List of equipment of the South African Army

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The South African Army maintains a wide variety of military equipment.

Infantry Weapons[edit]

Pistols[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Calibre
Origin
Notes
Vektor Z88[1] Beretta 92 FS.gif Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum  South Africa 15-round Magazine. License-built Beretta 92F. Standard issue side arm since 1989 alongside the SP1 (since 1992)
Vektor SP1 VektorSP1.jpg Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum  South Africa 15-round Magazine. Standard issue side arm alongside the Z88 since 1992.

Submachine guns[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Calibre
Origin
Notes
Heckler & Koch MP5 MP5.jpg Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  West Germany 15- or 30- or 32- or 40-round magazines. The MP5 and MP5A3 models are in use with the South African Special Forces.[2]
Milkor BXP[3] Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum  South Africa 22 or 32-round magazines. An indigenously designed 9mm submachine gun similar in appearance to the Mac 10. In service since 1984.

Rifles[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Calibre
Origin
Notes
Vektor R4 and R5 assault rifles[4] VektorR4.png Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  South Africa 35-round magazine. Standard Service rifle since 1980. Can be fitted with various optical sights. Infantry can train using Portable Target Systems (PTS) (deployed from the army's Target Trailer System (TTS)), Fixed Installation Rifle Shooting Systems (FIRST) as well as Electronic Learning Aiming Correction Systems (ELACs), which is equipped with hit sensors, Magnetic and IR Sensors for shot scoring. Live fire target practice is conducted with Lateral Moving Rail Target Systems (LMRT). The R5 carbine is used by the airborne and armoured troops of the SA Army, the SA Air Force, SA Navy, Military Health Service and the South African police Service.[5]
Vektor R4 Designated Marksman Rifle[6] Designated marksman rifle 5.56×45mm NATO  South Africa 35-round magazine. An improvement of the R4 assault rifle system to a dedicated marksman rifle system.
R1 (FN-FAL) Assault Rifle[7] FN-FAL belgian.jpeg Designated marksman rifle 7.62×51mm NATO  South Africa/ Belgium 20-round magazine. Former service rifle of the South African Army. Remaining rifles in service are accuratised and used as designated marksman rifles.
Denel NTW-20[8] NTW-20 rifle.jpg Anti-materiel rifle 20×82mm and 14.5×114mm  South Africa 3-round magazine. In service since 1998 by the South African Special Forces and Army Infantry sniper sections. Comes equipped with the 8 × 56 Lynx Telescopic sight.

Machine guns[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Calibre
Origin
Notes
Vektor SS-77 and Mini-SS[9] 24- Saudi Border Guards Machine Gun (My Trip To Al-Jenadriyah 32).jpg General purpose machine gun SS-77: 7.62×51mm NATO; Mini-SS: 5.56×45mm NATO  South Africa Belt-fed GPMG in service since 1986 alongside the FN MAG. 100-round pear-shaped pouch in general use, 200-round rigid box. Can use both non-disintegrating DM1 and NATO M13 or R1M1 disintegrating link belts.
FN MAG[10] Kulspruta 58 001.jpg General Purpose Machine Gun 7.62×51mm NATO  Belgium Belt-fed GPMG. Main automatic weapon of dismounted infantry sections. 100-round pear-shaped pouches in general use and 200-round disintegrating link metal belts. Can be mounted on a Tripod as well as vehicles.
Browning MG4 MMG[9] Browning M1919a.png Medium machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO  United States M1919A4 Browning Medium Machine gun modified by Lyttleton Engineering Works, now Denel Land Systems, to fire the 7.62×51mm round. It is Belt Fed and generally fitted to armoured and infantry vehicles as well as certain helicopters as a secondary or tertiary armament.
M2 Browning machine gun[9] PEO M2E2-QCB HMG.jpg Heavy machine gun .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)  United States Belt fed machine gun mainly mounted on Tripods, armoured and infantry vehicles.

Grenades and grenade launchers[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Calibre
Origin
Notes
M26 grenade[11] M-61Grenade.jpg Fragmentation hand grenade N/A  South Africa/ United States Manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munitions, based on a US design. In service with the South African Infantry Corps.
M854 Smoke Grenade[12] Smoke grenade N/A  South Africa A grenade which consists of a cylindrical tinplate body containing the smoke composition, a spring-loaded striker mechanism of the fly-off lever type and a pyrotechnic igniter/delay system. The fly-off lever is retained by a conventional safety pin and pull ring.

The grenade has a variety of signalling applications and may also be used for screening and for training exercises in riot control.

