17, 2008: Spain has bought a hundred
RG-31 (Nyala) armored vehicles for about a million dollars each. The 85 APC
(armored personnel carrier) versions will have a remotely (from inside the
vehicle) operated 12.7mm machine-gun. Dozens of RG-31s have given good service
recently in Afghanistan, used by Canadian troops. Three have encountered Taliban
bombs, leaving a total of eight passengers injured, and one dead. One Nyala,
after getting hit by a powerful roadside bomb, was able to get home under its own power, with a crew that was shaken,
but not injured.
The Nyala is a South African vehicles,
designed to resist landmines and roadside bombs. It was developed from the
earlier Mamba armored personnel carrier, and has an excellent track record. The
wheeled (4x4) vehicle weighs up to 17 tons, and can carry 3.5 tons of cargo and
up to eleven people. Although armed only with a .50 caliber machine-gun, the
Nyala earns its way by being the first one down roads where mines or roadside
bombs may be encountered. The Nyala is becoming popular with NGOs operating in
dangerous areas, as it does not look particularly military (especially if the
machine-gun is removed), even though it is definitely a combat ready vehicle.
also getting ten ambulance and five command post versions.