US buys 27 more RG-31 MRAP


The US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) has awarded General Dynamics (GD) Land Systems-Canada a further US$33.2 million delivery order to produce 27 BAE Systems RG-31 vehicles for its Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle programme. Vehicle production will occur at BAE Systems Land Systems OMC at Benoni in South Africa.

GD in a statement says the 21 BAE Systems RG-31 Mk5EM and six RG-31 Mk5E will be delivered by April next year. The order takes the number of RG-31s delivered by GD to the US military to 1679.

BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa MD Johan Steyn earlier this year said the follow-on orders testify “both to the reliability of the RG31 design and its build quality, but more importantly, the capability this battle proven vehicle with its superior protection levels gives to the men and women in uniform. It proves once again the integrity of BAE Systems’ engineering and manufacturing excellence.”

The 4×4 RG31, with its a V-shaped hull, was introduced in the mid-1990s and is superficially similar to the SA Army’s Mamba MRAP. It is certified to protect its crew from rifle and light machine gun fire, anti-tank land-mine detonations and improvised explosive devices. In its standard troop carrying configuration the Mk 5E variant can carry up to ten troops (a driver plus nine others), although it can be configured for many other roles.

According to the wikipedia, the vehicle, in various marks, has been used by the Canadian Forces; Colombia; France, the Netherlands; Rwanda; Spain; United Arab Emirates; and the US: Special Operations Command, US Army and the USMC. In addition the United Nations operates 30. The Engineering News noted in a report dated February 2009 that since receiving a Canadian armed forces order for RG31 Mk3 vehicles in 2003, the South African RG-series of products have boosted the country’s exports by more than $430-million.