The Rooikat, is a South African armored reconnaissance vehicle developed in the early 1980s.
South Africa has one of the most powerful ground forces in Africa, and its defense industry is also respectable, successfully developing a variety of domestic weapons. The Rooikat, is a South African armored reconnaissance vehicle developed in the early 1980s, armed with a stabilised 76 mm high velocity gun for organic anti-tank and fire support purposes. Currently, the South African Army is operating 240 vehicles, and an additional 150 in Reserve.
The Rooikat was developed to replace the Eland-90, the standard reconnaissance vehicle of the South African Defence Force from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Rooikat has been in service with the South African ground forces since 1987, and mass production began around mid-1990s. The vehicle used for reconnaissance, aggressive search-and-destroy, anti-armour operations, combat patrols, raids and hot pursuit operations.
Rooikat was built by Denel, a defense company of South Africa. The original Rooikat was armed with a Denel GT4 76mm main gun. In 1990, an upgrade and redesign program customized the Rooikat for the international market, and the Rooikat was armed with a 105 mm rifle gun, under the Rooikat 105 designation.
Rooikat’s main role is a combat scout with a search and kill mission. In anti-armor operations, Rooikat performed an important role in defending against enemy armored threats. The GT7 105mm anti-tank gun fires the full range of Nato full-pressure 105mm ammunition. The gun, fitted with a 51-calibre thermal sleeve encased barrel, fires six rounds a minute. There are two 7.62mm machine guns, one co-axial to the main armament and one at the commander’s position, for general purpose ground and air defence.
Rooikat provides protection against 24mm ammunition in the frontal arc. It can withstand the blast of a TM46 anti-tank mine and provide full protection to the four-man crew. The eight wheel configuration allows the vehicle to maintain mobility even after the loss of any wheel. Collective overpressure and air filter systems protect the crew against chemical and biological attack. An automatic fire explosion suppression system is available. The vehicle is equipped with two banks of 81mm smoke grenade launchers, mounted in a forward firing position on each side of the turret.
The digital fire control system takes data from a suite of sensors and provides an automatic fire control solution, allows the Rooikat to engage enemy targets while on the move across rough terrain. The vehicle is designed for high-mobility combat operations. The maximum road speed is 120km/h and the average cross country speed is 50km/h.