Armor: January 9, 2002


Vickers has sent a prototype Wasp rapid deployment vehicle to South Africa for tests. Wasp is a 4x4 all-terrain air-droppable vehicle that looks something like a cross between the "dune buggy" light attack vehicles used by the US and a jeep. The vehicle weighs 2.5 tons empty, and can carry up to eight troops (including the driver). The roll bars can mount machineguns or other weapons. The vehicle is unarmored, although the drive train is armored against small-arms fire. (The South Africans want 40 vehicles of this type for their rapid deployment battalion, which now uses old Mechem BAT vehicles. South Africa is also evaluating a new version of the BAT called G-BAT.) Vickers has suggested that the vehicle could be of interest to US Special Forces who found getting around in Afghanistan difficult without vehicles. --Stephen V Cole


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