22 April 2013 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb
Benin has become the launch customer for Mechem’s new armoured truck cabs, following their recent purchase of ten Casspir NG mine-protected vehicles from the specialist de-mining company.
Denel Group business unit Mechem told defenceWeb that Benin bought an undisclosed number of military trucks with the new cabs fitted in numerous variants.
Mechem, which specialises in de-mining activities and manufacturing mine-protected vehicles, launched the armoured cab project and design in late 2011, “after many requirements for such protection solutions to be fitted on military logistical trucks with the aim to protect crews during vital logistical support tasks in high risk environments,” the company said.
The armoured cabs were unveiled at the September 2012 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition held outside Pretoria.
The cabs can be offered as a single product or as a full turnkey solution on most makes of military and civilian trucks. Mechem is offering a complete multi-purpose truck based on a Powerstar drive train and fitted with the strengthened mine-protected cab. In addition to the Powerstar version, the cabs can also be modified to fit most others makes and models of trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, including 4x4, 6x6, 8x4 and 8x8 models in different variants i.e. Cargo, Fuel, Water, Construction, special applications.
Jack Geldenhuys, Mechem’s Manager for Vehicle Systems, said the armoured protection on the new cabs have been significantly upgraded to STANAG Level 4A, providing protection to crews against landmines, roadside bombs and 7.62x51 mm automatic rifle fire.
Ashley Williams, the General Manager of Denel Mechem, said the new cab systems are primarily aimed at clients in Africa who render humanitarian assistance in post-conflict zones as their trucks are vulnerable to landmines and roadside bombs.
Williams said that Mechem identified a clear need for a strengthened cab that can be fitted on all makes and models of 4x4 or 6x6 supply trucks. The new cab was designed and developed at Denel Mechem and the conversions are done at its facilities in Lyttelton.
Williams said the new truck and cab design can also be an ideal future replacement for the South African Defence Force’s range of Samil trucks that are now reaching the end of their working lives.