South African-based Integrated Convoy Protection (ICP) has unveiled its new low cost Internal Security Vehicle (ISV) which is designed to protect employees or security personnel.
Spokesman Dirk Prins said the company has built ten of the new REVA (Reliable, Effective, Versatile, Affordable) Protection vehicles. He said some were used at Marikana and similar violent demonstrations, either getting miners who had chosen to work there safely, or as a cash-in-transit vehicle.
The REVA Protection can carry a driver, a commander and six people with their equipment. It uses a TATA chassis developed by ICP and an all-welded steel body. The body and 40 mm armoured windows can protect against gunfire (as well as rocks and other projectiles) and even a thrown hand grenade. The vehicle has a gross weight of around 6 tonnes.
Prins explained to defenceWeb that REVA was more used to building full-on combat protection vehicles.
The company was founded by Flip Marx, a former Special Forces Colonel and other special forces members who used their knowledge of armoured combat vehicles and ballistics.
The company’s stand at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition last week showcased a REVA III and a REVA V vehicle. These are mine resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles which, according to Prins, have provided excellent service to clients around the world. He said there are some 850 South African-designed and built REVAs serving in places as diverse as Thailand (200), South Sudan (50) Nigeria (40) Yemen (172) and various other war zones in the Middle East.
The company offers repair services on site as well as technical training to users and where necessary, military-tactical training as well.
Prins expressed great pride that only one vehicle of the 850 built had in fact been destroyed (by a 155 mm Improvised Explosive Device – IED) but many had, while suffering severe damage, saved the lives of the occupants and later been repaired.
He pointed to southern Thailand, where a low-level separatist insurgency, with Islamist leanings, has been ongoing since 1960, intensifying after 9/11. He said a REVA III vehicle carrying 10 soldiers “and one prostitute” drove over a 20 kilogramme mine detonated by a cell phone. The vehicle was very badly damaged but everyone survived.
In another incident, 80 kg of explosives were detonated from a nearby phone booth, killing two soldiers who had left the vehicle to unload supplies, but saving the lives of the other occupants.