31 years after pioneering mine protection for vehicles with the first Casspir Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) Denel unveiled today a new version of South Africa’s iconic mine-protection vehicle – Casspir MK IV. The new vehicle was launched today in Cape Town today, at the African Aerospace and Defence Expo (AAD) taking place at the Ysterplaat Air Force Base.
According to Ashley Williams, CEO of Denel’s subsidiary Mechem, responsible for the vehicle design, new features introduced with the new model are the use of modern, more powerful drive train with manual or automatic transmission, a stronger hull offering improved protection, including ‘up armoring’ with appliqué armor modules, a slightly wider and lower cabin, offering improved interior design.
“Mechem took the strategic decision to build this configuration again due to the great demand still in the market. In the last few years, most of these vehicles were re-manufactured from hulls bought from SAPS auctions and tender processes causing depletion in actionable stock. There was also concern over the supply of spare parts,” said Mr Williams.
According to Denel CEO, Mr Talib Sadik, Casspir had been the benchmark for the safe transportation of military personnel worldwide and the vehicle is the preferred Mine Protection Vehicle and Armored Personnel Carrier used by the United Nations. It has been used in combat in many of the world’s hot spots, from Afghanistan to Mozambique, by the South African National Defence Force, private security companies and police services. Casspir became famous in popular culture when it featured prominently in the Oscar-nominated film, District Nine. The first Casspir was built in 1979 by TFM.
Mechem also offers the ‘Steel Wheels’ counter-mine system for the Casspir, enabling the vehicle to destroy land mines without damaging the vehicle.