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Ratel ZT-3



Overview


Ratel ZT-3

Forward view of Ratel ZT-3 A2.

Source: Dewald Venter - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
South Africa
Type
Tank destroyer
Entered service
1987
Status
In service
Development
1980's
Developer
South Africa - Alvis OMC (chassis)
South Africa - Kentron (missile system)
Production
1987 - ?
Producers
South Africa - Alvis OMC
Number produced
53

Description


Introduction

The Ratel ZT-3 is a tank destroyer of South African origin. It is the anti-tank missile variant of the Ratel series of infantry fighting vehicles. The Ratel ZT-3 was developed since the Ratel 90 had difficulties with the increasing number of tanks encountered during the Bush Wars. Early production vehicles were rushed to the frontline in 1987 and succesfully engaged T-55 tanks in several operations.

Layout

The Ratel ZT-3 is based on the Ratel 6x6 vehicle chassis. Apart from its turret it looks very similar to other vehicles based on the same chassis. The turret is derived from the Ratel 90 or Eland 90 armored car, but features a three round missile launcher and laser tracker system instead of a 90mm gun. Unlike other variants of the Ratel is does not carry an infantry section. Additional ammunition is stored in racks in the rear hull.

Firepower

The ZT-3 Swift missile, also known as Ingwe, is a very capable missile system. On the Ratel three missiles are ready to launch, but only one is fired at a time. The missiles are laser beam riding and have proven to be very accurate. The maximum range of 5 km is longer than many similar systems. However, the missile is not as fast as several modern counterparts and flight time to maximum range is considerable.

Mobility

The Ratel 6x6 chassis provides good mobility on roads and in the field. The design is geared towards use in the bush, and mobility in harsh terrain is somewhat limited. The turbocharged diesel engine provides up to 275 hp. Maximum speed on roads is 105 km/h and operational range is 1.000 km.

Protection

The armor provides protection against small arms fire and shell splinters from all angles. The missiles are fired from under armour protection. For its survivability the Ratel ZT-3 relies mostly on its good mobility and the stand-off range of its missiles.

Users

The Ratel ZT-3 is in use with South Africa. The Ratel series of wheeled vehicles has been acquired by several other nations, but South Africa is the only user of the ZT-3 variant. First operational use was in 1987 and it remains in service today. In the future it is to be replaced by an ATGM-carrier variant of the Patria AMV, known as Badger in South Africa.

Details


Facts Ratel ZT-3
General
Origin
South Africa
Type
Tank destroyer
Crew
4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
Dimensions
Weight
19.2 t combat load
17.7 t empty
Length
7.21 m
Width
2.52 m
Height
3.34 m overall
2.24 m hull top
Main armament
Type
ZT-3 Swift anti-tank guided missile
Mount
Three round launcher on turret
Ammunition
12 missiles, 3 ready to fire
Elevation
-10 to +20 degrees, powered
Traverse
360 degrees, powered
Stabilizer
No, but can fire on the move at very low speed
Secondary armament
Type
7.62mm MG4 AA machine gun
Mount
Pintle mount at rear of vehicle
Ammunition
800 rounds in total, 100 rounds ready to fire
Traverse
Manual traverse and elevation
Chassis
Chassis type
Wheeled
Configuration
6x6
Wheelbase
2.8 m + 1.4 m
Tire size
14.00 x20
Automotive
Engine
B├╝ssing D 3256 BTXF 12-liter six-cylinder liquid-cooled turbo diesel
Power
282 hp at 2.200 rpm
Transmission
Renk HSU 106
Automatic, 6 forward, 2 reverse
Fuel
480 L
Mobility
Speed
105 km/h on road
30 km/h off road
Range
1.000 km on road
600 km off road
Power to weight ratio
14.7 hp/t
Turn radius
8.5 m
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.34 m
Wall
0.6 m
Trench
1.2 m
Gradient
27 degrees
Fording
1.2 m
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Armor thickness
20 mm hull front
8 to 10mm hull sides and rear
Smoke system
2x2 81mm smoke grenade dischargers

Related articles


Ratel 20

The Ratel ZT-3 is a variant of the Ratel series of infantry fighting vehicles. The Ratel 20 is the baseline model.