sa_bushwar2

Home
Home
The South African Bush War: SADF Land-Weapons of the Bushwar



SADF Land-Weapons: "Buffel" (Buffalo) Mine resistant Infantry combat vehicle
SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS!
Submit your photos and experiences by clicking on this email link, OR the above pictures. These might be used on this page and the planned future BOOK ON THE SOUTH_AFRICAN BUSH WAR. Help to tell the story of this very contraversial and clandistine conflict!
Buffel - standard vehicle
3/4 view of the Buffel MRV. Note the V-shaped body-underside to deflect a mine blast. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Front view of the Buffel MRV. Note the "bullbar" and grill for "bundu-bashing". In the operational area, a log was often tied to the front bumber for additional strengthening for off-road driving through thick bush. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004
The high centre of gravity made for a very bouncy ride. V-shape hull clearly visible as well as diesel filling point going into the tank at the bottom of the V-shaped body. Bin on the back contained a water tank for crew use. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Drivers cabin, separate from the crew compartment. Compartment open at the top to minimize blast effect of a mine detonation on the driver, and to facilitate communication with the crew on the back.
Close-up of the drivers compartment On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Debussing during a contact by dropping the sides of the vehicle. A high jump for fully laden troops! On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
The hight of the vehicle clearly visible, aiding with visibility in thick bush. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Dropped side of the vehicle visible, as well as "blow-away" mudguards. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Left-hand drive cabin as result of Unimog chassis. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Close-up of the front left showing "blow-away" mudguard, and open engine. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Sparewheel stowed next to engine on the left, and no mudguard over front-left wheel. Mesh grid in front on radiator to keep leaves and grass out. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
General side view. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Crew seating, 5-a-side, down the centre of the crew compartment. Facing outwards improves observation and assist with debussing. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Looking forward on the crew seating, Firm rubber seats and shoulder seatbelts to secure crew in a mine detonation. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Looking forward on the crew seating, note the ridged anti-slip floor. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Detail of rear-axle. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Detail of rhs chassis looking forward. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
Rear suspension detail, coil spings of the Unimog chassis made for a softer but bouncier ride. Note the cable loops around the chassis mainbeams to hold the body in place, should the mountings be blown off during a mine detonation. On display in fully restored condition at the SA Museum of Military History - JHB, Sept 2004.
After the Bushwar ended in 1989, many Buffels were sold by public auction with the mine resistant body been cut-off will a blow torch. This was done as it is illegal to own an armoured vehicle, and to prevent such a potent vehicle landing in the wrong hands. The strong Unimog chassis, engine and drivetrain made for easy conversion to commercial vehicles such as game viewing vehicles. Seen here at a private conversion company at Donkerhoek, Gauteng, SA, April 2004.
Body removed with cutting torch, waiting for conversion to commercial vehicle. Seen here at a private conversion company at Donkerhoek, Gauteng, SA, April 2004.
The harsh African sun quiclky faded the standard SADF brown colour scheme, and the older a vehicle was, the lighter the paintscheme as is evident in this photo. The Buffel in the background is of an unknown type with a steel box to the right of the driver's cab - anybody with information?  een here at a private conversion company at Donkerhoek, Gauteng, SA, April 2004.
Body removed with cutting torch, waiting for conversion to commercial vehicle. Seen here at a private conversion company at Donkerhoek, Gauteng, SA, April 2004.
Buffels from a Civil Defense unit on a military parade in their hometown.
Display of a  mine incident with a Buffel at DEXSA 1998, Waterkloof AFB.
The Buffel was first introduced in 1978, after experience with Ops Savannah and the escalating landmine war on the Border, required a vehicle that is both anti-tank mine resistant and armoured against small arms fire. The Buffel can therefor be regarded as an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), and is was widely used for Infantry transport and  vehicle patrols in both combat and routine roles. It is based on the under-carraige of a Unimog truck, with a V-shaped armoured 10-passenger compartment, and a seperate small armoured enclosed drivers' compartment The high centre of gravity caused a bumpy ride, but the height of the vehicle was good for observation in the bush. Debussing was by dropping the sides of the passenger compartment. The V-shaped hull could protect passengers from a double atni-tank mine blast. The Buffel was operated by the SADF/SANDF until the mid 1990's, with more than 1400 units produced. Some were also exported to Sri-Lanka and South America. It was replaced by the Mamba, currently in use by the SANDF.
Type: Mine resistant IFV.
Crew: 1+10.
Armament: 2*7.62 MG's, and 10 firing ports for passengers.
Mass: 6.14 tonnes combat loaded.
Length - 5.1m, width - 2.05m, height - 2.955m,
Ground clearance: 42cm.
Engine: 6 cyl watercooled diesel, 93.25 kW at 2800rpm.
Power/mass ratio: 15.19 kW/ton.
Transmission: syncchronised 8 forward and 4 reverse gears, in-motion change to 4wd or 2wd, equal power distribution between front and rear.
Wheels: 12.50 - 20 tyres at 300kPa all round.
Fuel: 200 litres.
Water: 100 litres.
Performance: Roadspeed - 96km/h, Road range - 1000 km.