Photo: S.Africa: Zero interest in vintage armoured cars

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[Bummer! Elands too! Wow! Below is an Eland with a 90mm gun. It's actually a South African modified version of a French Armoured card. Eland's were cool and South Africa gave some to us in Rhodesia. Jan]

There were no takers to an Armscor Defence Disposal Solutions (DDS) tender for either the sale or destruction of 21 scrap armoured vehicles at Army Support Base (ASB) Port Elizabeth.

Included in the offering were Eland, Vickers and Ferret armoured cars, as they were known in service.

DDS sent out seven sets of tender documents as per enquiries. defenceWeb was informed the adjudication process is complete and none of the bids was successful.

If there had been a successful bid, he or she would have acquired the redundant armoured cars – a far cry from today’s high-tech wheeled armoured fighting and infantry vehicles – along with whatever “related equipment” service technicians at the Eastern Cape coastal city base found in stores.

Options to ensure the no longer required equipment leaves the base include moving them to the School of Armour Museum in Bloemfontein or finding a new – preferably – donated home at somewhere like Sandstone Estates in Eastern Free State.

The Armour Museum in Bloemfontein’s Tempe has its roots in a 1995 decision by then SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Reg Otto, to use a historic building in the lines of the School of Armour to house the museum. The museum is home to a sizeable display of armoured fighting vehicles – tracked and wheeled – as well as indoor displays, an auditorium and a research library. Other assets are Garrison Hall and a Wall of Remembrance.

Sandstone Estates is a working agricultural estate where aficionados of steam trains, old agricultural equipment and implements as well as vintage military equipment gather to indulge their specialities. Its social media identifier includes Sandstone being recognised internationally as an agricultural, military and railway preservation site between Bethlehem and Ficksburg.

At the same time, the state-owned defence and security acquisition agency has been asked by the landward force to request information with a view to acquiring armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in two plus eight seating configuration. The intention, according to James Kerr of Orion Consulting, is for the APCs to “replace or supplement” the current Casspir and Mamba fleets.

Still on army mobility, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha’s service wants Armscor to source a suitable supplier to maintain and repair the engines of its Ratel MK3s. This tender was issued on 14 December and closes on 3 February.


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