BAE Systems Land & Armaments has received two contract awards totaling more than US$150 million to provide RG31 and RG32M vehicles to the United Arab Emirates and Sweden. The company adds the manufacturing work will be done in South Africa.
“These awards mark a significant success in our land business,” said Chris Chambers, vice president and general manager of tactical wheeled vehicles for BAE Systems. “The RG31 and RG32M have consistently delivered superior levels of protection from mines, improvised explosive devices and other threats to many customers world-wide and mark a standard of operational effectiveness.”
The US Marine Corps Systems Command in September awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada an US$87.3 million contract to modify 425 RG-31 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. 70% of that work was to be carried out in South Africa, while the remainder was to be carried out at Trenton in the US. Work was expected to be completed by the end of July next year.
The RG31 is a mature, combat proven mine protected armored personnel carrier designed, developed and manufactured by BAE Systems in South Africa. In total, over 2166 RG31 vehicles have been delivered. The RG32M, which is extensively in service with the Swedish Armed Forces, has various military and non-military applications to fulfill a wide spectrum of command, liaison, scouting, patrol and peacekeeping roles.
The BAE Systems Land Systems OMC’s RG-31 was the first mine-resistant vehicle deployed by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 4×4 RG31, with its a V-shaped hull, was introduced in the mid-1990s and is superficially similar to the South African Army’s Mamba. It is certified to protect its crew from rifle and light machine gun fire, anti-tank land-mine detonations and improvised explosive devices. In its standard troop carrying configuration the Mk 5E variant can carry up to ten troops (a driver plus nine others), although it can be configured for many other roles. The vehicle is equipped with a remote-controlled weapon station armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun.
According to the Wikipedia, the vehicle, in various marks, has been used by the Canadian Forces; Colombia; France, the Netherlands; Rwanda; Spain; United Arab Emirates; and the US: Special Operations Command, US Army and the USMC. In addition the United Nations operates 30.