|Manufacturer:||DENEL LAND SYSTEMS, DLS|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
The standard production Reumech OMC Rooikat (8 x 8) armoured car used by the South African Armoured Corps is armed with the LIW 76 mm gun (GT 4) which is covered in a later entry.
For the export market a version of the Rooikat armed with a 105 mm rifled gun designated the GT 7 has been developed to the prototype stage with the first vehicle commencing trials early in 1992.
By 1999, two prototypes of the Rooikat 105 mm armoured car had been built and tested but no firm orders have so far been placed for this vehicle.
The GT 7 long recoil gun uses the standard L7 barrel mated to a new long recoil system developed by LIW, with the L7 monobloc forged barrel being autofrettaged for enhanced service life.
The rifled GT 7 barrel is fitted with a lightweight glass fibre thermal sleeve and a fume extractor, it fires all standard types of 105 mm tank gun ammunition which are fired by the original UK L7 tank gun and its US version, the M68.
Although the first application of the GT 7 is the Rooikat, it has been designed to be installed in other vehicles. The welded cradle assembly will fit most turret interfaces and provides for an auxiliary sight and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. The guardrail incorporates an anti-rotation plate.
The recoil system is of a unique compact concentric hydropneumatic design with the core of the system being a hydropneumatic recuperator which uses a bladder type accumulator and a barrel sleeve with different diameters fore and aft of the recoil piston.
The accumulator is precharged to a pressure that keeps the gun in battery at any elevation. Upon firing, the recoil causes the barrel sleeve to displace oil into the accumulator, compressing the gas in the bladder. The pressurised gas then provides the energy to push the gun back into battery.
Routine maintenance is limited to the regular checking of the gas pressure and visual inspection for leaks.
The GT 7 has a recoil length of 600 mm which can be further reduced by fitting a muzzle brake.
The 105 mm GT 7 gun and its associated turret are now being offered for installation on other chassis, tracked and wheeled. Complete details of the turret are given in the AFV turrets and cupolas section later in this volume.
The Rooikat 105 mm turret, for trials purposes, has recently been fitted on an ASCOD tracked armoured personnel carrier chassis and in the future it may be installed on the chassis of the Alvis Vehicles Warrior.
LIW is now looking at an even lower recoil version of the 105 mm GT 7 for vehicles in the 10 tonne range, this will have a recoil length of 900 mm and will be mounted on a 4.5 tonne turret.
Development complete. Ready for production.