Denel PMP ready to produce 30 x 173 mm ammunition for Badger ICV, export


Denel PMP is ready to begin producing its newly developed 30 x 173 mm cannon round, and is working hard to secure orders. Already, 11 000 rounds have been manufactured, tested, accepted and delivered to Denel Land Systems for qualification tests.

The 30 x 173 mm ammunition is to be used on the Section Variant (SV) and Fire Support Variant (FSV) of the South African National Defence Force’s new 8 x 8 Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV), the Badger, which will replace the Ratel.

The development of the ammunition took place in tandem with the development of the 30 mm CamGun for the Badger, done by Denel Land Systems. The CEO of Denel PMP, Carel Wolhuter, said that his company received an order for the development of three 30 x 173 mm rounds in February 2007 – namely Practice – Tracer (PRAC-T), Armour Piercing Capped Incendiary with Tracer (APCI-T) and Semi-Armour Piercing High Explosive Incendiary – Tracer (SAPHEI-T).

PMP is also developing a HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary – Tracer) round to compliment the SAPHEI-T in combat. The HEI-T is more effective against thin skin vehicles and light targets whereas the SAPHEI-T is more effective against light armoured vehicles and targets when deeper penetration is required.

To further extend the war capability of the range of ammunition, PMP is also considering producing an Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot – Tracer (APFSDS-T) round in co-operation with another international manufacturer.
“The quality of this new product is among the best in the world – and comparable with any other international producer of 30 x 173 mm calibre rounds,” said Wolhuter. “This strengthens the wide range of quality small- and medium calibre ammunition that PMP has been producing for more than 70 years.”
“PMP complies with very strict specifications and tolerances and we are proud to report that all the development challenges were overcome and that the product is now ready to go into full production,” said Wolhuter.

The ammunition is interchangeable with the Mk 44 Bushmaster II Weapon and linked ammunition has already been fired successfully on this weapon.

The Badger’s GI-30 CamGun is a unique externally driven electro-mechanical cannon, utilising a drum-cam to cycle the breech to chamber rounds and extract spent cartridges. This results in minimising gasses in the confines of a turret and facilitates a controlled firing rate. Denel Land Systems designed the GI-30 to fire link-less 30 mm x 173 ammunition through a dual feeder – a world-first for this kind of weapon. Another unique feature is that of “next round selection”. Having two feeders allows the operator to select a specific round, without first firing off or ejecting an unwanted round.

The Badger is a South African variant of the Finnish Patria vehicle equipped with an underfloor armour package from Land Mobility Technologies (LMT) and Denel Land Systems’s Modular Combat Turret (MCT). It is offered in Section, Fire Support, Mortar, Command and Missile sub-variants. In May 2007 it was announced that the South African Army had awarded Denel Land Systems an R8.4 billion contract to acquire 264 Badgers. A R1.048 billion order to develop a prototype of each was awarded later that same month.

Apart form the Badger vehicle, the GI-30 cannon will also be fitted to Malaysian 8 x 8 infantry fighting vehicles. This month Denel signed a 340 million euro (R3.5 billion) contract with Malaysia to supply a range of turret and integrated weapon systems.

Denel Land Systems will be responsible for:
· 69 x two man turrets fitted with the GI-30 30 mm main gun.
· 54 x missile turrets equipped with the GI-30 30mm gun and Denel Dynamics Ingwe anti-tank missile system. The order also includes the supply of 216 laser-guided Ingwe missiles.
· 54 x remote control weapons systems.

The turrets will be exported to Malaysia over a seven year period – with the first consignment ready for delivery this coming January. The turrets and weapon systems will be integrated on the Malaysian Army’s new 8 X 8 vehicles which are based on the Pars armoured vehicle platforms from the Turkish company, FNSS.