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Tank destroyer


The Rooikat tank destroyer was used for deep penetration missions across the border

Entered service 1989
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 28 t
Length (gun forward) 8.2 m
Hull length 7.1 m
Width 2.9 m
Height 2.8 m
Main gun 76 mm gun
Machine guns 2 x 7.62 mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 48 rounds
Machine guns 3 000 rounds
Engine diesel
Engine power 563 hp
Maximum road speed 120 km/h
Range 1 000 km
Gradient 70%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.5 m


   Development of the Rooikat (African Lynx) tank destroyer began in South African Republic in 1976. Production of this armored vehicle began in 1989. Around 240 of these tank destroyers were built. These replaced the ageing Eland armored cars in service with the South African National Defense Force (SANDF).

   The main goal was to develop a well armored wheeled vehicle, capable of operating far away from supply bases. Its armament should be capable of defeating tanks of all types, that were in service with neighboring countries.

   The main role for the Rooikat tank destroyer is combat reconnaissance. Its secondary role is combat support and anti-guerilla operations. Vehicle was used for deep penetration missions across the border.

   Front armor of the Rooikat provides protection against 23 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against small-arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Hull floor has increased protection against mine blasts. The Rooikat tank destroyer is completed with an NBC protection system as standard. It is also is fitted with exhaust smoke generator and smoke grenade dischargers.

   The Rooikat is fitted with a fully-stabilized GT4 76 mm main gun, which was developed from Italian OTO Melara naval gun. Despite its relatively small caliber at a range of 1 500 meters this high-velocity gun penetrates front armor of the tanks such as M48, T-54, T-55 and T-62, that were most widespread in that region. The gun is loaded manually. A total of 48 rounds of ammunition are carried for the main gun.

   Vehicle was fitted with a modern fire control system. The Rooikat tank destroyer has a good fire accuracy at a range of 2 000 meters in day or night conditions and while firing on the move.

   Secondary armament consists of two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun and another is placed on top of the turret roof.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The Rooikat is powered by an unspecified V10 diesel engine, developing 563 horsepower. Engine is located at the rear. Its 8x8 configuration allows to maintain mobility after the loss of any wheel. This fire support vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Vehicle is also equipped with run-flat inserts which allow mobility after the loss of pressure in all wheels. This tank destroyer is not amphibious.




   Rooikat 105 an upgunned version fitted with the GT7 105 mm high-pressure rifled gun. This gun fires a full range of NATO 105 mm ammunition and has a rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute. The more powerful gun also changed overall combat capabilities of this tank destroyer. This Rooikat was aimed primarily at the export market, as the SANDF did not specify for a 105 mm gun. Development of the Rooikat 105 was completed in 1994. However in the 1990s the export market was glutted with Cold War-era AFVs and the Rooikat 105 failed to attract any customers. Only a single prototype was built;

   ZA-35 prototype self-propelled anti-aircraft gun;

   ZA-HVM prototype self-propelled air defense missile system.


Video of the Rooikat tank destroyer







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