Category: South Africa

Denel Bateleur FV2 Multiple Rocket Launcher

The Bateleur FV2 is the main Multiple Launch Rocket System of the SANDF artillery arm. Its development started in the early-1980s and ended in 1986, with 51 eventually built and introduced into service in 1989. The Bateleur FV2 is built on a mine protected SAMIL-100 Kwêvoël chassis which features a V-shaped hull to deflect mine blasts. The vehicle is powered by a Magirus Dutz F10L 413F which produces 268hp @2500r/min. The rocket pack can elevate to a maximum of 50° and traverse 90° left and 19° right dependent on the elevation. The rocket launching tubes are grouped in two 5×4 racks. Each tube houses a 127 mm rocket which is 2.95 m long, weighs 62 kg and can reach a maximum of 22km. A full rocket salvo lasts 20 seconds.

Source article: Dewald Venter


Casspir MK3 with M40 Anti-Tank 106mm Recoilless Rifle

The history of the Casspir Mine-Protected Vehicle (MPV) can be traced to the original MK1 MPV built from 1979 onward. By the late 1980’s the requirement for a heavy-duty MPV-platform resulted in the MK3 being designed and qualified. In keeping with its primary requirement the MK3 is field repairable after a TM-57 mine blast, and can handle a maximum blast of 18kg-20kg of TNT or RDX.

An alternative to conventional anti-tank vehicles, the mine-protected and wheeled Casspir MK3 is combined with a US-made Watervliet Arsenal M40 106mm anti-tank Recoilless Rifle. Besides for a troop compartment and a 7.62mm machine gun for self-protection, provision is made to carry 12 HEAT rounds at full capacity.

32 Units were manufactured for the South African Defence Force (SANDF).

Sources: Casspir MPVs / Wiki:Casspir

*Note: Current ownership of the Casspir range belongs to Denel Land Systems : Denel Mechem, although credit for the original Casspir design goes to CSIR – Applied Chemistry Unit that later became MECHEM.

Photo: S.A. Armed Forces Day 2016-Nelson Mandela Bay / By Andrew de la Harpe

Denel Y3 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher

The Denel Y3 AGL is a South African-manufactured automatic grenade launcher currently manufactured by Denel Land Systems. Originally developed by Aram Ltd as the AS88 as a support weapon for infantry, the patent rights were purchased and modified by Vektor, which later became a division of Denel Ltd. Further enhancements included rate of fire upgrade and the addition of a ballistics computer, with final qualification testing taking place in 1998, and operational testing in 2002. The Y3 was launched during the 2003 United Kingdom Defence Systems & Equipment (DSEi) International Exhibition.

The 40mm Y3 AGL can fire a wide range of “high velocity” 40×53mm 40mm grenades linked in belts of 20 or 32. The 40×53mm type grenade is also used by other automatic grenade launchers such as the Mk 19 and Mk 47 Striker and are more powerful than the 40×46mm round used in hand-held launchers.


Kurdish Counter-Terrorism (CT) Unit

South African National Defence Force (SANDF)

Denel LCT 30

The GI-30 is a uniquely externally driven electro-mechanical cannon, utilising a drum cam to cycle the breech to the chamber rounds and extract spent cartridges, thus minimising gasses in the confines of a turret and facilitates controlled firing rate. It is designed to fire link-less 30 millimetre X 173 ammunition through a dual feeder.

As a single-shot weapon, it is also unique for its sniper mode of operation. It is fired from a closed breach position, which offers more accurate fire due to no movement taking place immediately before the round is fired. GI 30 is fully stabilised and has a computerised fire control system that enables targets to be engaged under day & night conditions with high first shot round hit probability even when the vehicle is moving.

Another unique feature of the GI-30 is that of next round selection. Having two feeders, with general ammunition on the right hand and specialist types on the other, the weapon allows the operator to select a specific round, without first firing off or ejecting an unwanted round.

