Buffel Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV)
The Buffel (Afrikaans for Buffalo) was South Africa's first purpose built mine resistant armored personnel carrier (APC). Landmines planted by Swapo terrorists made the use of normal "soft-skin" vehicles a very dangerous proposition for the local population, police and army people alike.
Dr Vernon Joynt designed the first wedge shaped mine protected vehicle, the Hyena. He and his CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) team subsequently designed and initiated the production of the Hippo, Buffel, Casspir and Swerwer personnel carriers. The group which he headed became Mechem, a member of the Armscor group in 1988, but transferred to become a Division of Denel in 1992. The Mechem division later operated as DefenceTek.
The Buffel driver's seat as well as the 10 rear seats are fitted in V-shaped armoured cones. The Buffel represented a vast improvement on earlier military vehicles. This vehicle was used in large numbers by the former South African Defence force, and inherited by its successor, the South African National Defence force (SANDF). The SADF use of inter-alia the Buffel, enabled them largely ignore the threat of landmines as an operational factor. By the late 1990s it was being phased out of service, and was being replaced by the Mamba APC series. The Buffel was also exported to Uganda and to Sri Lanka.
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