AAD 2022: Land Systems OMC unveils RG31 Mk.5 E Ibululu APC with Tactical Remote Turret

The original RG31 Nyala is a 4×4 multi-purpose mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) infantry mobility vehicle manufactured in South Africa by Land Systems OMC (a division of Denel SOC Ltd, located in Benoni, South Africa) and in Turkey by FNSS Defence Systems. It is based on the Mamba APC of TFM Industries.

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Land Systems OMC  RG31 Mk.5 E Ibululu MRAP armored vehicle equipped with a Tactical Remote Turret (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The RG-31 is built from a V-shaped all-steel welded armor monocoque hull and high suspension, typical of South African mine-protected vehicles, providing excellent small-arms, mine and IED blast protection. The vehicle is designed to resist a blast equivalent to two TM-57 anti-tank mines detonating simultaneously. The RG-31 is classified by the United States Department of Defense as a category 1 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.

The vehicle accommodates a crew ranging from 5 to 10 depending on mission needs, depending on model, as it can be manufactured as an APC or a utility vehicle. The new Mk. 5 Ibululu variant accommodates a driver, a vehicle commander and two rear passengers. It is motorized by a powerful 221kW diesel engine. The use of commercial off-the-shelf components facilitates easy maintenance, repair and support.

In July 2016, the Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania rolled out the latest variant of the RG-31, with improvements including an engine upgrade from 275 to 300 hp, a transmission upgrade, independent suspension, 360-degree spotlights for night visibility, and an armored gunner's hatch.

The RG31 Mk.5 E Ibululu displayed at AAD 2022 is equipped with a one-man stabilized Tactical Remote Turret (TRT) designed for infantry support and protection. The TRT family of turrets is intended for a range of applications on armored tactical vehicles, including amphibious, configurable with various weapon systems. The TRT base structure and Man Machine Interface (MMI) are common for all configurations supporting a dedicated weapon cradle for the configuration of choice. The TRT armament’s suite consists of a (dual-feed) 20 to 30mm rapid-fire gun, a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, and possibly an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launcher. The system’s weight ranges from 900 to 1,800 kg according to the armament mounted, which is controlled by the gunner from its protected position inside the vehicle.

The system is controlled by electro-mechanical drives and sight equipment giving it all-around observation capability and fast reaction time. The video with symbology as displayed on the MMI can be made available to secondary systems such as BMS and a commander display.