🇲🇾Malaysian Deftech AV8 Gempita with LCT 30 turret:

🇫🇮Finnish Patria AMV / 🇿🇦SANDF Badger IFV with LCT 30 turret:

Denel Rooivalk

Helicopter type : Combat support helicopter
Entered service : July 1999 (fully operational: 1 April 2011)
Company: Denel Aviation
First flight: February 11, 1990; Engineering Development Model: February 17, 1997
Delivered to the SAAF: From 7 May, 1998.
Production: 1990-2007
Numbers: 12 production aircraft built; two prototypes exist in addition.
Crew : 2 men
Roll-out dates:
-Experimental Development Model: January 15, 1990
-Advanced Development Model: 1992
-Engineering Development Model: 17 November, 1996
Dimensions and weight :
-Length : 18.73 m
-Height : 5.19 m
-Main rotor diameter : 15.58 m
-Tail Rotor Diameter : 3.05m
-Weight (empty) : 5910 kg
-Weight (maximum take off) : 8750 kg
Landing Gear :
-Type : Fixed tailwheel type with a single wheel on each unit
-Wheelbase : 11.77m (38ft 7in)
-Wheel Track : 3.00m (9ft 10in)
Power plant and performance:
-Engines : 2 x Turbomeca Makila 1K2 turboshaft engines
-Engine power : Output of 1716 kW per engine, and 1492 kW combined
-Maximum speed : 326 km/h
-Cruising speed : 278 km/h
-Maximum sideways speed: 84 km/h
-Range : 700 km (internal 1469 kg fuel), 1260 km (external fuel tanks)
-Service ceiling : 18,200 feet
-Rate of climb : 13.3 m/s (2,620 ft/799m per min)
-Hover In Ground Effect : 18,200ft (5,547m)
-Hover Out Of Ground Effect : 16,500ft (5,029m)
-Fuel capacity and type : 1469 kg/ Jet A-1

Armament :
-1 × F2 20 mm cannon (740 rounds a minute)
-8 or 16 × Denel Dynamics Mokopa ZT-6 long-range anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) (Range: 8.5-10 KM)
-4 × MBDA Mistral air-to-air missiles (Range: 6 KM)
-38 or 76 × Forges de Zeebrugge (Belgium) 70 mm folding fin aerial rockets (FFAR)

Missions :
-Aircraft escort
-Landing zone/Drop zone protection
-Close air support

Survivability :
The Rooivalk has a crash-resistant structure and is designed for stealth with low radar, visual, infrared and acoustic signatures.

Full glass, stepped tandem cockpits with an environmental control system. The cockpits for the pilot and weapon systems officer (WSO) are equipped with hands-on collective And stick (HOCAS) controls, as well as three LCD displays. The third display is used for threat warning. There is no head-up display, but symbology is displayed on the helmet visor in full colour. The weapon systems officer (WSO) is seated in the front cockpit and the pilot is seated in the cockpit above and behind the WSO. The cockpits, which are fitted with crashworthy seats and are armour-protected.

Avionics :
Fully integrated, dual redundant MIL-STD 1553B-based avionics and weapons system, providing the following management features:
-total mission modes
-target acquisition
-flight control
-health and usage monitoring
-threat detection and control
-flight and fuel
-stores management
-accurate navigation

Electronic warfare (Self-defence suite) :
The Rooivalk’s self-defence suite is the fully integrated helicopter electronic warfare self-protection suite (HEWSPS), incorporating radar warning, laser warning and countermeasures dispensing system. The platform uses the IDAS suite from Saab Avitronics. The system is flight-line programmable and in-flight adaptable to match the threat library with the mission’s area of operation.
The radar warner features low-effective radiated power (ERP) / pulse Doppler radar detection beyond radar detection range, ultra broadband frequency coverage, high pulse density handling and internal instantaneous frequency measurement.
The laser warner provides broadband laser frequency coverage to detect and display rangefinding, designating and missile guidance laser threats.
The countermeasures dispensing system, which is operated in manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic mode, is charged with infrared (IR) heat suppressors on the engine exhausts and with chaff (radar jamming material) and flare (to distract IR homing missiles) dispensers.

