BAE Systems showcases the RG “Outrider” at AUSA


BAE Systems is showcasing its newest armoured vehicle, the RG Outrider, at the Association of the US Army’s (AUSA) winter exhibition that starts today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The company says the Outrider “is a designed as a true all-terrain vehicle, based on the successful RG series in service with several forces in Afghanistan” and designed with US special operations and coalition forces operating in that mountainous country in mind.

A follow-on to the RG32M designed and built in South Africa, this new mine-resistant armour protected (MRAP) vehicle weighs 9.5 tons and features a widened hull (200mm wider, 50mm higher) and newly designed load bay that is ideal for command, liaison and scouting roles and is easily reconfigured to customer required missions. Windows are externally mounted providing improved side-blast protection while also freeing up space inside the cabin.

The MRAP provides “advanced protection” through its V-shaped monocoque hull, comprehensive steel welded armour proof against armour piercing rifle fire and added side-blast protection and uses commercial-off-the-shelf technology and an existing international parts distribution network to minimise crew training and logistics.

BAE Systems Global Tactical Systems president Dennis Morris says based “on the successful RG series in service with several forces in Afghanistan including the U.S., Sweden and recently Spain, the RG Outrider is a versatile, light armoured vehicle designed for first response situations and extreme off-road driving to meet special operations needs. A true all-terrain vehicle, the RG Outrider provides crew survivability and reliability to complete the evolving missions of today and tomorrow.”
“Although the vehicle is a fully fledged light armoured vehicle it sacrifices none of the mobility, agility and ground clearance of its predecessor.”

US military leaders had a first look at the RG Outrider two weeks ago at the Nevada Automotive Test Center’s Vehicle Systems Demonstration Technology Rodeo at Carson City, Nevada.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada a US$29.2 million delivery order to supply 127 independent suspension kits for its MRAP vehicle programme. The TAK-4 independent suspensions, produced by Oshkosh, will be installed in-theatre on to previously delivered RG-31Mk5EM vehicles to enhance their ride quality and robustness. The contract was signed through the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown Agency of the Canadian Government.

The MCSC last week ordered a further 250 RG-31 Mk5E vehicles from the Benoni-based BAE Systems SA business unit Land Systems OMC at a cost of $227.4 million. Deliveries will be completed by October 2010. The contract is in addition to the 1402 RG-31 Mk5 Category II vehicles already supplied by General Dynamics under the MRAP programme. Separately, an additional 584 RG-31s were previously ordered by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command for route-clearance vehicles.

1. The RG Outrider seen in uplands Nevada, terain similar to Afghanistan.
2. The RG Outrider pictred at Gerotek, near Pretoria, during testing.