South African defence equipment and logistics company Twiga is supplying its Mamba-class armoured personnel carrier to a customer in East Africa, the company has revealed, with the vehicles due to be completed by the end of next year.
Damien De Lange, CEO of Twiga, told defenceWeb that the contract was signed this year and involves a small number of Nyoka armoured personnel carriers which will be built in the client country under a technology transfer and joint venture arrangement.
Twiga originally developed the Nyoka after receiving a requirement from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), which wanted a new Mamba class vehicle that incorporated their upgrades to meet operational requirements. In August 2014 the UPDF commissioned the first five of 12 Nyokas after they had been manufactured in a joint venture between the Ugandan Ministry of Defence and Twiga’s Ugandan sister company Impala Services and Logistics.
de Lange said that the Nyoka upgrades include ballistic protection equal to NATO STANAG Level 1, shooting ports, a ballistically protected grill, air conditioning, three weapon positions on the roof, pneumatically operated rear doors, an anti-roll bar, improved braking system, infrared illuminator, improved lights and other mechanical improvements.
Armour plate is cut in South Africa and shipped out to the client country for manufacture and assembly. The old Mamba driveline (engine, gearbox, axles) is remanufactured while the rest of the vehicle is 100% new. The engines are remanufactured and certified in South Africa.
Part of the Nyoka programme involves the training of personnel in specialised and armoured welding, mechanical and auto-electrical repair, pneumatics and store management.
Twiga and Impala have been in business since early 2011 and supply military and security forces with armoured vehicles, night vision equipment, rugged boat systems, thermal imaging devices and a wide range of training and support programmes. Around 90% of Twiga’s business is joint venture manufacturing of armoured personnel carriers, the supply of spares, weapons mounts, night vision systems and ex-South African vehicles and equipment.