RDM Illuminating Hand Grenade[12] Hand grenade N/A  South Africa A grenade which consists of an aluminium case containing the illuminating composition, to which is fitted a conventional fly-off lever striker mechanism.

The illuminating grenade provides sufficient light for target identification and attack. The grenade can also be used as a light source for emergency conditions when other pyrotechnic light sources are not available.

RDM Bullet Trap (BT) Rifle Grenades[13] Rifle grenade 54 mm (HE/AP), 60 mm (HE/DP)  South Africa Second generation South African rifle grenades manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (formerly Swartklip Products, a division of Denel). The grenade incorporates a bullet trap and deflector in the tail tube. This allows them to be fired without the need to unload the rifle of its ammunition.

Bullet Trap rifle grenades available includes HE/AP (High Explosive/Anti-Personnel), Practice and HE/DP (High Explosive/Dual Purpose) grenades. The HE/DP type has a shaped charge warhead which can penetrate 150 mm of rolled homogeneous armour or 450 mm of reinforced concrete. Grenades can be fired from both 5.56mm and 7.62mm rifles in the South African arsenal.

75 mm HEAT Rifle Grenade[12] Rifle grenade 75 mm HEAT  South Africa/ Belgium A shaped charge grenade, based on the Belgian ENERGA anti-tank rifle grenade and designed to be fired from most 7.62mm rifles. Can penetrate 275 mm of rolled homogeneous armour. Presumably largely phased out of South African service along with the large majority of 7.62mm R1 rifles. No longer in production.
Milkor Y2 MK-1 MGL[14] WLUS (12).jpg Grenade launcher 40×46mm grenade  South Africa In service since 1983. 6-round revolving, swing out-type cylinder. Comes equipped with an Occluded Eye Gun-sight Collimator sight.
Denel Y3 AGL[14] Y3 AGL.JPG Automatic grenade launcher High-velocity 40×53mm grenade  South Africa A belt-fed, high velocity, long-recoil, open-breech grenade launcher in service. Ideally used as a tripod-mounted support weapon for infantry or mounted on a vehicle. Electronic indirect sight and Aim point direct sight can be mounted.

Anti-tank weapons[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Origin
Notes
Bazalt RPG-7[15] RPG-7V1 grenade launcher - RaceofHeroes-part2-22.jpg Rocket-propelled grenade launcher  Soviet Union Large numbers of RPG-7s were purchased during the mid-1970s and are used as the primary infantry anti-armour rocket launcher and is deployed at section level for use against armoured vehicles. Currently the Army is looking for a replacement for this ageing system.
Denel FT5[16] Anti-tank rocket launcher  South Africa An indigenous reusable anti-tank weapon primarily used to penetrate modern main battle tanks and fortifications. In reserve from 2007 due to high operating costs.
MILAN ER[17] MILAN P1220770.jpg Anti-tank missile  France 46 Milan ADT (Advanced Digital Technology) launchers as well as 300+[18][19] Milan ER (extended range) SACLOS missiles are in service since 2007[20] with the Army’s airborne and motorised infantry battalions as well as with the Special Forces Brigade. Soldiers train on the four simulators acquired from MBDA. All systems are equipped with Video output devices and 15 launchers are equipped with Thermal imaging systems.
Denel Dynamics ZT3 Ingwe[21] Ingwe ATGM.jpg Anti-tank missile  South Africa Multipurpose long-range beam-riding precision guided missile. The missile is launched from a triple launcher atop a modified Ratel infantry combat vehicle, known as the ZT3. 13 launchers are upgraded and 80 newer ZT3A2 missiles were delivered to the army in 2005 as part of Project Adrift. The missile is used by the Armoured Corps and the Mechanized infantry battalions.
M40 recoilless rifle[15] Recoilless-rifle-beyt-hatotchan-1.jpg 105mm recoilless rifle  United States A direct-fire, crew served weapon issued in units of six to the motorised and airborne infantry anti-tank platoons. 171 systems in service.

