The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued an international request for proposals (RfP) for up to 600 8×8 wheeled combat vehicles, with responses due next month.
Janes Defence Weekly reports candidate vehicles may include BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa’s RG41, the ARTEC Boxer (Germany), the FNSS Savunma Sistemleri Pars (Turkey), the General Dynamics European Land Systems Piranha 5 (Switzerland), the Iveco Defence Systems Freccia (Italy), the Nexter Systems VBCI (France), the Otokar Arma (Turkey), the Patria AMV (Finland), a BTR design from Russia and the BTR-4 from the Ukraine. BAE Systems confired its involvement in the RfP.
BAE Systems unveiled the RG41 at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris in June 2010. It boasts what the Benoni-based business says is a unique modular mine protected design that allows field repair to the hull – not just to the suspension and driveline. The company says the lower hull structure of the RG41 consists of five modular units joined together and bolted under the top structure of the vehicle. Any damaged modules can be removed and replaced individually with prefabricated replacement sections. This task can be completed by second line maintenance in an operational theatre, saving time and money, said Dennis Morris, President of Global Tactical Systems, the BAE Systems business unit Land Sytems South Africa and OMC answers to.
“The RG41 offers exceptional protection, capability and flexibility,” Morris added at the launch. “Current conflicts require maintenance and repairs be done in the field and the RG41’s unique design allows operators to achieve their missions while maximising vehicle operational readiness. RG41 represents the ultimate synthesis of combat power and affordability, ideal for conventional and unconventional units,” he adds.
The new 8×8 can carry a range of light and medium turrets as well as direct and indirect-fire weapons. Its design enables easy development for different variants. It can be configured as a command vehicle, section combat vehicle, ambulance, engineering vehicle or customised for various other customer missions, the company adds.
In March last year, BAE Systems said the government should reconsider its options for Project Hoefyster, the South African Army’s quest for a new-generation infantry fighting vehicle. The company said the RG41 was more modern and cheaper than the locally-customised version of the Patria AMV currently slated for production as the “Badger”. “Technology has evolved significantly in the years since Project Hoefyster was first launched,” Land Systems SA managing director Johan Steyn said. “It makes sense then to look at newer solutions such as [the] RG41 now available, which largely meet the technical requirements and could provide cost savings and broader economic benefits for the country.”
BAE Systems in September said the RG41 “recently” successfully completed a hot weather desert trial. The vehicle completed the trial on its first attempt with no failures, which verified the vehicles mobility, power, cooling system, internal space, fuel efficiency, air conditioning, and robust design in both sand and rocky conditions. “Success in these tough conditions is a testament to the quality of our products,” said Steyn in a press release that did not say whn or where he test took place. “We are extremely proud of this achievement, and with many of our RG series vehicles already battle proven, the RG41 is another example of BAE Systems enhancing customer safety while helping them complete their missions.”
The RG41 is 7.78m long, 2.28m wide and 2.3m high with 14.9 cubic metres of usable cabin space. Its mass is 19 000kg and the payload 11 000kg.