DCD Protected Mobility has been training Nigerian Police Force personnel on the Springbuck VI armoured personnel carrier at its facilities at Isando and at the Gerotek vehicle range outside Pretoria as deliveries to the Nigerian police continue.
DCD Protected Mobility said a group of ten operators and maintenance personnel attended a two-week training course in November and December 2013. The two-module training course focused on operating the Springbuck VI vehicle and on performing first line technical repairs. “Trainee feedback indicated that the group derived great value from this training, which will be shared with fellow NPF officers in Nigeria,” the company said yesterday.
During training sessions, the Nigerian personnel provided technical inputs to DCD Protected Mobility’s technical department, which are being incorporated into the design of the improved Springbuck currently on the drawing board.
The Federal and State Nigerian Police Force have received 44 Springbuck APCs to date and these are deployed throughout the 34 States of Nigeria. Andrew Mears, DCD Protected Mobility General Manager, told defenceWeb that five more have just arrived in Nigeria and will be commissioned in the next two weeks. Another three will be shipped towards the end of next month, according to Mears.
Nigerian defence and security firm Mekahog is interested in setting up a factory to manufacture Springbuck and other armoured vehicles in Nigeria. In June 2012 Franklyn Ohakim, Group Executive Director of Mekahog, told defenceWeb that his company would be the first in West Africa to have the ability to fabricate and maintain armoured vehicles.
Mears told defenceWeb that the Springbuck facility is going ahead but is volume dependent. Work will first begin with a workshop to repair and support vehicles and then progress to some form of assembly and later manufacturing.
The Springbuck vehicle is roughly based on the dimensions of the original South African Mamba. It is 5.8 metres long and 2.3 metres wide. Carrying capacity is ten troops, plus a driver. Ballistic protection is able to stop bullets up to 7.62 mm calibre while a V-shaped hull provides protection against a single TM57 mine under the vehicle while the Springbuck has sufficient armour to defeat a double TM57 mine under any wheel. The vehicle has a top speed of 115 km/h and is powered by a MWM 6 litre engine. Range is approximately 600 km.
Weighing in at 6 800 kg with a ground clearance of 357 mm (under axle), the six-cylinder three-door Springbuck Mk VI has a top speed of 115 km/hour and a turning circle of 14.7 metres. With the same dimensions and turning circle as the Mk VI, but weighing 7 400 kg, the Springbuck Mk IV is a one-door four-cylinder APC with a ground clearance of 343 mm and top speed of 110 km/hour.