Denel Vehicle Systems has shown for the first time its ‘Africa Truck’, which is regarded as a technology demonstrator. It was unveiled by General Solly Shoke, Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The Military Command Council requested Armscor, Denel Vehicle Systems and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to investigate a project to restore the SANDF logistic support capability.
According to Zwelakhe Ntshepe, acting group chief executive officer of the Denel Group, Africa Truck is based on Denel Vehicle Systems’ proven mine protection technology.
This was designed and built in just 10 weeks by using elements that were already available.
Following AAD 2016 it will go to the Gerotek Proving Ground for trials and feedback from the user, which will be fed into the next phase.
The Africa Truck being shown at AAD is in the 6x6 configuration carrying a standard 20 x 8 x 8ft ISO container.
It is envisioned that there would also be 4x4 and 8x8 versions, which would share common components to reduce through-life costs.
A mechanical handling system would be fitted to the rear to enable the vehicle to be rapidly re-roled to meet different mission requirements.This could include a command post, medical facility, or water or fuel bowser.
The two-person, fully ballistic-and- mine-protected cab is the same as that used in the Denel Vehicle Systems RG31 Mk 6 protected vehicle, which has been built in large numbers for the export market.
The vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 28 tonnes, of which the payload is 12 tonnes. It is powered by a 269kW diesel engine coupled to an Allison automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case.
Following the acquisition of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa, Denel Vehicle Systems is now the largest manufacturer of wheeled armoured fighting vehicles and support vehicles in South Africa.
The SANDF has a requirement for a new family of 4x4 and 6x6 logistic and transport vehicles – which has been delayed many times – to replace its currently deployed SAMIL (South African Military) trucks fielded more than 30 years ago.