Denel Land Systems is in negotiations with an Asian country to purchase the company's latest T5-52 wheeled self-propelled artillery system, a company source told Jane's .
The source said negotiations with the undisclosed country were ongoing and that other countries had also shown interest. Exact quantities or a potential contract value were not disclosed. The source also noted that trials had recently taken place in Pakistan.
The 155 mm/52 calibre howitzer was demonstrated to international delegates, including Jane's , at Denel's Overberg Test Range on 19-20 March.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is still undecided whether it will order a substantial number of T5-52s or upgrade its legacy G6 self-propelled howitzers.
Colonel Andre De Jager, chief of staff of the South African Army Artillery Formation, told Jane's that only six T5-52s were currently planned - enough to equip a battery - with deliveries expected either in late 2020 or early 2021. It is understood that the incoming T5-52s effectively replace six G5 towed howitzers that were upgraded and sold to the United Arab Emirates several years ago.
"We are at a point, in the next 10 years, where we need to make a strategic decision: whether we are going to upgrade the G6s that we have, or replace them with newer technologies," said Col De Jager said. "We are going to use the six in order to establish for ourselves whether doctrinally that is the way ahead."
Based a Tatra T815 8×8 truck, the T5-52 is a more mobility and cheaper platform than the well-armoured G6, with Denel officials saying the system is now comparable in price to a towed artillery piece.
The system is operated by a crew of four and can be brought in and out of action in 60 seconds.
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