The SA Army will ultimately have a fleet of 242 Badger infantry combat vehicles in nine variants as opposed to the original five combat variants according to the 2014/15 Armscor annual report.
The slight increase in the number of vehicles is “a quid pro quo for increasing the advance payment made to industry on the production contract”.
Earlier this year the National Conventional Arms Control committee (NCACC) reported the import of a single armoured personnel carrier (APC) from Finland as part of the Denel Land Systems/Patria Land and Armament partnership to produce the new generation of combat vehicles for the landward arm of the SA National Defence Force. Two APC hulls were also imported.
According to the Armscor public document 21 vehicle platforms will be sourced from the Finnish company with the remaining 221 to be “completely manufactured in South Africa”.
The report continues: “Significant progress was made during the past year with the final phases of the vehicle development programme and a number of major technical challenges were successfully mitigated. It is expected that development will be completed by the end of the 2016/17 financial year and that industrialisation and production can commence without significant delay.”
The 2014/15 financial year saw completion of most of the design, test and evaluation trials of the Badger with the preliminary operational test and evaluation completed in February.
“The locally developed 30mm Camgun performed well during trials and all performance life goals were achieved.
“Development of the mortar and missile variants of the vehicle are planned to lag behind the section variant, and design and test and evaluation trials for these variants are planned to be completed during the 2015/16 financial year. Development of both these variants will be completed by the end of 2016. The concept designs of the signal and ambulance variants were completed in March 2015, while that of the artillery variant will be completed during the 2015/16 financial year,” according to the report.
The year under review also saw three vehicle platform pre-production models manufactured by Patria in Finland with two delivered to South Africa.
Denel Land systems will deliver the new infantry combat vehicles to the SA Army over a 10 year period from the signing of the production contract in November 2013 with final delivery expected at the end of 2022.