BAE Systems has been awarded product support services worth R350 877 related to the South African Army’s aging fleet of Mamba mine protected armoured personnel carrier (MP APC). The contract, awarded last week takes workshare awarded the company for keeping the vehicle in service to R32.6 million (R32 635 264.40).
The type came into service around 1993. About 220 of the vehicles were upgraded under Project Jury in 2006. The Mamba is based on the Unimog 416 chassis that was also the basis of the Buffel, an acutely uncomfortable first-generation MP APC used by the SA Army from the late 1970s, and the Bosvark, the latter the standard truck fitted with a shallow v-shaped rear-body to provide troops carried there a modicum of protection from mines. Bosvark offered no sanctuary from small-arms fire and no protection whatsoever to the driver.
The Buffel improved on the Bosvark by providing the driver a cramped but protected module and the passengers an armoured but open-topped bucket. Designed by the Defence Research Unit (DRU) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Buffel was manufactured by several companies, with mass production starting in 1978. Some 1400 were built, many remanufactured from Bosvark and Army Unimog utility transports.
Writing in the Engineering News in October 2008, Keith Campbell noted that the Buffel “was effective, but it was subject to excessive roll when moving across rough terrain”. The open top also left the troops vulnerable to shrapnel. Campbell adds that the Buffel also proved unsuitable for urban operations. “So, at the end of the 1980s, it was succeeded by the Mamba, designed for internal security tasks – lower than a Buffel, more stable, less military in appearance, and enclosed.”
Campbell notes that the Mamba was first built (or remanufactured from surplus Buffel vehicles) in 4×2 format at TFM and later at OMC. 4×4 soon became standard. More than 500 were eventually produced.
The SA Army is seeking to replace the Mamba under a programme known as Project Sapula. The Army plans a “family of vehicles” that use the same drive train and chassis as selected for the future tactical truck programme, Project Vistula.
Product support services – mamba vehicles
EIVS/2009/582 27 Oct 2010 R350 877,00
Maintenance and repair of Mamba vehicles – second line enhancement
EIVS/2009/344 10 Dec 2009 R4 824 561,00
Repair of Mamba components – extension of ESPV/2007/68
IVS/S2009/1001 3 Dec 2009 R2 613 578,00
Maintenance and repair of mamba vehicles – extension of EIVS/2007/204
IVS/S2008/0822 6 Mar 2009 R877 193,00
Maintenance and repair of mamba vehicles – extension of ESPV/2006/578
SPV/S2008/0821 6 Mar 2009 R394 735,00
Baseline update of mamba Mk3 logistic support documentation from baseline 0402 to baseline 0560
EIVS/2007/291 20 Nov 2008 R1 155 708,00
Mamba spares and components
EIVS/2007/290 14 Feb 2008 R18 987 333,00
Supply and delivery of mamba MK2 equipment table schedule 1527
EIVS/2007/125 30 Aug 2007 R782 160,40
Mamba main contractor tasks
EIVS/2007/69 8 Aug 2007 R789 471,00
Mamba Mk3 depot repair – extension of EJBR/2003/673
IVS/S2006/0420 27 Mar 2007 R1 754 385,00
Repair/maintenance of mamba 4×4 mine protected vehicles – extension of EJBR/2003/673
IVS/S2006/0411 1 Feb 2007 R105 263,00