Billions for Benoni bomb bakkie

2012-01-14 00:00

BENONI — BAE Systems Land ­Systems South Africa has received another hefty contract to build and export its RG31 and RG32M ­panzercars to the United Arab Emirates and Sweden.

These “Benoni bomb bakkies” are SA’s most lucrative vehicle export units, with each panzercar costing well over a million rand.

The Emirates order is for 73 RG31 Mark 6 units, with the optional mobile mortar platforms.

The Swedish army, the first and now most loyal customers of the RG panzercars, have ordered another 110 RG32M patrol vehicles.

The Swedes use them in a wide spectrum of command, liaison, scouting, patrol and peacekeeping roles.

The two contracts are worth more than R1,2 billion, and how much soldiers trust the RG-series. BAE says they have exported or had built under license more than 2 166 RG31, most of which are currently doing service in conflict zones across the world.

“These contracts are a significant success to our South African business, and in contributing to the local economy through sub- contracts to local suppliers,” said Johan Steyn, managing director of Land Systems South Africa.

“The RG31 and RG32M have consistently delivered superior levels of protection from landmines, improvised explosive ­devices and other threats to many customers worldwide, and mark a standard of operational effectiveness,” Steyn added.

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