RG32M is a 4×4 mine hardened armoured patrol vehicle, a member of the successful RG32 family of utility vehicles. Manufactured by BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa, the RG32M is based on the RG31 model. The combat weight of the vehicle is about 7,300kg and it has the capacity to carry a crew of 5 to 7.
The all-steel hull provides ample protection to the crew and the engine and its components from the attacks of small arms fire, grenade attacks, anti-personnel mines and land mine detonations.
The automotive subassemblies, which are commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) items, are used to construct the RG32M making it cost-effective and reliable with support across the world.
RG32M patrol vehicle applications
The RG32M has applications in several military and non-military roles for scouting, patrol, command, liaison and peacekeeping. Currently, more than 600 RG32s are being operated globally, in countries including South Africa, Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Egypt.
In January 2009, a light tactical vehicle (LTV) variant of the RG32M, designated RG32M LTV won the light tactical armoured vehicle (LTAV) contest conducted by the Irish Army. BAE Systems Land Systems subsequently won a contract to deliver 27 RG32M LTVs worth $27m. The deliveries are expected to start in 2009 extending to a three year period.
RG32M mine-hardened patrol vehicle features
The key features of the RG32M include payload, capacity, mobility, durability, and an all-steel hull, providing maximum protection to warfighters. The commercially off-the-shelf components of the vehicle reduce the burden of crew training and minimize the logistic footprints.
The ample payload capacity of the vehicle allows to it transport five crew members with their kit, combat and special purpose equipment for a 48-hour battlefield mission. The maximum payload capacity is 1,200kg for the standard model.
It has a seating capacity for a driver plus four passengers in the standard model and driver plus six passengers in the full length armoured body. The access is provided through side doors and hatches that have excellent visibility features.
The RG32M is 5,300mm long, 2,140mm wide and has a height of 2,180mm. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 110km/h at a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 7,500kg.
Another full-length armoured body version extending to the rear axle of the RG32M is made available. It can carry seven crew members with their kits and has a maximum payload capacity of 1,000kg.
RG32M LTV variant
The newest RG32M variant is the RG32M LTV. This vehicle has incurred improvisations that provide higher mine protection, survivability and warfighter protection.
It has a GVM of just 9t and is classified as a light mine protected patrol vehicle. The RG32M LTV has 200mm-wide v-shaped hull, and has 50mm increased head space compared to other RG32Ms. The externally mounted windows create more cabin space, providing higher safety and protection.
The RG32M LTV also has an improved payload capacity of 2t and a new load bay designed to carry missile-specific equipment. The flexibility of the vehicle allows it to be fitted with mission-specific communications and weapons systems, making it a highly tactical vehicle for operations in various climates and environments.
Orders and deliveries
In June 2005, the first order, worth $28.4m, was placed by Sweden’s defence procurement agency Forsvarets Materielverk (FMV) army for 102 RG32M mine hardened patrol vehicles (MHPV) with BAE Systems Land Systems OMC (now BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa). The Swedish Army designated it Galten. This followed the delivery of two prototypes of the RG32M to Sweden, with delivery of the first six vehicles in January 2006 and completing all deliveries by February 2007.
The Finnish Army’s Defence Force Material Command headquarters of the protection and mobility section placed the second order worth $23.8m for the delivery of six RG32M vehicles in July 2006. This included logistics documentation, training and spare parts.
In May 2007, the Swedish defence procurement agency FMV placed another order worth $28.7m for 98 RG32M vehicles. Deliveries began in August 2007 and ended in early 2008. In December 2008, the Swedish Army placed another order worth $25m for 60 RG32Ms.
In 2009, the Irish Army chose to procure 27 RG32M LTVs, after two months of field trials in competition with the Mowag Eagle IV (Switzerland) and the Iveco MLV (Italy).
The RG32M vehicle runs on a Euro III Steyr M16TCA turbo-charged inter-cooled diesel engine. Its 135kW engine weighs only 529lb and it has Allison S1000 five-speed automatic transmission. The all-steel monocoque hull of the vehicle also provides high levels of protection to the engine and its components.
The v-shaped all-steel, welded and monocoque hull fitted with the chassis subframes provides higher protection to the crew and the engine from combat attacks.
The RG32M can defend itself from 7.62mm×51mm Nato Ball bullets; 5.56mm×45mm Nato Ball bullets at 30m; and 7.62×51mm AP with appliqué armour types of ballistic attacks. It also can sustain the blasts of DM31 fragment mines.
Applied engineering techniques and the BAE knowledge base would be used to further enhance the crew and survivability features of the RG32M.
The RG32M is a four-wheel drive vehicle with suspension including coil springs, longitudinal arms and Panhard rods as well as double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers. The portal axles attached to the front and rear tyres along with the coil springs give a 430mm of ground clearance in normal conditions. The hydraulic assisted steering system enables smoother driving experience in turning circles (kerb to kerb) of 17m.
Two RG32Ms at a time in a C130 aircraft can be transported to the required battlefield or peacekeeping area.
In Sweden, the RG32M was taken through various ‘winterisation’ modifications. The vehicle has proven to be equally effective at 49°C in the African and Middle East deserts as it is as at -35°C in Sweden’s ice-cold weather.