Renault Trucks Defense has signed a contract with the Egyptian Ministry of Defence for about fifteen Kerax 6×4 tractors equipped with a 500hp engine. The company says the vehicles will be delivered during the first quarter 2011 to the Egyptian Army. No price was given.
“Two previous contracts had been signed in 2008 and 2010 and new contracts could be finalised within the next coming months.”
In November 2009 Renault Trucks Defence won a further order to supply 64 6×6 and 8×8 trucks to Chad. A first contract had been signed in January 2009 for 52 Kerax. No delivery dates or costs were disclosed for that deal.
In December last year Renault Trucks Defence said with its local assembly of trucks in Durban it was well placed to support the South African National Defence Force’ ambition to renew its aged truck fleet. This programme, Project Vistula, could see the military acquire as many as 5000 new trucks.
DefenseNews, the US defence news daily, reported in October the Department of Defence acquisition agency, Armscor, was expected to put out a request for proposals (RfP) “in the next few months” for about 1200 trucks as a first phase to the replacing of the current fleet of Magirus Deutz “Samil” vehicles. It added the order “could be worth around R3.2 billion for the winner.
The company in a statement says it will promote its Kerax range of trucks, displayed at Africa Aerospace & Defence in September, for Vistula. “Renault Trucks has started to assemble its vehicles locally in Durban…,” the company says, adding that as a member of the Volvo Group it has had a footprint in South Africa “for years.”
“Thus, the company adheres to the government’s objectives to create sustainable jobs and skills transfer. Renault Trucks benefits from a wide dealer network with a full coverage of the country with 14 dealers and repairers.”
Renault says the off-road Kerax family is fully adapted to specific needs of armed forces. “These vehicles benefit from low lifecycle costs of commercial vehicles and are ideally suited for logistic missions with huge payloads capacities and various bodies: cargo, troop transport, fuel/water tanks, dump, load handling system (LHS), shelters, recovery system, weapon systems carrier…”
The trucks come in 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 variants and “benefits from the best of the technology in term of protection of cabin today. The cab has been designed and tested to protect the troop from highest ballistic treats, as well as mine and IEDs.” At present more than 900 militarised Kerax are operated worldwide including more than 400 in the French armed forces.
Land Warfare International in August reported Vistula could see the South African National Defence Force acquire “5000 trucks as a first step towards the replacement of the present Samil-100 and Samil-50 fleets.” According to a report by Helmoed-Römer Heitman current plans are for some 2000 8×8 trucks with armoured/mine-protected cabs; 1200 6×6 trucks, some of them with protected cabs; and 1800 4×4 trucks.”
Linked to Vistula is Project Sapula – the drive to acquire a new mine protected armour protected personnel carrier to replace the infantry’s now elderly Mamba and Casspir vehicles. Defence planners are keen that the Sapula vehicle – of which up to 3000 may be required – should be based on the Vistula engine and drive train. The “family of vehicles” approach is expected to push up commonality of parts while driving down costs.
More than 900 militarized Kerax are operated worldwide including more than 400 in the French armed forces.