Mamba Sabre (IPLS)

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During the late 1980’s, with the South Africa Border war still ongoing and civil unrest taking place in the townships, the South Africa Defence firm Mechem set out to develop a new armoured personnel carrier (APC) in 1987, capable of operating in an urban environment and retaining an anti-mine capability. This new APC would be called the Mamba and was provided to the South Africa Army for trials and evaluation during 1988. After the tests was concluded and the South Africa Army being satisfied, the first contact was awarded for the production of the Mamba Mk1 which was produced by TFM industries (later known as Reumech OMC). The Mamba Mk1 featured a V-shape armoured hull to protect the crew against land mines and enough armour to keep the crew save from small arms fire and shell fragments. Different variants of the Mamba included the Armoured Personnel Carrier, Light Recovery Vehicle, Ambulance, Komanche and the Sabre. The Mamba Sabre would operate as a scout and fire support vehicle being seen fitted with a variety of weapons such as the 106mm recoilless gun, RO 107 Rocket Laucher and the IPLS (Ingwe Portable Launch System). For this forum posts we will focus on the Mamba Sabre equipped with the IPLS. The IPLS developed by Kentron (now a division of Denel) is a portable missile launch system which can be mounted on light vehicles or alternatively on a tripod. The IPLS can fire both the ZT3A1 and ZT3A2 ATGM’s and can be equipped with a thermal imager, auto tracker and a laser range finder.




Armament: IPLS (Ingwe Portable Launch System) 127mm


Elevation angles: -20, +20

Crew: 2 (driver, commander)

Engine: Toyota J05C in-line diesel

Horsepower: 140hp

Transmission: Toyota H261 six-speed (manual)

Top Speed: 120km/h

Thermal Imager: Yes

Laser range finder: Yes


Primary Sources

Surviving the Ride written by Steve Camp and Helmoed Rommer Heitman (page 232-244)

South African Armoured Vehicles written by Dr Dewald Venter (page 82-86)

Denel IPLS Brochure (page 11) :

Denel IPLS Ingwe: IPLS Ingwe | Denel Dynamics

Secondary Sources
Tank encyclopaedia (Mamba): Mamba Mk2 and 3 - Tank Encyclopedia