Ant's Military Notes HOME | EMAIL
Ratel Armoured Vehicle Researching...
The Ratel is a range of infantry combat vehicles designed and manufactured by South Africa in the middle 1970’s to circumvent the arms embargo of South Africa. It has featured prominently in many cross-border operations, and has proved itself to be a most cost-effective system in terms of both operational purpose and cost.
This page has links to websites with detailed information and pictures of these military vehicles.
I will try and add as much technical data and some of it's quirks to this page as I can remember.
I don't know if it is still classified, the design is more than 20 years old and the technology is no longer something to get excited about.
The Ratel was designed for use in Africa and is equipped with wheels rather than tracks for mobility and reliability over long distances.
It is classified as a Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV).
Infantry can fight from inside the vehicle by using the firing ports or be dismounted on or near their objective.
In its primary role the Ratel is fitted with a 20 mm or 90 mm gun.
Variants include an armoured command vehicle, equipped with a 12,7 mm machine gun or a 20 mm gun, a missile launcher, a 60 mm and 81 mm mortar as well as logistic and recovery vehicles.
It was first used in 1978 in operation "Reindeer"
Type Fire support vehicle, wheeled, 6x6 Weight 18,5 tonnes combat loaded Dimensions Length 7,21m / Width 2,7m / Height 2,395m / Ground Clearance 350mm Engine 230 kW / 12 litre / turbo charged six –cylinder water-cooled Diesel Speed 105 km/h, 30 km/h ( off road ) Range 1000 km Crew 3 + 6 Infantry Armament 90 mm low-pressure gun & 7.62 mm MG Trench crossing 1,15m 90mm Ammunition: total of 69 90mm shells, 29 being transported in the turret and 40 in the case beside the turret. Approx 20 shells were HEAT ("anti-tank with hollow-charge") and the remainder were HE (anti-personnel fragmentation"). 7.62mm Ammunition: 10+ Browning belt feed boxes, total of 1400 rounds. 100 litres of fresh drinking water for the crew. Communications is via VHF radio (between vehicles) and HF radio (for longer distances) with EW secure and frequency hopping capabilities. Internally the communications is done via the intercom between the crew headsets. The vehicle also has an audio-speaker in the crew compartment to keep the infantrymen informed. Comments Derived from the Ratel 20 ICV. The turret is identical to that of the Eland 90. The Primary role of the Ratel 90 was to act as Anti-Tank support to the Ratel 20 Mechanized Battalions.
Links and images
Early prototype Ratel, images showing interior:
Night exercise, images of Ratels and 89mm rocket launcher:
My evaluation of the Ratel
As I spent most of my time driving a RATEL 90, most of my comments (and the specifications discussed) will relate to the Ratel 90. Back in 1979 and 1980, this vehicle was considered Towed Panhard armoured cars on the sandy roads at 70 km/h, faster than they could drive on their own! (These roads, actually sandy tracks were very similar to beach sand)
HOME | EMAIL
61 Mech motto: "Mobilitate Vincere" - Destruction of the enemy through mobility.