South African defence equipment and logistics company Twiga is promoting its Mamba-based armoured personnel carrier to several interested African clients, the company has revealed.
Twiga developed the Nyoka armoured personnel carrier (APC) after receiving a requirement from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), which wanted a new Mamba class vehicle that incorporated their upgrades to meet operational requirements. In August the UPDF commissioned the first five Nyokas after they had been manufactured in a joint venture between the Ugandan Ministry of Defence and Twiga’s Ugandan sister company Impala Services and Logistics.
Retired Brigadier General Damien de Lange, CEO of Twiga, said that the Nyoka APCs upgrades include ballistic protection equal to NATO STANAG Level 1, shooting ports, a ballistically protected grill, air conditioning, three weapon positions on the roof, pneumatically operated rear doors, an anti-roll bar, improved braking system, infrared illuminator, improved lights and other mechanical improvements.
Armour plate was cut in South Africa and shipped out to Uganda for manufacture and assembly. The old Mamba driveline (engine, gearbox, axles) is remanufactured while the rest of the vehicle is 100% new. The engines are remanufactured and certified in South Africa.
The UPDF initially bought two Nyokas for operational evaluation, one as a weapon platform and the other as an armoured personnel carrier (APC). Following the successful operational evaluation of the vehicles, the Uganda Ministry of Defence contracted Impala Services and Logistics to manufacture ten Nyoka APCs in Uganda with the requisite training and technology transfer. De Lange said he hoped the project would be ongoing.
The project has been underway for the last three years, with Twiga training Ugandan personnel in specialised and armoured welding, mechanical and auto-electrical repair, pneumatics and store management. UPDF personnel completed specialised courses in South Africa to enable them to carry out the manufacture of the Nyoka in Uganda and the programme was supported with extensive mentorship and project management.
De Lange said that other countries were also interested in the Nyoka for two reasons: the vehicle’s size suits many African operators and existing Buffel/Mamba operators want to be able to use the human resource skills sets they have and maintain a common logistical support system. He added that although there are opportunities they are not in the hundreds.
Twiga and Impala have been in business for the last three years and supply military and security forces with armoured vehicles, night vision equipment, rugged boat systems, thermal imaging devices and a wide range of training and support programmes. Around 70% of Twiga’s business is the supply of spares, weapons mounts and ex-South African vehicles and equipment. “We focus on support, skills and knowledge development and the transfer of technology. Our business approach is develop, together with the client, indigenous capabilities,” de Lange told defenceWeb.