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|Type||Armoured fighting vehicle|
|Place of origin||South Africa|
|In service||1990 – present|
|Produced||1989 – present|
|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|
|1 x Denel GT4 76mm 62-calibre rifled gun, firing an APFSDS round
Muzzle velocity: > 1600m/s.
|2 x MG4 7.62 mm machine guns; 8 x 81 mm smoke grenade dischargers|
|Engine||10-cylinder water-cooled diesel
414 KW (563 hp)
|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.
Rooikat Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Two versions exist and are designated according to their main guns:
- Rooikat 76: The Rooikat 76 armoured fighting vehicle, with a 76mm gun, was developed by Reemit for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and has been in operational use with the SANDF since 1980.
- Rooikat 105: In 1990 an upgrade and redesign programme was started by Reumech OMC to customise the Rooikat for the international market, and by 1994 the development of the Rooikat 105 variant with a 105mm rifled gun was completed.
The Rooikat 105 is designed for high mobility day and night combat operations. Passive image intensifiers and thermal imaging equipment for night driving, navigation and weapon deployment permit round-the-clock combat operations. The Rooikat 105 is equipped with a GT7 105mm anti-tank gun. The gun fires the full range of Nato full-pressure 105mm ammunition including generation I, II and III rounds. The gun, fitted with a 51-caliber thermal sleeve encased barrel, fires six rounds a minute. There are two 7.62mm machine guns, one co-axial to the main armament and one at the commander's position, for general purpose ground and air defence. The vehicle is equipped with two banks of 81mm smoke grenade launchers, mounted in a forward firing position on each side of the turret. The system is electrically operated. The smoke grenades form a dense protective smoke screen, which can be sustained using an exhaust smoke generator. The digital fire control system takes data from a suite of sensors and provides an automatic fire control solution. Automatic data input includes target range from a laser rangefinder, target speed and direction derived from tracking the target, crosswind speed, weapon tilt and the characteristics of the weapon. Manual data input includes ammunition type and environmental data. The fire control system allows the Rooikat to engage enemy targets while on the move across rough terrain. The time between laser ranging the target and firing is approximately two seconds. Three variations of fire directing systems are offered. The most complex system incorporates a primary stabilised gunner's sight, automatic computation and implementation of ballistic offset of the weapon, electro-mechanical gun control, stabilised main weapon, gunner's sight with day / night channel slaved to the main weapon and an independent panoramic commander's sight.
Rooikat ZA35 Self Propelled Anti-aircraft Gun
This Rooikat version was developed by ARMSCOR in the early 90s. The ZA-35 SPAAG is armed with two Lyttleton Engineering M-35 guns. These guns have a combined rate of fire at 1 100 rounds per minute and fires HE-FRAG rounds against air targets and AP-I against light armored vehicles. The ZA-35 is fitted with an EDR 110 surveillance and tracking radar, which can track up to 100 air targets simultaneously. The antenna can be raised to a height of about 5 meters for increased visibility, when the vehicle is stationary. It can provide targeting data to other nearby SPAAGs and air defense systems, which do not have radars. It is also fitted with a computerized fire control system, fully stabilized gunner's sight and a laser rangefinder.
The Rooikat SAM was intended to be used together with the Rooikat SPAAG, this ZA-HVM short-range SAM, would also have been based on the same chassis.
A prototype Rooikat antitank was also developed with a new turret to incorporate antitank missiles.
One Rooikat 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.
- 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.
- History and Insignia - SA Armour Association
- "Rooikat". South African Army. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- "Rooikat armoured car". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- ARG. "Rooikat Tank Destroyer". Military-Today.com. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "South African Army preparing immediate response force - IHS Jane's 360". Janes.com. 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "Rooikat 105 Armoured Fighting Vehicle". Army Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "Fact file: Rooikat armoured car". defenceWeb. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- ARG. "ZA-35 Prototype Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun". Military-Today.com. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- "The O'Malley Archives". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "home". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Africa: Salvation or Despair
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rooikat.|
- Manufacturer's website (Accessed 28 July 2008)
- Factfile on Vehicle (Accessed 25 February 2009)
- Rooikat 76 Armoured Fighting Vehicle