4x4 Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle
The Mamba 4x4 wheeled series of Armored Personnel Carriers has seen extensive service all over the world.
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Reumech OMC produces the "Mamba" Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle which has since seen over 800 units built since introduction and used in conflicts such as the Kosovo War (1998-1999), the Somali Civil War (ongoing), the Iraq War (2003-2011) and the DRC's Kivu Conflict (2004-Present). Design work on the type began in 1988 by local South African industry to satisfy a 1987 South African Army requirement and, following successful trials, production commenced in 1990. The Mamba was developed as a direct successor to the South African-originated "Buffel" truck detailed elsewhere on this site.
Both are used in the military and security roles owing to their inherent versatility and survivability characteristics.
The truck showcases a traditional arrangement through a four-wheeled chassis. The chassis is elevated for improved cross-country mobility as well as crew survivability. The engine sits in the bow of the hull with the driving section immediately aft. The driving section is part of the passenger compartment and both take up the middle-rear of the vehicle. Glass surfaces are bullet-resistant against small arms fire and armor protection can be augmented as needed to meet more modern threats - particularly from hidden explosives to the side or underneath the truck. The typical operating crew is two (driver and vehicle commander) and, depending on production variant, up to nine passengers can be carried under protection against small arms fire and artillery spray. The driver sits at front-left. A spare road wheel is carried on the frame - either along the middle or rear wall side (port side). A large access door dominates the rear wall of the passenger cabin.
Variants of the line include the original Mamba Mk 1 by TFM Industries (later becoming Ruemech OMC) - these were 2x4 powered with Toyota Dyna chassis (succeeded in 1994 by a UNIMOG truck chassis). Among this stock were the "Puma", Reva Mk 1, Springbuck Mk 1 sub-variants. The Mamba Mk 2 was an improvement of the original by Sandock Austral and TFM. Sub-variants of this mark were the Mamba Mk 2 EE and SW, "Komanche", "Sabre", Alvis 4 and 8, RG-31 Nyala (detailed elsewhere on this site), Reva mk 2, "Romad". and Springbuck Mk 2. The Mamba Mk 3, built by Alvis OMC, carried Mercedes Benz 312N series engine and produced the Reva Mk 3 sub-variant by ICP.
The more modern Mamba Mk 5 is powered by an Italian Iveco Euro3 series engine and is built by Osprea Logistics SA and includes the Mamba Mk 5 "Magirus" which is currently marketed by Osprea with increased surviability. The Mamba Mk 7 is the latest offering, powered by a Deutz BF6L9I4C engine with improved armor protection and also built by Osprea.
The basic design (Mamba Mk 1) has a weight of 7.11 short tons with a running length of 19.2 feet, a width of 7.8 feet, and a height of 8 feet.
Typical armament load out is a single 12.7mm Browning M2 heavy machine gun or equivalent and can also include any personal weapons carried by the occupants and fired through the available gun ports.
The vehicle sits on a coil spring suspension system and features a ground claearance of up to 15 inches (Mk 2 model). Early models were powered by a Toyota JO 5C 4-cylinder diesel of 139 horsepower while later ones have come online with a Mercedes-Benz OM352 6-cylinder diesel of 123 horsepower. Road speeds reach 63 miles per hour with a range out to 560 miles.
Operators of the Mamba vehicle include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. Thailand is one of the largest foreign Mamba operators with some 87 in inventory (2019).