BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa launches new armoured vehicle

BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (LSSA) has launched the latest addition to its RG series of mine protected vehicles, the RG21. The new RG21 combines the battle proven protection of the RG series — in service in many theatres around the world — with the maturity of a commercially available host vehicle driveline, running gear, and electronics.

Starting from a commercial vehicle, the host vehicle has been evaluated and customised with the support and experience of Iveco Defence Vehicles, resulting in a cost-effective vehicle with enhanced maintainability and reliability.

“It’s about affordability, supportability and protection,” explained LSSA business development and communications director Natasha Pheiffer. “We saw a gap in the market. MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected) vehicles are often big and heavy. This is lighter (it weighs 14 tons) with a less aggressive look, useful in peacekeeping. Unlike our other vehicles, it does not have a monocoque hull. It is based on a full Iveco truck chassis.”


BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (LSSA) has launched the latest addition to its RG series of mine protected vehicles, the RG21

The RG21 will cost less than half the price of a standard 4 x 4 MRAP. The use of the Iveco chassis will mean that there will be no need for specialised support for the vehicle. The global Iveco network can be used instead.

“Iveco is widely represented in Africa, South America and other regions that we are interested in,” said Pheiffer.

The company undertook a lot of market intelligence studies before launching the project. Concept studies were launched some 18 months ago and the computer-aided design process commenced at the start of this year. The first prototype was on display at AAD 2014 where it was launched to the media. The vehicle has been tested at South Africa’s Gerotek vehicle test complex and has passed all its safety tests.

“Protecting soldiers is the top priority for any force and doing so cost effectively provides a great benefit to our customers. The design concept used means this new vehicle can be manufactured and supported by local partners in any country,” said Johan Steyn, managing director of LSSA.

The RG21 provides users with a wide range of configuration options including availability in left or right hand variants. The vehicle provides users with a modular interior layout due to the interchangeable mounting rail system. The wide range of mission interfaces available in the vehicle allows end users the opportunity to reconfigure the base vehicle for different roles with kits. The RG21 also features superior protection levels of 21kg under any wheel and 14kg under the hull.


Inside the vehicle

Designed for cost, manufacturability, and supportability, the RG21 will provide the optimum level of off-the-shelf capabilities of proven mine protected vehicles. The vehicle incorporates a high level of design maturity due to the large amount of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items used in the driveline and powertrain. The COTS equipment in the RG21 also allows for the use of a wide range of commercial service centres around the globe.

The RG21 will come in armoured personnel carrier (APC), ambulance and command versions. The first prototype is an APC, but it will be converted into an ambulance. The second prototype will be a command vehicle, which requires greater electrical power and will have a different seating layout.

“We’re not aiming at Stanag (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation standards) certification, because that will drive up costs. But if a client wants it, we can do it,” said Pheiffer.

Currently, the RG21 can be fitted with remote weapons stations carrying machine guns of up to and including 12.7 mm calibre. The recoil forces from larger calibres have not been tested yet.

“I do really believe that this could go global, but certainly our markets would include Africa and South America,” said Pheiffer.

For further details contact Natasha Pheiffer, BAE Systems on TEL: 011 747 3381.