Rotherham-based steel engineering firm MTL Group has been awarded a significant contract to supply fabricated armoured hulls to Panzer Technologies for its Mamba vehicle.
The armoured vehicles which are intended for use in peace keeping operations will be manufactured at MTL Group’s headquarters in the UK before the 21 units are shipped to South Africa for final assembly.
This is MTL Group’s first contract in South Africa for armoured hull fabrications and follows on from its contract to supply in excess of 300 armoured V-shaped hulls for the new Foxhound vehicle sanctioned by UK Ministry of Defence for use in Afghanistan.
Foxhound is lighter and smaller than other protected vehicles such as Mastiff and Ridgback, making it ideal for soldiers operating in mentoring and partnering roles as it makes it easier for them to engage with Afghan National Security Forces and the local Afghan population.
The armoured hulls for the Mamba vehicle, which offers protection against small arms fire and land mines, will require cutting, bending, machining, welding and assembly.
Simon Hurst, sales manager for defence, said that commented on the importance of the order for MTL Group, adding that its involvement in the manufacturing of such an iconic vehicle will boost its reputation.
The Mamba vehicle has been around a long time and Mr Hurst noted that the contract win arrived after “the customer liked the idea that we wouldn’t just weld the product, but support and provide a design for manufacture review that would enhance the product.”
MTL are looking to remove weight and cost by cutting and bending parts instead of welding, which also improves the vehicle’s protection.
The company says that its design for manufacture service has helped it to win business with OEMs as it produces more cost effective vehicles that can compete in today’s economic climate.