MC-90 (Springbuck)

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Introduction:
While the South Africa Army was busy replacing the Eland 90 with new Rooikat 76 during the early 1990’s, The Mechem company still believed that there would be a requirement for lighter vehicle that could be airlifted and provide mine protection for its crew. The prototype would be designated the MC-90, the letters MC standing for Mechem Concept and the number 90 for the caliber of the gun fitted to the vehicle (90mm). To keep the cost as low as possible the MC-90 would make use of the Unimog powertrain and suspension and use the same 90mm turret from Eland 90. The MC-90 prototype was completed in 1994 and was occasionally referred to as the Springbuck armoured vehicle. The MC-90 had an all-welded V-shape steel hull which provided protection for its three crew members from small arms fire, shell splinters and anti-tank mines. With the use of the Unimog running gear and higher ground clearance, the MC-90 had better cross-country mobility when compared to the Eland. The MC-90 made use of the Eland 90’s turret which was kept the same. The turret consisted of a 90mm low pressure gun, with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun as well as a roof mounted 7.62mm machine gun. The turret also featured 81mm smoke grenades fitted on each side of the turret facing forward. Sadly, The MC-90 would never saw service with the South African Army due to massive funding cuts and the need for air transportable armour no longer needed at the time. Additional variants which were planned for the MC was a scout vehicle fitted with the Ratel 20 turret or Eland 60 turret and even an APC version. The MC-90 prototype has since been restored and is on display at the South African Armoured Museum in Bloemfontein.

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Specifications

Main armament: 90mm GT-2 cannon

Shell types: HEATFS, HE, Smoke

Secondary armament: Two 7.62mm MG4 machine guns

Smoke grenades: Four 81mm smoke grenades

Turret armour: (front 12mm), (sides 10mm), (rear 10mm), (roof 10mm)

Crew: Three (commander, gunner, driver)

Combat weight: 7 tons

Gearbox: 8 forward, 4 reverse

Engine: Mercedes Benz OM352 6-cylinder Diesel

Horsepower: 125 hp

Transmission: 4x4

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Primary Sources
Surviving The Ride, written by Steve Camp & Helmoed Romer Heitman (Page 490-451)

South African Armoured Vehicles “A history of innovation and excellence” written by Dr Dewald Venter (Page 5-6,12-14)

Secondary Sources

Tank Ensyclopedia: https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar/south_africa/eland_90

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Cute little thing! +1