South Africa’s newest armoured personnel carrier, the Milkor 4×4, is ready for production after a rapid two-year development process.
The vehicle, which will be on display at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition this week, recently underwent testing at the Gerotek facility outside Pretoria, and fired its 12.7 mm remotely controlled machinegun turret, supplied by Reutech.
The Milkor 4×4 is based on a commercial driveline, making maintenance simpler, and is somewhat unusual in that it lacks side doors, as entry and exit is through a rear ramp. A V-shaped hull provides mine protection and the Milkor 4×4 has a B7 level of ballistic protection. This level allows it to protect the crew against armour piercing rifle rounds. There are stowage bins on either side of the hull that act as blast panels that deflect the shockwave from an explosion. Milkor is looking into extra safety feature such as a fire suppression system, and a central tyre inflation system.
The vehicle can take eight passengers and two people up front. Various weapons systems will be offered for the vehicle, including a remote controlled weapon station with automatic grenade launcher, or manned turrets, being completely customer dependent. There are no firing ports, but soldiers inside the vehicle can make use of four hydraulic hatches above their seats to fire their weapons. Firing points are optionally offered to clients.
Nelis Strydom, Head of Business Development: Africa at Milkor, told defenceWeb that what distinguishes the Milkor 4×4 from other vehicles in a highly competitive market is that it is slightly wider than most competitors, which makes it roomier and more comfortable inside. It can be fitted with multiple weapon turrets, and is highly customisable – it can be built in command, ambulance, police and riot versions.
Strydom points out the vehicle is relatively light, which makes it much easier to operate in difficult terrain, and is particularly useful in places like Africa. Its Tare mass is 9 500 kg and gross vehicle mass 15 000 kg. The vehicle is powered by a 176 kW diesel engine giving a top speed of 110 km/h and a range of 1 000 km, but other options are available depending on customer requirements.
At the moment, Milkor is offering the vehicle as a 4×4, and working on two new designs, a 6×6 and an 8×8 combat vehicle. This first vehicle is already sold to a local client, which will be deployed at AAD.
The Milkor 4×4 will be on static display at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition from 19-23 September at Air Force Base Waterkloof, along with Milkor’s grenade launchers, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and high-speed interception boat.