BAE Wins Upgrade Contract for South African Tanks

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Olifant Mk1B(click to view full) BAE Systems has been awarded a follow-on contract for approximately GBP 15 million (USD $27.3 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 to Mk2 standard. The Olifant Mark 1 entered full production in 1983, and was very similar to that of the South African Semel tank, which in turn was based on an upgraded conversion of British Centurion tanks (in generational terms: Centurion -> Chieftain -> Challenger -> Challenger 2). The South African Army has 172 Olifant Mk 1A/B main battle tanks in operation, and the Olifant Mk1B entered service in 1991. Under the terms of the contract, the Olifant Mk1B tanks will receive an upgraded 1040hp engine. New gun control equipment and a new target detection and engagement system with all-weather day/night fighting capability will allow the tank to engage a moving target while it is itself on the move, substantially improving its ability to survive and win battles against tanks without this capability. A number of other operational modifications required by the SA Army will also be fitted, and the contract includes provisions for logistic […]

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