Denel has upgraded its Casspir armoured personnel carrier (APC) in an effort to enhance crew protection against landmines, roadside bombs and automatic rifle fire in the battlefield.
Commenting on the enhancements, Denel Mechem general manager Ashley Williams said the modernisation did not have any impact on the basic and reliable characteristics of the Casspir vehicles.
"Now we have upgraded the hull protection by using a higher quality of steel, increased its power, improved the accessibility for passengers and mounted it on a more versatile and reliable vehicle platform," Williams said.
Denel Mechem Vehicle Systems manager Jack Geldenhuys said the upgraded vehicle was also equipped with side doors for the driver and crew, in addition to an improved back-door design for troops or passengers to both enter and exit during combat operations.
Standardisation of the vehicle's engine and drivetrain brings the operators significant savings in the areas of maintenance costs, spare parts and logistics support, Geldenhuys added.
Powered by Atlantis OM352A turbo-charged diesel engine, the Casspir is a four-wheeled armoured vehicle primarily designed as mine-resistant troop carrier, but can also be configured to serve as a field ambulance, a command-and-control vehicle, a recovery vehicle or a light transport vehicle.
With a cruising speed of 100kmph on roads and up to 40kmph on most offroad conditions with a reach of up to 800km on a standard fuel tank, the vehicle is capable of withstanding the 14kg explosives blast under each wheel.
Available in two versions, with one mounted on a Mercedes Benz drivetrain and the other using a Powerstar engine as platform, the Casspir NG 2000 is fitted with run-flat tyres and a choice of manual or automatic transmission.
Modified to address specific customer requirements at Denel Mechem production facilities in Lyttelton, the vehicle has extensively been used by the UN, South African National Defence Force (SANDF), private security companies and police services for demining or military operations worldwide.
Image: A Casspir armoured vehicle conducting a de-mining operation at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of US Army Spc Kelly Hunt.