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For other uses, see Rooikat (disambiguation).
Rooikat K9, Waterkloof Lugmagbasis.jpg
Rooikat 105
Type Armoured fighting vehicle
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service 1990 – present
Wars Operation Boleas[1]
Production history
Designed 1976
Produced 1989 – present
Weight 28 t
Length 7.1 m (23 ft 4 in)
8.2 m (26 ft 11 in) with gun forward
Width 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Height 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) turret roof
Crew 4

1 x Denel GT4 76mm 62-calibre rifled gun, firing an APFSDS round
Muzzle velocity: > 1600m/s.[2][3]
2 x MG4 7.62 mm machine guns; 8 x 81 mm smoke grenade dischargers[3]
Engine 10-cylinder water-cooled diesel
414 KW (563 hp)
Power/weight 14.89kW/t
Suspension 8×8 wheeled, Fully independent active trailing arm
1000 km (621 mi)
Speed Road: 120 km/h (75 mph)
Off-road: 50 km/h (31 mph)

The Rooikat (Afrikaans for "Caracal"; literally "Red cat") is a wheeled armoured fighting vehicle built in South Africa for the South African Army. It was designed for combat reconnaissance and seek and destroy operations. Its secondary roles include combat support, anti-armour and anti-guerrilla operations. The Rooikat is intended for deep penetration missions, so the wheeled design was needed for speed and to counter sandy desert conditions that might slow tracked vehicles.

Production history[edit]

Designed to replace the Eland, the Rooikat came too late for the war in Angola. It was designed to incorporate lessons learned from the bush war.[citation needed]

One was turned into a conventional vehicle electric drive technology demonstrator (CVED) and displayed at AAD2006 in Cape Town in September of that year. The CVED project involved LMT, HIT, IAD, Nezrotek, Hotchinson (France), Kessler Magnet Motor (Germany) and MTU (Germany). VEG Magazine reported in 2006 the vehicle was fitted with a power supply control system feeding eight wheel-hub mounted M67/0 electric units and a two-phase pneumatic gearbox.

Combat history[edit]

Prior to South Africa's 1994 elections, the South African Defence Force (SADF) deployed the Rooikat largely as an internal security vehicle.[4] It saw action in Lesotho during Operation Boleas.[1]


  • Can climb a 1 m earth vertical step.
  • Can cross a 2-metre-wide trench at a crawl 1 m @ 60 km/h.
  • Can ford water 1.5 m deep.
  • Can climb a gradient of 70 degrees.
  • Can traverse a gradient of 30 degrees.



 South Africa - South African National Defence Force: 240 units.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b History and Insignia - SA Armour Association
  2. ^ "Rooikat". South African Army. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Rooikat armoured car". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  4. ^ "The O'Malley Archives". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "home". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Africa: Salvation or Despair

External links[edit]