Sight system:
-Nose-mounted stabilised sight (Main sight system)
The main Rooivalk sight is called the ‘NightOwl’ system and was developed by Société de Fabrication d’Instruments de Mesure (SFIM), later part of SAGEM. Target acquisition and detection are carried out using the nose-mounted stabilised electro- optical sight system. The sight system is equipped with a TV sensor and a forward looking infrared system (giving both day and night capabilities), autotracker, as well as a laser rangefinder and laser designator.

– Dual Helmet-mounted sight displays (HMSD)
A TopOwl helmet-mounted sight display (HMSD) provides the pilot and WSO with a head-up display of information for nap-of-the-earth flight (NOE), and it allows the pilot, if required, to also fire the cannon and rockets. TopOwl incorporates an integrated measurement system for directing an articulated weapon such as the cannon, or air-to-air missile seeker heads. By the use of electromagnetic tracking the pilot can just point his/her head at the target to direct the weapons toward the target. It has an integrated Gen IV image intensifier and FLIR (forward looking infrared) capability and provides transition from day to night use at the push of a button. The TopOwl HMSD was developed by Sextant Avionique (became part of Thales at a later stage).The PNVS (pilot night vision system) was developed by Cumulus (became part of Denel Optronics, and later Cassidian Optronics). Each helmet has two monocular display modules with integrated CRTs that can project both heads-up display symbology and video images directly into the crew member’s line of sight, so the crew retain access to their HMDS symbology whether using NVGs or not and the pilot in control similarly gets real-time imagery from the PNVS allowing him or her to fly low-level Nap-of-the-Earth (NOE) missions in pitch darkness.

Navigation and Automatic Flight Control :
The navigation computer is a hybridised system, using both Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation System inputs.The Rooivalk is equipped with an advanced navigation suite including Doppler radar velocity sensor, Thales Avionics eight-channel global positioning system, heading sensor unit and an air data unit. It also includes radio navigation equipment.
The Automated Flight Control System (AFCS) provides basic stability augmentation. It can also operate in what are termed higher modes, allowing the helicopter to hover automatic- ally, keep flying at certain altitudes automatically, and, in navigation mode, to automatically follow a prescribed route as well as orientating the aircraft to a target as directed by the main sighting system.

Communications :
Reutech Radar Systems ACR500 VHF/UHF radio transceivers and AC500 controller.
The communications suite consists of two VHF/UHF transceivers with FM, AM and digital speech processing, one HF radio with frequency hopping and secure voice and data channels, and an IFF transponder.

Photo: 🇿🇦South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Rooivalk
Info by Ryno Joubert

Denel G6 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer

Type: Self-propelled artillery
Place of origin: South Africa
Service history:
Used by South Africa, Oman, United Arab Emirates
Wars: South African Border War
Production history:
-Manufacturer: Denel Land systems
-Produced: 1987 –

-Weight: 46,500 kg
-Length: 10.4 m
-Width : 3.5 m
-Height: 3.4 m
-Crew: 6 (3–5 for the G6-52 Extended Range)


Main gun: 155 mm howitzer
Caliber lengh: 45 (G6-52 is 52 caliber)
Projectiles: 45 on board
Charges: 50 on board
Elevation range: – 5 to + 75 degrees
Traverse range: 80 degrees
Loading method:
-G6: Semi-automatic
Semi-automatic projectile loading is carried out using an electronically controlled hydraulic flick-rammer. Two loading chutes are installed at the rear of gun for direct loading from a ground ammunition pile.
-G6-52: Fully-automatic
Fitted with a fully-automatic ammunition loading and handling system.
Rate of fire:
-G6-52: 6 rpm
-G6 Rhino: 4 rpm
-Sustained: 2 rpm
Effective firing range:
-30,000 m with standard HE rounds,
-39,000 m with HE base bleed rounds, and
-42,000 m with HE base bleed rounds (BB—fired from G6-52)
-50,000 m with HE base bleed rounds (BB—fired from G6-52 Extended Range)
-52,500 m with a special velocity-enhanced Long Range Projectile (V-LAP—fired from G6).
-58,000 m with a special velocity-enhanced Long Range Projectile (V-LAP—fired from G6-52).
-67,450 m M9703A1 V-LAP round (tested successfully to 73,000 m by Denel in G6-52 Extended Range platform)
0.1% of range in azimuth, 0.48% of range in range. In 2012 four rounds of M982 Excalibur precision guided munitions were fired to a range of 38 km, all landing within 5 m of the target.
Main armament:
-1 x 155mm T6 L/52
Secondary armament:
– G6: 1× 12.7-mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof. There are also a number of smoke grenade dischargers.
-G6-52: 1× 7.62 mm machine gun plus smoke grenade dischargers.
Ammunition load:
-Main gun: 47 rounds
-Machine gun: 2000 rounds
-Smoke grenade dischargers: 8