Man-portable surface-to-air missiles[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Origin
Notes
Starstreak[22] Starstreak MANPADS 02.jpg Manportable/Vehicle mounted surface-to-air missile  United Kingdom Eight Lightweight Multiple Launchers (LML), two 20 km-range Thales Page continuous-wave (CW) low-observable battery air defence local warning radars as well as about 100 VSHORAD (very short range air defence) high-velocity missiles were ordered in December 2002 and are in use with 10 Air Defence Artillery Regiment. These missiles have a range of between 5–7 km. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute lists the number of Portable SAMs delivered as 96 for the GBADS phase 1 project with another order for 82[23]

Mortars[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Origin
Notes
M5 120mm Mortar Mortar-120mm-beyt-hatotchan-1.jpg 120mm Long Range Mortar  Israel 36 mortars are in service with 18 Light Regiment
M3 Mortar[24] Mortier 81 LLR 01.jpg 81mm medium mortar  France/ South Africa 1190 mortars in service with the South African Infantry Corps.
M1/M4 Commando Mortar[24][25]:114–115 60mm Patmor.jpg 60mm light Mortar  France/ South Africa Uses the M-61 series of bombs in High Explosive, Smoke, Illumination and Practice versions. In use with the Special Forces and Airborne Infantry.

Vehicles[edit]

Armoured fighting vehicles[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Quantity
Origin
Notes
Olifant MK1A/1B/2[26] Olifant Mk 2 Tank (9689832846).jpg Main battle tank ~38 MK1A/1B and ~26 MK2 in regular army service
~131 in reserve squadrons/storage
2 Armoured Bridge-layers (ABL)
16 armoured recovery vehicles (ARV)
 South Africa
 United Kingdom
A heavily modified and modernized Centurion Tank.

The MK1A tanks were commissioned in 1985. The MK1Bs were commissioned in 1991 and the MK2 tanks were commissioned in 2007. Due to the age of the vehicles, a number of tanks were deemed to be unserviceable in the mid-2000s. To rectify this more than R 117 million was spent between 2008 and 2011 to maintain and upgrade the tank fleet to maintain optimal force readiness.[27] Fleet to be replaced sometime in the future through Project Aorta.

Rooikat[28] Rooikat K9, Waterkloof Lugmagbasis.jpg 8-wheeled armoured fighting vehicle 84 in regular army service
94 in reserve squadrons and storage
 South Africa Armoured car used for reconnaissance, aggressive search-and-destroy, anti-armour operations, combat patrols, raids and hot pursuit operations.[29]
Patria AMV[30] Badger-infanteriegevegsvoertuig, b, Waterkloof Lugmagbasis.jpg Armoured personnel carrier 238 in service  South Africa
 Finland
238 units. Designated Badger. There will be five versions: a standard infantry carrier, a command car, fire support variant, mortar carrier and tank hunter.[31]
Ratel IFV[32] Ratel 6X6 APC (9686194015).jpg Infantry fighting vehicle 534 in regular army service
666 in reserve battalions/storage
 South Africa Primary armoured fighting vehicle in service with the South African Mechanized infantry units. Variants in service include the Ratel 20 (armed with a Denel GI-2 20mm cannon), Ratel 60 (armed with a 60mm breech-loading mortar), Ratel 90 (armed with a 90mm Denel GT-2 low-velocity gun), command variant, fire-support vehicle and an 81mm mortar carrier. The fleet will be partially replaced by the "Badger" IFV ( South Africa/ Finland) through Project Hoefyster.
Ratel ZT-3[32] Ratel ZT3 front.JPG Tank destroyer 16 in regular army service
36 in reserve battalions/storage
 South Africa Ratel IFV equipped with a triple ZT3 Ingwe ATGM launcher. Provides additional Anti-Tank capability to the Armoured Corps and Mechanized Infantry Battalions
Mamba Mk3 Armoured Personnel Carrier[33] SANDF Armed Forces Day 2017 - South African Army Mamba MkIII APC (32203158584).jpg Armoured personnel carrier 440 in service  South Africa APC with significant protection against anti-tank mines and small arms fire.
Casspir Mk3 Infantry Mobility Vehicle[34] Mechem Casspir Mk II (9686200019).jpg Infantry mobility vehicle 370 in service  South Africa IMV with significant protection against anti-tank mines and small arms fire. Comes in several variants: an armoured personnel carrier, ambulance, light cargo vehicle (Blesbok freighter), tanker, a fire support team vehicle(FISTV), a light recovery vehicle (Gemsbok) and a Plofadder mine clearing vehicle.
Hornet Rapid Deployment Reconnaissance Vehicle[35][36]:164 Reconnaissance vehicle 25 in service  South Africa In use with the South African Special Forces.

