Another consignment of 21 Casspir mine-protected vehicles is ready for handover and shipment to an African client as part of a total order of 45 vehicles with 24 already delivered by Denel late last year, the company has announced.
The total fleet is based on the Denel New Generation Casspir NG2000 Series, derived from the battle-proven Casspir mine-protected vehicle (MPV) of which more than 3 000 units have been manufactured.
The vehicles will equip a newly established peace support contingent for participation in mainly African Union (AU) peace support missions, Peter Faro, General Manager of Mechem, said.
The Casspirs are almost certainly for Angola, which ordered 45 Casspir NG 2000B vehicles in 2013, comprising 30 armoured personnel carriers, four fire support vehicles (able to carry two 23 mm cannons or a recoilless rifle), two command vehicles, two recovery vehicles, two ambulances, three logistics vehicles, a water tanker and a diesel tanker.
Mechem is an acknowledged global leader in the detection and destruction of landmines. The Lyttelton, Centurion-headquartered company also designs and manufactures mine-protected vehicles such as the Casspir range of personnel carriers in use worldwide.
Denel said the new generation Casspir has improved features but is still affordable, simple to maintain and cost effective to operate. The drivetrain and most components are inter-changeable on all 15 variants of the Casspir base model. The family of vehicles offers a spectrum of solutions in a ‘one force concept’ and is seen as a real force multiplier for any user in an operational theatre, Faro said.
The order placed by the client is for the supply of eight of the 15 variants available. It includes troop carriers, ambulances, command and control, cargo, recovery, fire support, as well as water and fuel tanker variants.
“To strengthen Denel’s commitment we have two in-country technical representatives who aid and assist the client on all technical matters and facilitate fleet management and support training,” Faro said. This is welcomed by the client given that, in the past, products were procured and delivered with limited to zero support.
Added to this vehicle order, Denel is providing training services for drivers and technicians, as well as spares to facilitate repairs from Level 1 to Level 3.
The good relationship between the client and Denel has created an opportunity for future supply of a large quantity of Casspir vehicles based on all variants, as well as mine-protected logistic trucks with a common drivetrain and armoured hull. This concept is welcomed by the user because its cuts down on maintenance and repair costs as well as simplifying fleet management, Denel said.
Faro said the new generation Casspir is doing well in African markets and demand is high. Since the Casspir production line was started in 2010 more than 200 vehicles of various variants were sold to clients in Africa and the United Nations. Denel currently is filling an order to supply Casspirs to a South African client.
This is most likely the eThekwini Municipality, which recently ordered four Casspirs from Denel Mechem for crowd control in Durban and surrounding areas. The contract is worth R19.9 million.
Over the last 15 years Casspir customers have included India, the African Union, Benin, Burundi, Djibouti, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United Nations, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfers database.