BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa has won a contract worth more than R900 million (US$130 million) for survivability and mobility upgrades to its RG31 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles through its teaming agreement with General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS-C).
The upgrade kits will further enhance the survivability and mobility of the battle-proven RG31 vehicles, BAE Systems says in a statement. As part of the modernisation work in South Africa, a powerpack providing higher performance and new suspension components and transfer cases, which were designed and manufactured by BAE Systems, will be incorporated into the upgrade kits.
“We appreciate our ongoing relationship with GDLS-C as well as the confidence that the US military has in the RG31 vehicle. Readiness and sustainment is an important part of our business and through these programmes we continue to protect the lives of US soldiers,” said BAE Systems, Land Systems South Africa Managing Director Johan Steyn.
The RG31 is a mature, combat proven mine protected armoured personnel carrier designed, developed and manufactured by BAE Systems in South Africa. In total, over 1600 RG31 vehicles have been delivered through GDLS-C under the MRAP programme, an additional 566 RG31s have been delivered to US forces under separate contracts.
The 4×4 RG31, with its a V-shaped hull, was introduced in the mid-1990s and is superficially similar to the SA 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.