Utility, engineering and support vehicles[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Quantity
Origin
Notes
Gecko 8×8 ATV Rapid Deployment Logistical Vehicle[37] SADF-44Parachute-Gecko-001.jpg All-terrain utility vehicle ~100 in service  South Africa Used by the Parachute Regiment and Special Forces.
SAMIL 20[38][39] Samil 20.jpg 4×4 2-ton logistics truck Several thousand in service  South Africa Upgraded Magirus Deutz 130M7FAL 4×4 2-ton (load) truck. The trucks serve as the primary off-road light general purpose truck of the SANDF and comes in several variants, each fulfilling a different role. These include general cargo/fuel/troop transport variants, artillery fire control posts, variants with office and workshop bodies, a battery charger variant, a light recovery variant (designated "Pegasus") and a variant with a Light General Repair(LAD) rear body.
SAMIL 50[40][41] Samil 50 water tanker (9676181654).jpg 4×4 5-ton logistics truck Several thousand in service  South Africa Upgraded Magirus Deutz 192D12AL 4×4 5-ton (load) truck. Trucks are utilised in different roles as personnel/cargo transporters, field repair and maintenance vehicles, water/fuel transporters, field recovery vehicles (variant designated as "Springbok"), refuse collection trucks, mobile showers, mobile offices, bridge transporters, radio and technical bins and pantry vehicles(with refrigeration capability).
SAMIL 100[42] South African Army SAMIL 100.JPG 6×6 10-ton logistics truck Several thousand in service  South Africa Upgraded Magirus Deutz 320D22AL 6×6 10-ton (load) truck. Trucks are utilised in different roles as personnel/cargo transporters, water/fuel transporters, field recovery vehicles (variant designated as "Kameel"/Mine protected variant designated as "Withings"), dry canteen vehicles, field repair and maintenance vehicles (designated as "Waterbok"), UAV launchers, UAV recovery vehicles and gun tractors (for towed artillery pieces).
MAN Transportation Trucks[43] MAN Trucks of the South African military.jpg Logistics truck Unknown  Germany Primarily utilised as prime movers, firefighting vehicles and low-bed transporters.
SHE Cavallo (Kynos Aljaba) Trucks[44] Kynos Aljaba 8x8 Ejército Español.JPG 8×8 heavy logistics truck Unknown  Spain/ South Africa The army employs several variants of this vehicle. The "Skimmel" is a heavy recovery vehicle which is fitted with a tow arm, a winch, a crane and various other equipment. The "Zebra" is a maintenance and repair variant of the truck. The "Kameelperd" version carries the Army Air Defence Artillery's ESR220 Thutlwa mobile battery fire control post and early warning radar. The trucks also have tank transport and bridge layer variants.
Toyota Dyna[45] ToyotaDyna.jpg Medium-duty truck Unknown  Japan Designated as "Wildebees"
Iveco 30 tonne transporter[45] Logistics truck Unknown  Italy Designated as "Giraffe". Used as a cargo/vehicle transporter.
Scania transport buses SANDF Scania Busco (14272249221).jpg Personnel transport bus Unknown  Sweden These buses are used to ferry personnel to and from bases.
Various cars and light trucks. Light utility vehicle Unknown  Japan/ United States/ United Kingdom Various civilian utility vehicles are utilized by the army for light transport/patrol purposes (primarily Ford, Toyota and Land Rover vehicles).

Artillery[edit]

Howitzers[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Quantity
Origin
Notes
GV6 Renoster[46] Denel G6-45 Ysterplaat Airshow 2006.jpg Self-propelled howitzer 43 in army inventory (5 batteries worth, 8 guns per battery)  South Africa Locally developed long range 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer. Small numbers of artillery pieces are used by the School of Artillery to train gun crews from multiple regiments.
GV5 Luiperd[47] G5 howitzer (Impi).jpg Towed howitzer 72 in army inventory (9 batteries worth, 8 guns per battery)  South Africa Long-range towed 155mm howitzer. Small amounts of artillery pieces are used by the School of Artillery to train gun crews from multiple regiments.
GV1 25-pounder [48] - Flickr - Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden (6).jpg Towed howitzer A small number are maintained and in service with reserve regiments.  United Kingdom GV1 88mm guns are still maintained in several reserve regiments such as the Cape Field Artillery regiment and the Transvaal Horse Artillery which they fire on ceremonial occasions.[48]

Rocket artillery[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Quantity
Origin
Notes
Bateleur Mk 2 127mm MRL[49] SANDF Armed Forces Day 2017 - South African Army Samil 100 MPV Valkiri MkII rocket launcher (32203261424).jpg Multiple rocket launcher 24 in army inventory (3 batteries worth, 8 systems each)  South Africa The standard multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) of the South African Army Artillery Formation. 40 launch tubes mounted on an armoured Samil 100 6×6 truck.
Valkiri Mk 1 127mm MRL (Visarend)[49] Bateleur Multiple Rocket Launcher.jpg Multiple rocket launcher 26 in army inventory (3 batteries worth, 8 systems each, reportedly all in storage)  South Africa 24 launch tubes mounted on a Unimog light 4×4 truck.

