Army spends cash to keep Mamba biting

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BAE Systems has been awarded product support services worth R2.5 million to supply and deliver equipment table schedules for the South African Army’s aging fleet of Mamba mine resistant armour protected (MRAP) personnel carriers. The contract, awarded last week takes work awarded for keeping the vehicle in service to R49 478 542.10 since 2007.

The deal is an extension of contract EIVS/2009/583, but unusually no detail on the date of its award or value can be found on the Armscor Bulltin System.

The type came into service around 1993. About 220 of the vehicles were upgraded under Project Jury in 2006. The Mamba is based on the Unimog 416 chassis that was also the basis of the Buffel, an acutely uncomfortable first-generation MP APC used by the SA Army from the late 1970s, and the Bosvark, the latter the standard truck fitted with a shallow v-shaped rear-body to provide troops carried there a modicum of protection from mines. Bosvark offered no sanctuary from small-arms fire and no protection whatsoever to the driver.

The Buffel improved on the Bosvark by providing the driver a cramped but protected module and the passengers an armoured but open-topped bucket. Designed by the Defence Research Unit (DRU) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Buffel was manufactured by several companies, with mass production starting in 1978. Some 1400 were built, many remanufactured from Bosvark and Army Unimog utility transports.

Writing in the Engineering News in October 2008, Keith Campbell noted that the Buffel “was effective, but it was subject to excessive roll when moving across rough terrain”. The open top also left the troops vulnerable to shrapnel. Campbell adds that the Buffel also proved unsuitable for urban operations. “So, at the end of the 1980s, it was succeeded by the Mamba, designed for internal security tasks – lower than a Buffel, more stable, less military in appearance, and enclosed.”

Campbell notes that the Mamba was first built (or remanufactured from surplus Buffel vehicles) in 4×2 format at TFM and later at OMC. 4×4 soon became standard. More than 500 were eventually produced.

The SA Army is seeking to replace the Mamba under a programme known as Project Sapula. The Army plans a “family of vehicles” that use the same drive train and chassis as selected for the future tactical truck programme, Project Vistula.

Supply and delivery of Mamba equipment table schedule – extension of EIVS/2009/583

IVS/S2011/1369 28 Jul 2011 R2 511 809,70 BAE Systems – Land Systems SA

Spares and components for Mamba vehicles

EIVS/2009/586 10 Mar 2011 R12 280 699,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Mamba product system obsolescence management

EIVS/2009/584 11 Nov 2010 R502 440,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Product support services – mamba vehicles

EIVS/2009/582 27 Oct 2010 R350 877,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Maintenance and repair of Mamba vehicles – second line enhancement

EIVS/2009/344 10 Dec 2009 R4 824 561,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Repair of Mamba components – extension of ESPV/2007/68

IVS/S2009/1001 3 Dec 2009 R2 613 578,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Maintenance and repair of mamba vehicles – extension of EIVS/2007/204

IVS/S2008/0822 6 Mar 2009 R877 193,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Maintenance and repair of mamba vehicles – extension of ESPV/2006/578

SPV/S2008/0821 6 Mar 2009 R394 735,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Staff support in support of products system management functions – mamba vehicle system

EIVS/2008/123 9 Oct 2008 R1 110 525,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Defence Decision Support Institute

Baseline update of mamba Mk3 logistic support documentation from baseline 0402 to baseline 0560

EIVS/2007/291 20 Nov 2008 R1 155 708,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Mamba spares and components

EIVS/2007/290 14 Feb 2008 R18 987 333,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Engineering support for project jury – extension of EJBR/2004/204

IVS/S2007/0560 1 Nov 2007 R114 774,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Defence Decision Support Institute

Continuation of staff support in support of products system management functions – Mamba product system

EIVS/2007/74 18 Oct 2007 R97 030,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Defence Decision Support Institute

Supply and delivery of mamba MK2 equipment table schedule 1527

EIVS/2007/125 30 Aug 2007 R782 160,40 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Mamba main contractor tasks

EIVS/2007/69 8 Aug 2007 R789 471,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Mamba Mk3 depot repair – extension of EJBR/2003/673

IVS/S2006/0420 27 Mar 2007 R1 754 385,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC

Repair/maintenance of Mamba 4×4 vehicles – extension of EJBR/2003/673

IVS/S2006/0418 9 Feb 2007 R226 000,00 F & R Phakisa Operations (Pty) Ltd



IVS/S2006/0411 1 Feb 2007 R105 263,00 BAE Systems t/a Land Systems OMC