Home Fleetwatch 2022 Sign of the times – armoured cab for a host of operations

Sign of the times – armoured cab for a host of operations

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The SVI-converted UD Kuzer truck offers its driver and front passengers comprehensive B6 protection against assault rifles up to 7.62x51 mm (including AK47, R5 and R1) without compromising comfort.
The SVI-converted UD Kuzer truck offers its driver and front passengers comprehensive B6 protection against assault rifles up to 7.62x51 mm (including AK47, R5 and R1) without compromising comfort.

It is perhaps a sign of the times in South Africa that you when you arrive at a truck OEM press conference, instead of seeing on display the latest high-tech truck with all new safety features incorporated under a sleek aerodynamically designed cab as we did in the past, you’re confronted with a sort of box like cab which has the aerodynamics of a brick-wall and features flat ballistic glass bolted into each window frame with gun-ports in the windscreen and side windows. It’s a beast rather than a beauty.

That is what was on display at the UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) press conference and I found it interesting that during the presentation by Filip Van den Heede, Managing Director of UDTSA, one of the overheads slides which showed how UD Trucks is structuring its actions around being Better for People, Better for the Planet, and Better for Growth, the latter point was illustrated with this armoured chariot. Mmmm! Growth in South Africa certainly does need armoured protection. A sign of the times.

Filip Van den Heede, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, spelt out how the mission of UD Trucks is to structure its products and actions to be Better for People, Better for the Planet, and Better for Growth. Note that the new SVI-armoured UD Kuzer RKE 150 is used as the illustration for ‘Growth’. And it’s not off the mark as growth in South Africa certainly does need armoured protection
Filip Van den Heede, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, spelt out how the mission of UD Trucks is to structure its products and actions to be Better for People, Better for the Planet, and Better for Growth. Note that the new SVI-armoured UD Kuzer RKE 150 is used as the illustration for ‘Growth’. And it’s not off the mark as growth in South Africa certainly does need armoured protection

This specially armored UD Kuzer RKE 150 truck follows a venture between UDTSA and SVI Engineering, a leading specialist manufacturer of armored products in South Africa. The SVI-converted UD Kuzer truck offers its driver and front passengers comprehensive B6 protection, without compromising either comfort or performance. Further, the conversion is fully approved by UDTSA and the new armouring solution can be ordered through any UDTSA dealer local network, with the standard manufacturer warranty remaining in place.

Trading its entire standard cab for a version custom made from bullet-resistant steel and featuring top-quality ballistic glass, the truck offers its driver and front passengers comprehensive B6 protection against assault rifles up to 7.62×51 mm (including AK47, R5 and R1).

The new SVI-armoured UD Kuzer RKE 150 for ultimate protection of the driver and passengers in a host of operations.
The new SVI-armoured UD Kuzer RKE 150 for ultimate protection of the driver and passengers in a host of operations.

The conversion is fully approved by UD Trucks Southern Africa. As such, the new armouring solution can be ordered through any dealer in the local network, with the standard manufacturer warranty remaining firmly in place.

“We developed this cab-replacement solution not only for clients transporting high-value cargo – such as electronics, cigarettes and even food products – but also for several other applications. For example, since the UD Kuzer’s load body design is adaptable to various customer requirements, it can be configured as a cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicle or even an armoured personnel carrier (APC). In addition, we offer the option to shorten the chassis, if required,” says Jaco de Kock. CEO of SVI.

Drawing on its extensive experience in the military field, the Bashewa-based firm decided that rather than employing integrated door, fender and pillar armour, SVI’s engineers opted to replace the entire cab with a custom-made crew compartment, further minimising the possibility of ballistic gaps. This solution – which includes an escape hatch in the roof – saves weight compared with the normal armouring process, as the standard cab is entirely removed. As such, after the addition of the replacement cab and a standard box body, the SVI-armoured UD Kuzer RKE 150 boasts a payload as generous as 3 700 kg.

The cab features flat ballistic glass bolted into each window frame with gun-ports in the windscreen and side windows.
The cab features flat ballistic glass bolted into each window frame with gun-ports in the windscreen and side windows.

The flat ballistic glass bolted into each window frame allows for fuss-free replacement should damage be sustained during an attack. The unique cab construction furthermore protects engine components and includes a tilting nose plate to facilitate routine maintenance, ensuring serviceability remains as close as possible to that of the standard truck.

Remember the old joke of someone asking an Irishman what he does for a job and the Irishman answers: “I’m a rear gunner in a bakery van.” Well, seems that joke now applies to South Africa. Except, it’s no joke. It’s real.

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