Anti-aircraft artillery[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Quantity
Origin
Notes
Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon[50] Militari romani in timpul tragerilor.jpg Radar Guided Anti-Aircraft Autocannon 102 GDF-002 + 48 modified GDF-005 units. Upgrading to the Skyshield system, GDF-006 AHEAD and GDF-007 AHEAD standard by 2017   Switzerland 169 acquired (along with 75 Super Fledermaus fire control units) in the 1960s. 48 of these Mk I guns were upgraded to Mk V status and the Super Fledermaus fire control units replaced by Italian LPD20 radars in 1990. These guns will be upgraded by Rheinmetall AG to use Oerlikon Skyshield fire control systems and Ahead airburst ammunition.
ZU-23-2 Zumlac[51] Zu-23 30 M1-3 - InnovationDay2013part1-40.jpg Twin 23 mm Anti Aircraft Autocannon 36  Soviet Union These guns were captured in the 1980s during the South African Border War and are mounted on an armoured SAMIL 100 heavy truck.

Miscellaneous equipment[edit]

Name
Photo
Type
Quantity
Origin
Notes
ESR220 Thutlwa[52] SANDF Armed Forces Day 2017 - South African Army Skimmel 8X8 Thutlwa battery fire control post (32892489382).jpg Mobile Battery Fire Control Post and Early Warning Radar 4 Units  South Africa Designated as "Kameelperd". The system uses an L-band 2D surveillance radar to provide early warning to air defence artillery troops in the field. This fully autonomous armoured system (with self-contained power plant)is transported by a Spanish-designed Kynos Aljaba 8×8 (“Skimmel” in SANDF service) truck. It is capable of tracking aircraft in a 120 km radius and can be fully operational within 10 minutes of arrival at the deployment site. The system also provides for a combined air picture derived from primary radar(through utilisation of Link-ZA, the SANDF's data link system), as well as a command and control system for effective air defence control.
Husky VMMD[53] USMC-090120-M-8478B-004.jpg Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection System Unknown  South Africa A system designed to clear routes of mines. Usually they operate in pairs one after the other. The leading vehicle acts as a Mine Detection Vehicle (MDV) and is designated as "Meerkat". The second Husky in the system tows a trailer called a "Duisendpoot" and is known as a towing /mine detection vehicle (T/MDV). The latest version of the Husky, the 2G, has high sensitivity low metal content detectors, ground penetrating radar, powerful air blowers and a robotic arm.
Thales Squire radar system[54] Thales Squire.jpg Battlefield surveillance radar 14  France Acquired in 2012 under Project Cytoon. The radars are designed to plot a pedestrian at 10 km, a vehicle at 21 km, a tank at 28 km, a helicopter at 21 km, a boat at 12 km and a ship at 48 km. The radar system uses a frequency modulated continuous wave Doppler radar and is designed to be virtually undetectable by enemy electronic warfare equipment. All systems are in service with the SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps.
Thales Sophie man-portable system[54] Sophie ©B. Rousseau.jpg Thermal Imager 65  France Acquired in 2012 under Project Cytoon. The Thales Sophie can spot humans at over 4 km, tanks at 10 km, helicopters at 12 km and jet fighters at 16 km. All systems are in service with the SA Army Tactical Intelligence Corps.
Vulture[55] Vulture Launcher System at Ysterplaat Airshow, Cape Town (2).jpg Unmanned aerial vehicle At least 4  South Africa Acquired under Project Klooster. The Vulture is used for target acquisition, fall-of-shot detection and fire correction in support of Towed and Self Propelled Gun Howitzer Systems of the SA Army Artillery Formation. It operates without a pilot or a runway and is deployable in 30 minutes in unprepared terrain. The UAV is launched from a catapult on the back of a SAMIL 100 truck. The Vulture is monitored on the ground via the Navigator and Observer screens in a Ground Control Station. A laser system is used for automated approach, an arrestor system for its capture and an inflatable airbag for its recovery.
LOCATS[53] Low Cost Aerial Target Systems Unknown  South Africa The LOCATS is an unmanned aerial target used to train Air Defence Artillery crews in gunnery. It is launched from a ramp fitted on the back of a flatbed truck and is recovered by parachute.

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