IAI to supply Ram vehicles to two African militaries

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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced orders from two military customers in Africa to supply nearly 100 additional RAM Mk 3 Light Armoured Vehicles.

The company recently said the vehicles would be produced at IAI-Ramta’s Division facilities in Israel. Deliveries are taking place and will continue throughout 2015, with the new RAM Mk 3 slated to join previously supplied RAMs for deployment in military and peace-keeping missions.
“These additional contracts validate the continued confidence that our African customers have in the RAM vehicles and underscores the extent to which the RAM design is superbly suited for service throughout this continent’s extremes of climate and terrain,” IAI said.

In February it emerged that Senegal is operating the RAM Mk 3, on behalf of the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI). It is not clear how many Rams have been acquired but it seems they were purchased sometime last year. However, Israel’s Globes Online reports that Senegal initially ordered 50 RAMs followed by another order for 50.
“The manufacture of a RAM vehicle takes between 3 to 6 months. We can manufacture 10 to 20 vehicles per month,” Hagai Shmuel, marketing manager of IAI’s Ramta Division told Israel Defence.

The RAM Mk 3 is a high-performance, lightweight armoured vehicle that weights 5.3 tons empty and can carry a payload of 1.2 tons. Top speed is 96 km/h thanks to an air cooled 6 litre, 6 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine developing 185 hp. The 160 litre fuel tanks gives a range of around 800 km.

Oversized 12.5 x 20 inches tires on run-flat wheels give the ability to travel over long distances at normal speeds, even with punctured tires.

The RAM features a blast-protected belly design and all-round ballistic protection, able to withstand 7.62 mm armour piercing and 12.7 mm ball rounds.

The vehicle is offered in open or closed cabin versions, as an armoured personnel carrier, command vehicle, scout vehicle, weapon and missile carrier, air defence vehicle, mortar carrier, and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) vehicle.

To date, IAI has supplied more than 450 RAM vehicles in various configurations to more than a dozen military, paramilitary and police forces in Asia, Latin America and Africa.