The Rooikat 105 is equipped with a GT7 105 mm anti-tank gun. The gun fires the full range of NATO full pressure 105 mm ammunition including Generation I, II and III rounds. The gun, fitted with a 51 calibre thermal sleeve encased barrel, fires 6 rounds per minute.
There are two 7.62 mm machine guns, one co-axial to the main armament and one at the commander's position, for general purpose ground and air defence.
The vehicle is equipped with two banks of 81 mm smoke grenade launchers, mounted in a forward firing position on each side of the turret. The system is electrically operated. The smoke grenades form a dense protective smoke screen, which can be sustained using an exhaust smoke generator.
The Rooikat can withstand the blast of a TM46 anti-tank mine and provide full protection to the 4 man crew. Ballistic protection against 24 mm ammunition is provided over the frontal arc. The Rooikat eight wheel configuration allows the vehicle to maintain mobility even after the loss of any wheel caused for example by a land mine detonation. Also the vehicle is equipped with run-flat inserts which allow mobility after the loss of pressure in all eight wheels. Collective overpressure and air filter systems protect the crew against chemical and biological attack. An automatic fire explosion suppression system is available.
The digital fire control system takes data from a suite of sensors and provides an automatic fire control solution. Automatic data input includes target range from a laser rangefinder, target speed and direction derived from tracking the target, crosswind speed, weapon tilt and the characteristics of the weapon. Manual data input includes ammunition type and environmental data. The fire control system allows the Rooikat to engage enemy targets while on the move across rough terrain. The time between laser ranging the target and firing is approximately two seconds.
Three variations of fire directing systems are offered. The most complex system incorporates a primary stabilised gunner's sight, automatic computation and implementation of ballistic offset of the weapon, electro-mechanical gun control, stabilised main weapon, gunner's sight with day/night channel slaved to the main weapon and an independent panoramic commander's sight.
The Rooikat 105 is designed for high mobility combat operations. It can travel 1000 km under its own power and be battle-ready within 24 hours of departure from the home base. The maximum road speed is 120 km/hour and the average cross country speed is 50 km/hour. The Rooikat accelerates from 0 to 30 km/hour in less than eight seconds.
The suspension system on the Rooikat includes internally driven trailing arms, coil springs and shock absorbers.
While the Rooikat armed with the 76 mm gun (fully covered in the following entry) meets the requirements of the South African National Army, for the export market a Rooikat armed with a 105 mm rifled tank gun has been developed since 1990.
So far two prototypes of this have been built as a private venture with Reumech OMC (previously Reunert Defence OMC) being responsible for the chassis and LIW, part of the Denel Group, for the complete turret and armament.
Reumech OMC is the prime contractor for the system as well as being responsible for international marketing.
Development of the 105 mm Rooikat primary stabilised system was completed in 1997 and production can commence as soon as firm orders are placed. The Rooikat 105 mm has been demonstrated in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia.
The complete turret is now being offered by LIW for installation on other chassis, tracked and wheeled. For trials purposes it has already been fitted to the Swedish Hagglunds CV 90 chassis and details of this version are given in the Light tanks section under International.
More recently the turret has been selected by GKN Defence of the UK for its Warrior LMT105 light tank, details of which are given in the Light tanks section under the United Kingdom.
The Rooikat 105 mm is offered with three different types of Fire Direction System (FDS) which are described as low-, medium- and high-work performance systems. The first prototype of the Rooikat 105 mm had the medium-performance system fitted.
The primary stabilised system, comprising the high-performance FDS with thermal imaging night sights included, is fully qualified and ready for production.
The modular design of the system enables the manufacturer to up- or downgrade the system with ease and reliability according to prospective clients' choice.
The three FDS sophistication levels can be summarised as:
(1) Low-work performance comprising electromechanical gun control with stabilised main weapon. In addition, a gunner's sight is fitted with a day/night laser channel which is mechanically slaved to the main weapon.
(2) Medium-work performance comprising all the elements of the low-performance system but with the addition of a fire-control system which will automatically compute and implement the ballistic offsets.
(3) High-work performance comprising all the elements of the medium-performance system but with the addition of a primary stabilised gunner's sight.
Apart from the weapon system changes, other improvements have been made to enhance operations in desert and tropical conditions. These include the installation of a more powerful air conditioning unit and detailed efficiency improvements to the engine cooling system.
(1) Commander's stabilised or non-stabilised panoramic sight
(2) Gunner's sight mechanically slaved to the 105 mm GT7 gun with either image intensification or thermal night fighting capability
(3) Choice of communications equipment
(4) Navigation system
(5) A choice in terms of fire directing sensors including crosswind, omnidirectional wind/ barometric/ambient temperature and static or dynamic cant sensors