The replacement for the SA Army’s Ratel infantry combat vehicle – the Badger – “has already been delayed by at least 32 months” according to the latest Armscor annual report.
Under the sub-heading “New generation infantry combat vehicle” the report has it that Project Hoefyster provides for a complete new generation infantry combat vehicle. The project originally comprised five combat variants, but four new variants were added with the approval of the Acquisition Plan by the Armaments Acquisition Council in February 2013″.
“The quantity of 238 combat vehicles was increased to 244 vehicles as a quid pro quo for an increase in advance payments to the contractor. Contractually, 21 vehicle platforms are to be delivered by Patria from Finland, while the remaining vehicle platforms are to be produced locally by Denel Land Systems (DLS) and its subcontractors. The turrets and weapon systems are locally developed and manufactured by DLS as the prime contractor.
“DLS slipped on completion of the development phase. The main contributors were completion of the software development, delays in manufacture of the fire support, missile and mortar variant engineering development models, the final models in the development phase. These delays resulted in further delays in the Industrialisation phase and at the end of the reporting period the entire programme had already been delayed by at least 32 months.
“Together with a number of technical challenges, the dire financial situation of Denel contributed significantly to delays experienced in the programme,” according to the report.
In August, SA National Defence Force Chief, General Solly Shoke told defenceWeb he was “deeply concerned” about the financial situation at Denel as this impacted negatively on delivery of equipment needed by the South African military, including the Badger infantry combat vehicle.
He indicated there was a delay of 18 month in the Badger programme and DLS said there was a delay but did not specify any timeframe saying only it was due to Denel’s liquidity crisis.