British company to build SA Mamba


British-based armour specialist MTL Group has been awarded what it says is “a significant contract” to supply fabricated armoured hulls to Panzer Technologies for what it further calls “its Mamba vehicle”.

The armoured vehicles are intended for use in peace keeping operations will be manufactured at MTL Group Headquarters in the UK then shipped ready for final assembly to South Africa, the company says in a statement. “This is an important order for MTL Group and it makes it even more special Manufacturing such an iconic vehicle such as the Mamba,” Simon Hurst Sales Manager for Defence said.
“The Mamba vehicle has been around a long time and has proven itself over and over again,” the statement says. The Mamba, in service with the SA Army as a mine resistant, armour protected personnel carrier entered service in the 1990s. In 2006 about 220 vehicles were remanufactured under Project Jury. The Mamba is based on the Unimog 416 chassis that was also the basis of the Buffel and the Bosvark. Writing in the Engineering News, Keith Campbell noted 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 statement adds MTL Group was chosen as the preferred supplier for various reasons. “Along with its state of the art manufacturing capability and competitive pricing, MTL Group adds value to the project through its unique DFM (Design for Manufacture) service. The customer liked the idea that we wouldn’t just weld the product rather that we would support and provide a DFM review that would enhance the product.”

MTL Group’s objective is always to look at areas for design improvement where weight and cost can be removed and ideas to improve protection can be implemented, giving its customers an enhanced value proposition. “MTL Group’s DFM is a proven service and has really taken off with many leading OEMs engaging with MTL Group at the design stage to help them produce more cost effective vehicles that can compete in today’s economic climate.” MTL Group is a supplier of processed armoured steels for the supply of items ranging from ultra-high hard armour kits to fully fabricated and assembled hulls, turrets and blast floors.
“The key thing our customers like” says Hurst “is the innovation we bring, we are helping designers around the world to improve the integrity of the structure whilst reducing manufacturing costs.” MTL Group will exhibiting its one piece blast floors and IMPAS armour at African Aerospace & Defence 2012 in Pretoria next month.