Casspir (1979)

South Africa (1979) Mine Protected Vehicle – +2800 built

The Casspir in Brief

The Casspir is a South African-designed and produced armored personnel carrier (APC) that gained international attention during the apartheid era. It was developed in the late 1970s by the South African company, Vickers OMC (now part of Denel Land Systems), as a response to the need for a robust and mine-resistant vehicle for military and police operations.

Key features of the Casspir:
Mine Resistance: One of the main design features of the Casspir is its ability to withstand landmine explosions. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull that deflects the force of a blast away from the vehicle, providing increased protection to the occupants.

Versatility: Originally designed as an armored personnel carrier, the Casspir has been adapted for various roles, including troop transport, command and control, and ambulance duties. Its versatility has contributed to its longevity and widespread use.

Wheel Configuration: The Casspir typically has a 4x4 wheel configuration, which allows it to navigate different types of terrain. The large, balloon-like tires contribute to its off-road capabilities.

Armament: While the primary role of the Casspir is transportation, some variants may be equipped with light machine guns or other small arms for self-defense.

Civilian Use: Following the end of apartheid and South Africa's transition to a democratic government, surplus Casspirs were sold to various countries, and some were also repurposed for civilian use. In some instances, they were used for peacekeeping missions or as part of private security operations.

It's important to note that the Casspir gained notoriety due to its association with the apartheid regime and its use in suppressing dissent. However, its design, particularly its mine-resistant features, has contributed to its continued use in various parts of the world where the threat of landmines remains a concern.

Casspir APC Specifications MK2

Dimensions (l-w-h)6.90 – 2.45 – 3.12 m
22.63 – 7.87 – 10.24 ft
Total weight, battle ready10.7 Tons
Crew + mounted infantry2 + 12 mission dependent
PropulsionMK2: ADE 352T six-cylinder, four-stroke, water cooled, and turbocharged diesel engine, 166 hp (15.5 hp/t)
SuspensionSemi-elliptical leaf spring front and rear.
Telescopic double acting oil filled shock absorbers in the front and rear.
Front axle articulation limited by check straps.
Top speed road / off-road90 / 40 km/h (56 / 28 mph)
Range road/ off-road800 / 400 km (500 / 250 miles)
Armament7.62 or 12.7 mm roof mounted Browning Machine gun
Armour6-7 mm (all arcs)
Total Production (Hulls)+3000

Casspir MK2 dark sand livery. Illustration by Tank Encyclopedia’s own David Bocquelet.

Casspir MK3 Ambulance

Casspir MK3

Casspir MK3 Koevoet Angola 1983

Casspir MK3 Command

Casspir MK3 mortar

Casspir MK3 in UN colors

Casspir MK2 based FK412 of a police unit

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