Denel Vehicle Systems (DVS) is developing new turrets, with the Mechatronics division working on new 20 and 30 mm systems.
Rudolph van Vuuren, systems engineer at DVS, told DefenceWeb that the turret portfolio includes the SDROW (Self Defence Remotely Operated Weapon) range that can take Russian and Western 5.56 and 7.62 mm machine guns; the TRT (Tactical Remote Turret) 25 mm with a Bushmaster cannon; TRT 30 mm with a Russian 2A42 cannon and the Overhead Manned Turret (OMT) that can take 7.62 or 12.7 mm machineguns or a 40 mm grenade launcher. Mechatronics also has a missile turret; the MST (Missile Stabilised Turret) equipped with four Ingwe anti-tank missiles. The TRT series has been demonstrated to several countries around the world but does not yet have a production order.
Mechatronics is busy developing the SDROW Strike turret with the 20×42 mm Inkunzi Strike weapon from sister company Denel PMP. Several firing trials have been carried out, with the turret in the final stages of prototyping. PMP has reported strong interest in the Inkunzi Strike, as it offers large firepower in a compact and lightweight package.
Van Vuuren said the new kid on the block and which Mechatronics sees a big future in is the RCG30 turret, which uses the 30 mm CamGun developed by Denel Land Systems. This turret is based on a structure similar to the Badger infantry combat turret but with a Mechatronics fire control system. The turret is an overhead weapon system (remote turret) with the operator controlling the turret from inside the vehicle. Denel is speaking to a potential customer on this turret – van Vuuren said the market wants such a turret, especially as it is ITAR-free. The RCG30 turret has undergone testing and is production-ready.
Mechatronics has expertise in turrets for attack helicopters, having developed the turrets for the Rooivalk and Super Hind with either GIAT F2 or GI2 20×139 mm cannons. The company carries out refurbishment work on these.
Although turrets are the core business of Mechatronics, it also manufactures the LOCATS target drone, which is regularly used by the South African National Defence Force. Sighting systems are another big part of the business, with commander and gunner sights being manufactured for the Badger. In conjunction with Thales, DVS developed the Above Armour Panoramic Gunnery Sight (AAGPS) for use on armoured vehicles. This has been demonstrated to a number of potential clients.
Another successful product is the Control and Display Unit (CDU), which is in production for a customer in Europe.