The first batch of RG31 mine-resistant vehicles manufactured by Denel Vehicle Systems for the UAE Armed Forces has been shipped.
The RG31 is a Mobile Mortar Platform (MMP), which is highly regarded for its 4×4 capabilities, mobility and the protection it offers against anti-tank mines and explosive devices.
Johan Steyn, CEO of Denel Vehicle Systems, says an order for 24 RG31 MMP vehicles was placed by its client in the United Arab Emirates, the International Golden Group (IGG) in June 2015. This follows on the successful delivery of 73 vehicles that are already in service with the UAE Armed Forces.
In terms of the follow-on contract, Denel Vehicle Systems was required to make 30 improvements to the performance and reliability aspects of the vehicle based on assessments in the operational environment.
The client recently visited Denel for static acceptance of the vehicles, as well as dynamic testing conducted at Armscor’s Gerotek test facilities in Pretoria West. “The vehicle was put through rigorous testing and met all the expectations and requirements of the client,” says Steyn.
The first batch of eight vehicles was shipped off to Abu Dhabi, where IGG would fit further customised equipment required by the client. Denel Vehicle Systems is currently producing the second batch that will undergo further testing by the clients within the next two months.
Denel Vehicle Systems – formerly known as BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa – produces a number of armoured protected vehicles, including the RG12 and the RG21. Variants of the RG31, now acquired by the UAE, are widely used by the United Nations and peacekeeping forces from countries such as Canada, Spain and the United States of America.
The RG31 MMP has a range of 800km at a speed of 80m/h and carries a crew of four people, including the driver.