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Canada Buys South African RG-12s Equiped with MARS for the G8 Meeting

22 April 2002

By Leon Engelbrecht, Defence Systems Daily''s Southern Africa correspondent

Canada''s Calgary Police Force has become the latest user of Vickers OMC of South Africa''s redoubtable RG12 armoured personnel carrier (APC). The two RG-12 multi-purpose armoured vehicles will initially be used during the upcoming G-8 conference in Alberta during June 2002. These vehicles will ultimately be employed as a regional asset in Western Canada where they will considerably enhance the protection capabilities of the local law enforcement agencies, Vickers OMC said when announcing the R4 million (US$363,000) deal.

The RG-12 APCs have been fitted with the Mobile Adjustable Ramp System (MARS), designed and manufactured by Patriot 3 in Virginia, USA, for use in aircraft hijack situations. The MARS makes simultaneous multi-story entry possible and can be used in elevated assaults. It is fitted onto the roof of the RG-12 and has two hydraulically operated ramps that can move independently.

Vickers said the contract was secured through the "professional and sustained efforts of GM Defense of London Ontario, Canada, with whom Vickers OMC and Vickers Defence Systems have a close association." Vickers Defence Systems is the parent company of Vickers OMC and forms part of Rolls-Royce plc.

The RG-12 forms the backbone of the Operational Response (formerly Public Order/Internal Stability/Riot) component of the South African Police Services (SAPS). "Originally designed as a police public order vehicle for both urban and rural operations, the RG12 has proved to be highly effective in many other applications, including as routine armoured patrol vehicles, military APCs, bullion carriers, bulk diamond carriers, and internal security vehicles on gold and platinum mines," Vickers says.

The RG-12 can be configured in special variants, carrying a variety of optional equipment. The design and construction of the RG-12 protects the occupants from hand-thrown missiles, rifle and small arms fire, and under-belly hand grenades. It does not, however, provide protection against landmine blasts. Over 700 of the vehicles are currently in service with the SAPS in South Africa, while others are in service with the police forces of Mozambique, Malawi, Congo, Ivory Coast, Colombia and two Middle Eastern countries.

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