What was touted in the latest Armscor annual report as a “weapon system” turned out to be old-fashioned South African ingenuity put into service at the behest of an Alkantpan client.
It turns out what Armscor labelled “the 76mm Springkaan weapon system” is a once-off and was only used as a test platform. This was how the defence and security acquisition agency responded to a defenceWeb inquiry.
“The 76mm is not a new weapon under development but rather a weapon system available to Alkantpan clients for ammunition testing requirements,” an official Armscor response said.
The Springkaan is a 76 mm Oto Melara barrel mounted on the carriage of a 17 pound artillery piece. The carriage, Armscor said, is an old system in use during World War 11.
The name Springkaan was chosen because of the home-built weapon’s resemblance to a grasshopper.
“It is a once-off system used as a test platform.”
At Alkantpan the Springkaan has conducted 76mm naval fuze tests. It was developed at the request of German company Diehl Defence. Development of the Springkaan was started by Alkantpan personnel and transferred with Armscor with what the annual report called “continual inputs” from test range in Northern Cape.