Denel Land Systems (DLS) is readying the Badger infantry combat vehicle for trials with several currently under construction for SA Army and Armscor evaluation by the middle of next year.
A DLS official says emphasis is on the “section vehicle” that will be armed with a manned, turret-mounted 30mm cannon. Reports indicate that 130 of this variant will be built.
The Army ordered 264 Badgers under a R8.4 billion contract in May last year. Five variants are on order as part of Project Hoefyster:
- infantry section carrier (ISC),
- missile and
- fire support.
Denel spokesman Sam Basch says the development of the GI-30 30mm CamGun for the ISC is nearing completion.
“The unique GI-30 is an externally driven electro-mechanical cannon, utilising a drum-cam to cycle the breech to chamber rounds and extract spent cartridges,” he says.
“This results in minimising gasses in the confines of a turret and facilitate controlled firing rate. DLS designed the GI-30 to fire link-less 30mm x 173 ammunition through a dual feeder – a world-first for this kind of weapon.”
Basch says another unique feature is that of “next round selection”.
“Having two feeders, for general ammunition and specialist types, the weapon allows the operator to select a specific round, without first firing off or ejecting an unwanted round.”
The gun made its debut at the Africa Aerospace & Defence show in Cape Town last month. Sharing the spotlight was the M10 60mm breech loading long-range mortar (BLLRM) that will be carried by mortar-variant Badgers.
The new M10 BLLRM utilises the ballistic system of the proven DLS M6 long-range mortar of which 102 are currently being manufactured for the SA Army as part of Project Acrobat.
The M10 has a range of 6000m at sea level, “a world-first for this kind of weapon,” Basch says.
“It is also unique in respect of elevation: from -5º to +70º, which allows it to be employed in a direct fire application.”
An important advantage is that it can launch most types of standard 60mm mortar bombs, Basch adds, although it was designed for Denel`s own long-range mortar bombs. It also features a load-assist mechanism.
Former Denel CEO Shaun Liebenberg last year said the missile variant will carry the 5000m-range ZT3 Ingwe (leopard) antitank guided missile.
[Picture note: The vehicle shown above is a Patria AMV demonstration model with propellers at the rear for amphibious operations. The Badger has these deleted.]