-air-cooled diesel
-525 hp (391.49 kW)
– 6×6
Operational range:
-Road: 700 km
-Off-road: 350 km
-Road: 85 km/h
-G6: 30 km/h
-G6-52: 70 km/h
-Gradient : 60%
-Side slope : 30%
-Vertical step : 0.45 m
-Trench: 1 m
-Fording: 1 m

Fire control systems:

Target data is transmitted from a command and control centre to the commander’s station in the crew compartment via a VHF/UHF communications link. The crew activates the gun by pressing an autolay button and the bearing, elevation and engagement data are downloaded to the automatic gun laying system.
The gun laying and navigation equipment comprises a ring laser gyroscope system equipped with a touchscreen control developed by the Kentron division of Denel. The gun has fully autonomous laying and navigation capability with no need for survey and alignment at the gun position. The system can be interfaced to an optional global positioning system (GPS). The system also has a back-up laying system. The gun is fitted with a trunnion mounted telescopic sight for direct firing up to 3,000m.
The G6-52 has automatic gun laying and navigating systems. It can stop and fire it’s first round in 60 seconds from traveling. It also takes 30 seconds to leave firing position after firing, making it less vulnerable to counter-battery fire.

Self-protection systems:

The G6 is fitted with eight launchers that fire 81mm smoke grenades. The high strength armour-plate hull protects the crew against small arms fire and shell splinters. The crew are protected against TM46 (or equivalent) landmine blast, 20mm gunfire from the front, and all around counter bombardment fragment and impact by 7.62mm ammunition.
The driving compartment is fitted with large bullet proof windows with an armoured shutter for the front window. When the armoured shutter is in place the driver uses a periscopic sight.
The G6-52 provides protection against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) attacks apart from small and medium-calibre weapons.


-G6 Rhino
-G6 M1A3: Exported UAE version
-G6-52 (23 litre chamber)
-G6-52 Extended Range (25 litre chamber)
Reduced crew to 3–5;
can fire projectile up to 67 km at a rate of fire of six rounds/minute;
increased off-road speeds to nearly 70 km/h;
implemented Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) technology and can land six (G6-52L variant) or six (G6-52) rounds simultaneously at targets up to 25 km away; and is currently undergoing extensive trials.
-G6 Marksman: a British SPAAG version, combining the G6’s base vehicle with the Marksman turret.
-Al-Fao: Modified Iraqi variant.


-South Africa: 43 systems; only 2 in active service. Also known as the GV6 Rhino within the South African National Defence Force.
-United Arab Emirates: 78 systems
-Oman: 24 systems

SANDF variants:

-G6 Rhino:

Development of the G6 Rhino self-propelled gun-howitzer began in late 1970s. First prototype was built in 1981. The G6 Rhino saw action in Angola, even before it was mass produced. It entered service with the SANDF in 1988. A number of these self-propelled howitzers were exported to United Arab Emirates and Oman.
The G6 Rhino is fitted with a 155-mm gun-howitzer, developed from the G5 towed gun-howitzer and additionally fitted with semi-automatic loading system and fume extractor. The G6 Rhino fires HE-FRAG, smoke, illumination and incendiary rounds. It is compatible with all NATO 155-mm ammunition. A total of 47 rounds are carried. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with standard HE-FRAG projectile and 39 km with rocket-assisted. It also fires newly developed velocity enhanced long range projectiles with a maximum range of 50 km.
The G6 Rhino can fire the first round within 60 seconds. Out of action time is 30 seconds, which allows to avoid counter-battery fire and gives shoot-and-scoot capability.
Secondary armament consists of 12.7-mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof. There are also a number of smoke grenade dischargers.
The G6 Rhino has a welded hull and turret. It’s front arc provides protection against 20-mm rounds. All-round protection is against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. This vehicle is well protected against landmines. This artillery system is fitted with an automatic fire suppression system. An NBC protection system can also be fitted, if required. Some firing ports are provided for the crew.
Vehicle has a crew of five, including commander, gunner, two loaders and driver.
Unlike many other self-propelled artillery systems the G6 Rhino is based on wheeled 6×6 chassis. It is powered by a diesel engine, developing 525 hp. It is also fitted with auxiliary power unit, which powers all system when the engine is turned off.

-The G6-52:

The G6-52 self-propelled gun-howitzer is a new artillery system developed by Denel. It is a further development of the combat proven G6 Rhino to meet demands of modern warfare. This new artillery system has increased firing range and increased rate of fire. The G6-52 was first revealed in 2003, however since then it is further improved. All existing G6 Rhino systems can be upgraded to the G6-52 standard. Currently this artillery is actively marketed for the export customers, however no orders were received by 2012.
The G6-52 is fitted with a longer 155-mm /L52 howitzer comparing with it’s predecessor. It is also fitted with a fully-automatic ammunition loading and handling system. The G6-52 was originally developed with 23 and 25 liter chambers, however marketing is now concentrated on the 23 liter chamber, which meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding. This artillery system comes with the Somchem modular charge system (MCS) and is compatible with a Denel developed V-LAP rocket assisted projectiles, as well as standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. The G6-52 has a range of 58 km with V-LAP projectile. When firing a high-explosive extended-range full bore projectile maximum range is 33 km. The G6-52 is capable of multiple round simultaneous impact firing. It can fire 6 rounds at 25 km range to hit target simultaneously using the ADS (Thales) AS2000 artillery target engagement system. Automated ammunition handling, fuse handling and ammunition inventory reduce crew workload.
Vehicle is fitted with modern fire control system. The G6-52 has automatic gun laying and navigating systems. It can stop and fire it’s first round in 60 seconds from traveling. It also takes 30 seconds to leave firing position after firing, making it less vulnerable to counter-battery fire.
Welded steel armor of the G6-52 protects against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds at the front arc. All-round protection is against 7.62-mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle can withstand a detonation of anti-tank mine under any wheel and still remain operational. NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems are fitted as standard.
Vehicle has a crew of five, including commander, driver, gun layer, loader and breech operator. In case of emergency a crew of three can operate the system just as well. Ammunition reloading is semi-automatic from ground pile or ammunition resupply vehicle. Ammunition is reloaded in about 10 minutes.
The G6-52 is based on a Land Systems OMC 6×6 wheeled chassis. It is one of the heaviest wheeled armored vehicles in existence. This artillery system is powered by unspecified diesel engine, developing 525 hp. Vehicle has an automatic tyre inflation system and is fitted with run flat inserts.

Combat history:

The G6 was deployed by expeditionary units of the South African Defence Force during the Angolan Civil War, making its combat debut during Operation Moduler in December 1987. South African artillery observers, sometimes working behind enemy lines, did not hesitate in making full use of the howitzer’s pinpoint accuracy. On one occasion reconnaissance elements observed Angolan interceptors attempting to take off from an airfield near Cuito Cuanavale and immediately requested artillery support; in a single bombardment G6s succeeded in eliminating four Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s on the ground.

Photo: 🇿🇦South African National Defence Force (SANDF)
Info by Ryno Joubert



🇦🇪United Arab Emirates (UAE)