Mamba Sabre (RO-107)

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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 RO 107 Rocket Laucher from Mechem. The RO 107 is a reversed engineered Type 63 trailer-mounted MRS, able to fire 12 rounds of the standard, 107mm unguided rockets or the upgraded 107mm rockets from Mechem which features a prefragmented warhead and a radio proximity fuse.




Armament: RO 107 Rocket Laucher (107mm)

Rockets: Standard HE 107mm, Upgraded 107mm HE Prox

Ammunition: 24

Crew: 2 (driver, commander)

Engine: Toyota J05C in-line diesel

Horsepower: 140hp

Transmission: Toyota H261 six-speed (manual)

Top Speed: 120km/h


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)

Secondary Sources:
Janes (Mechem Developments 107mm RO 107):

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

DefenceWeb (Armscor seeking 107 mm ammunition): Armscor seeking 107 mm ammunition | defenceWeb