoured vehicles for high mobility and low cost. Engine options include a V6 petrol, inline six diesel and V8 turbodiesel, giving a top speed of 140 km/h with the V8 diesel.
As the Max 3 is based on the commercial Land Cruiser platform, no special license is need to operate it, making it suitable for non-military tasks such as mining security, riot control, civil security, anti-poaching and convoy protection (valuables in transit).
The original Max 3 was launched at the September 2018 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition, and has subsequently evolved with new variants, including a 6×6 option. The Max 3 can be fitted with a range of additional equipment, including the Thales Scorpion 60/81 mm automated mortar, 12.7 mm pintle mount or 12.7 mm Rogue Lite remotely operated weapon station. One customer has already ordered the Scorpion system for its vehicles. Other options are fire extinguishing systems, long range acoustic devices for crowd control, and less lethal solutions.