BAE Systems announces 8×8 RG41


Benoni-based BAE Systems South Africa will next week unveil a new 8×8 wheeled armoured combat vehicle at the Eurosatory defence exhibition in Paris, France. The RG41 is designed to offer an affordable and highly mobile combat vehicle for modern warfare, the company told defenceWeb in an exclusive.

Key features include a modular, field-repairable mine-protected design, with high mobility for the vehicle and good ride comfort for the passengers and crew. RG41 sales are not subject to US State Department oversight via its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regime, meaning it can be sold without US government permission (or veto) and is built around commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. Field repair is optimised for the second line (the unit light workshop troop).

The 19mt vehicle can carry a 11mt payload, giving a gross vehicle mass of 30mt. Protection levels depend on the user requirement,but is field upgradeable. A full-length semi v-shaped hull is standard, however. An engine bay and crew compartment fire suppression system is also aboard.

The vehicle boasts 14.9 cubic metres of usable cabin space and variants include an infantry section vehicle, a command vehicle, an ambulance, recovery vehicle and engineer vehicle. The section vehicle allows for a gunner and section commander in the turret and seven troops in a hull compartment. The driver is located “very far forward for excellent vision with a space for a vehicle commander behind the driver to take control when the section leader and section debus. A larger section can be carried if the vehicle is fitted with a remote weapon system (remotely controlled overhead weapon station).

The new arrival can mount a number of conventional or overhead turrets as well as defensive aids suites. A 25mm Alliant Techsystems M242 Bushmaster can be fitted to the section vehicle and the commander is served with 360 degree video vision system.

The RG41 project started in 2008 “to meet the ever-increasing demand for mine protected vehicles in the modern combat environment. The company, in product notes, say the 8×8 is a development of previous Land Systems OMC prototypes and “benefits from many years of development experience.” Officials add designers had no specific customer in mind for the company-funded development. A launch customer is still being sought. “The design uses RG series technology which has been combat proven around the world in numerous different environments.”

Vital statistics:

Length: 7780mm

Width: 2840mm (with 16.00R20 tyres)

Width (hull): 2800mm

Height: 2357mm (hull only)

Angle of approach: 75 degrees

Angle of departure: 54 degrees

Tare: 19 000kg

Payload: 5000 to 11 000kg

GVM: 24 000 to 30 000kg

Engine: Deutz V6, 390kW @ 2100 rpm (optional increase to 420kW), torque 2130Nm @ 1300rpm

Transmission: ZF 5HP02 5-speed automatic

Transfer case: BAE Systems SA Gear Ratio GR 17000/396

The RG41 sports independent suspension “offering excellent ride comfort” in the form of a double wishbone system with hydraulic shock absorbers. The wheel heads feature a integrated central tyre inflation system. The 16.00R20 Michelin XZL tyres reduces ground pressure and provides excellent off-road speed and obstacle performance, the company avers. Run-flat inserts give 100km range at 50 km/h.

Mobility characteristics include:

Range: 700km on-road, 400km offroad

Fording: 1.2m

Gradient: 60%

Trench: 2m

Step: 0.6m

Hump radius: 0.6m slow, 0.3m @ 60km/h

Turning circle: 19m (can be reduced by adding rear wheel steering)