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BAE SYSTEMS Wins Main Battle Tank Upgrade Order For South African National Defence Force

13 Sep 2005

BAE Systems has been awarded a follow-on contract for approximately 15 million by Armscor, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) acquisition agency, for the upgrade of an additional batch of Olifant MK1B Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Mk2 standard.

This is the single largest order awarded by Armscor to Land Systems OMC in over 12 years and follows an initial 11 million order received in September 2003 for the first batch.

Delivery of the upgraded MBTs is scheduled for 2006/2007 and will ensure that the South African Army (SA Army) will be equipped with a credible and highly effective MBT.

One of the key success factors of the upgrade programme has been the relationship between Land Systems OMC, suppliers and partners (Delkon, Reutech Defence Logistics and IST Dynamics), Armscor and the SA Army and will ensure success through the next phase.

Under the terms of the contract the main battle tanks will receive an upgraded powerpack, increasing power to 1040 horsepower. New gun control equipment and a new target detection and engagement system with all-weather day/night fighting capability, allowing the tank to engage a moving target while it is itself on the move, will also be fitted to the Olifant. A number of other operational modifications required by the SA Army are also included in the programme.

Further to the upgrade of the MBTs the contract also includes provisions for logistic support including operators and technical documentation, support and test equipment (Electronic Repair Vehicle, Maintenance and Repair Container), upgraded equipment and accessories for the tank crews

This significant order reflects the SA Armys commitment to the continued upgrade of its armoured vehicle fleet and confirms the MBT upgrade and maintenance capability of Land Systems OMC.

This upgrade contract will ensure that the MBTs continue to provide a high level of operational performance required by the SA Army for mobility, firepower, all-weather day/night capability and protection, says Thami Mbele, Director: South African Programmes at Land Systems OMC. The new programme will assist greatly in the retention of essential skills and key jobs at OMCs Benoni facility he added.


BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The Company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years and is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems. BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The Company employs over 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 14.8 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.

For further information, please contact:

Jayne Thomson, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384841

Tony Savides, BAE Systems Land Systems OMC
Tel: +27 (0) 11 747 3300 Mob: +27 (0) 82 453 0385

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