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Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Teeth for the South African Mechanised Infantry

South Africa has been relying on the very reliable Ratel ICV (Infantry Combat Vehicle) for more than 25 years now, but it is an old system with little chance on the modern battlefield. The Hoefyster (Afrikaans for Horse Shoe) is the vehicle to oust the Ratel ICV.

The Hoefyster ICV is a 25-tonne class ICV built on the 8x8 Patria (Finnish) suspension, but with a locally developed and built turret system. The turrets include a 30mm automatic cannon for the section- and fire support vehicles (pictured above), a 12,7mm gun for the command vehicle, a 60mm long range back loading mortar version and the guided anti-tank missile vehicle with two Ingwe 5000m range missiles in the ready position. The new vehicle has the latest technology incorporated into its systems including a stabilised turret. It carries eight mechanised soldiers in the section vehicle.

Unfortunately I will not be doing this course on the Hoefyster, but still on the Ratel.