It's most certainly an APC, with a really low silhouette, but as it has what appears to be an obstacle clearing blade at the front, Andrew may be right about it being used in the internal security role. But then again, who in their right mind would build an indicator light into a dozer blade?!?
Well, who knows. Just to cover every base, I posted a question at the Missing-Lynx modellers' forum (See: http://www.network54.com/Forum/47209...+APC+prototype ). We may get a response from the fellows there, and rest assured that I'll give you the heads-up the moment someone responds.
AC 100. That was what it was called. There were a few other prototypes known as AC 200 and AC 300. The project was culled due to the high cost of the vehicle. According to a good friend of mine who worked on the project it was a very exceptional vehicle and was regared to be superior to the Ratel.
Unfortunately as with Soetdorings, Veldskoen and some others the Army preferd to upgrade the Ratel as it was a) more cost effective in light of the large amount and types operated by the SADF b)required less retraining of both the standing army and the citizen force.
I will post some photos of the other prototypes as soon as I have scanned them along with some more gen.
Guys I see there is alot of intrest in the weapons and history of the SADF. History is still a very emotive issue as was seen in the posts in this thread. Unfortunately our military history is clouded in secrecy (all documents relating to military matters after 1965, which is also incedentally the start of the bush war, is still classified) and propaganda from both sides.
I will not get mixed up in discussions on the racial issues of the army but I will try and help with info and pics of SADF equipment, as well as the history of the border war which I am keenly studying with the eye on writing a book on the last battles in 87/88 in which we trounched the cubans and the angolans.
Herewith some pics.
Late version Olifant Mk1a
Olifant Mk1b optimal prototype. Fitted with Chobham armor believe it or not. Only one converted.
No problem guys. There were 2 prototypes of Mk1b the normal one with slab sided armor and the Optimal version in the photo above. The idea with 1b was that it would serve as an interim vehicle while a new tank was designed on the basis of expierence gained on the TTD project (in which by the by we were aided by the germans).
After 94 the need for a new tank dissapeared, and the mk1b prototypes along with design drawings of a new fighter, satelites all ready in orbit and nuclear weapons was shelved. Despite this the army knew that it needed an upgrade very badly for the mk1a which by now is almost 20 years old. So it was decided to revive mk1b albeit with alot of new tech in it. Externally it is the same, torsion bar suspension, chobham and so forth. It is the gunnery and fire control systems which have recieved a total upgrade with a big injection of technology from TTD and associated research which have been continuing for a while now.
Still the army knows even Mk2 is outdated and that the 105 has died (they tested our newest ammo against a T72 they bought from poland in 89 and found it only able to penetrate the front from very close and had to take side or rear shots to take the T down. The other 72 they bought is kept running as a demonstrator at the armor school and I had the opportunity the other day to see it in action) so they are looking for replacements. The army is very picky and don't want any eastern european things so the best contender to date is the Leopard 2a5 and the Merkava. Remeber these are only rumors and the wishes of my buddies at the school of armor and wether this will become reality is another thing.
Inside info puts the first Mk2 on the ground in a month or two time according to one source, according to another more trustworthy source BEA hasn't even started convertion on the first mk2 as yet. But what I do know is that as soon as the first unit is on the ground I will be heading for bloem for a show and tell and will post some pics for you blokes to dream over.
Pics? I've got many more. Ask and you shall recieve a DVD. Mostly pics I took while in bloem the last time. Next time I am down there I will get pics of the experimentals standing around at the school as well as some of the earlier armor. The Olifant Mk1b optimal forms part of the museum. The turret is completely stripped inside. It is huge compared to the T55 standing next to it which I also climed into.