BAE Launches RG41 Wheeled Combat Vehicle
By TIM MAHON – In a bid to capture a slice of the 8×8 wheeled combat vehicle market, BAE Systems has unveiled its RG41 vehicle at Eurosatory.
Developed by the former OMC business in South Africa, BAE Systems’ RG41 was designed to better withstand landmines than existing vehicles. Its modular design is meant to be repairable in the field, provide excellent mobility and a comfortable ride, and carry up to 11 tons.
To keep the price down, the RG41 uses many COTS components.
“The vehicle has been designed to cost, in order to win the economic war,” said James Caldwell, director of European campaigns for BAE Global Tactical Systems.
The design is also free of any potential ITAR restraints.
Powered by a Deutz V6 diesel with a ZF SHP902 transmission, the RG41 offers many angles of approach and departure, allowing it to drive around mines in rough terrain. Its suspension has a double-wishbone configuration with a hydro-pneumatic strut and hydraulic shock absorbers to reduce troop stress and fatigue.
Gross vehicle weight depends on the exact configuration. With a full complement of troops (eight soldiers plus three crew), their supplies and onboard weapons, the vehicle weighs in at some 24 tons, rising to 30 tons with role-specific enhancements such as additional armor.
A full-length semi-V shaped hull and a modular protection system, make it “relatively easy to manage fast, in-field repair at the second level,” Caldwell said.
Optional extras for the baseline vehicle include a variety of conventional or remote turreted weapon systems, defensive aids, a C4I suite for 360-degree video vision, additional armor and increased engine power.
The company plans various variants, including a section combat vehicle, a command vehicle, an ambulance and engineering and recovery models.
RG41 is aimed at militaries seeking “an infantry combat vehicle that is well-protected, multi-role and low-cost,” Caldwell said.
The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have bought more than 1,800 RG31 Mine Protected Vehicles, predecessors to the RG41.