Olifant Mk.2 Historical Inaccuracies - Armour and Survivability

I have used some sources for the Olifant Mk.1B upgrade as the armour layout on the hull is the same

The Olifant Mk.2 is missing a 41.8mm RHA Armour plate on the Upper front plate, similar to the Centurion Mk.10 upgrade, this was an addition to the tank on the Mk.1B as a part of the Armour package and retained to the Mk.2 with the composite upgrades.

The Hull and turret composite is also slightly inaccurate as it has been “publicly stated that the frontal armour can withstand 115mm HEAT rounds as used by the T-62.” There are also gaps and inconsistencies in the turret composite’s protection currently that should be more evenly protective.

The Hull Fuel tank and Ammunition are incorrectly modelled, fuel tank is fire resistant much like the fuel tanks on the T-90M, there is also blowout panels in the hull above the front stowage and blast doors cutting it off from the crew. The Turret bustle ammunition (Vertical Sabot modelled shells) should also be stored in an armoured ammo bin, its unclear if these also have blowout panels.

The roof armour on the hull and turret was also increased from 29mm on the the 1A to 40mm on the 1B and 2 turrets as stated in the South African Armoured Vehicles book by Dr Dewald Venter.


  1. Olifant Mk2 Main Battle Tank - Tank Encyclopedia
  2. http://www.wardrawings.be/Modern/Site/Ground/South-Africa/MBT/Data/Olifant-Mk1B.html
  3. South African Olifant Mark I Main Battle Tank (1978)
  4. Olifant (tank) - WikiMili, The Best Wikipedia Reader
  5. Army Guide
  6. https://www.ultimatedefence.co.za/south-african-olifant-tank
    Main Source: South African Armoured Vehicles by Dr Dewald Venter Pages: 58 to 66

In short:
41.8mm RHA on UFP
Composite on Turret and Hull increase protection to >440mm Chemical and smooth turret armour to be more consistent
Blowout panels and Blast door for Front hull ammo stowage.
Vertical Turret Ammo Stowage should be in 5mm RHA armoured bin
Front Fuel Tank should not detonate as per T-90M
Roof Armour increase from 29mm to 40mm

Optional Additions

7.62mm Browning MG4 LMG for the commander in Anti-Air position - as per Mk.1B and forward
1,500kg Dozer Blade 3.5m Wide unknown thickness, thought to be similar to Centurion AVRE

Attached Screenshot of Protection map of 115mm HEAT from T-62 at 100m on front of Olifant mk.2 - for the bug report

N.B. When some of the website sources and news articles are talking about the Mk.2 they mention an arrowhead composite design, this is a Denel prototype also known as the Mk.1B Optimum and should be ignored.

I understand that these sources are not the best but they share a large amount of commonalities, I am working on gathering more written secondary sources but I am having difficulty getting my hands on them, if anyone knows any good books or even has a handbook for the Mk.1B or Mk.2 some assistance would be appreciated


I appreciate your effort. Hope that the community will find revlevant docs to prepare the reports on SAF tanks


We don’t accept 3rd party websites as valid sources. See the guidelines for acceptable source materials;

WARNING: Please note! Any information or sources deemed restricted (not cleared for public release) by their respective ownership will not be accepted and will be dealt with according to any legal requirements.
What is appropriate source material for historical issues?

OEM Manuals (primary source): User manuals, repair manuals, factory manuals, operating manuals, technical manuals etc. Single source is required (preferred source).
Authored works (secondary source): Reference books on collections of vehicles/aircraft/ships (‘coffee table books’), biographies, specialist books, “expert” opinion publications, industry magazines etc. At least two unrelated sources required.

You need to provide the following information about the source:

  • Title and if applicable: publication date, document number, ISBN;
  • Author or organisation;
  • Image of the cover;
  • Images of all the referenced pages and their page numbers;
  • References for photographs;
1 Like

I know and understand that you don’t use 3rd Party websites as trusted sources, this was more of a probe to see if anyone had any information they could forward me or sources I could use as the online sources for south African vehicles are very limited especially about the Olifant MBTs as they are still in active service.
But this was to also bring some attention to the topic as it would be something cool to fix, “my little impact on the game”.

But again if there is anyone especially anyone living in South Africa able to get their hands on books I cannot that’d be fantastic and I’d really appreciate it!

Gotcha, just making sure :).

1 Like

3 Potential Secondary Sources found and Ordered, will update somewhere between the 1st and 4th of June

  • Centurion Haynes manual
  • Centurion the Universal Tank
  • South African Armour of the Boarder War 1975-89
1 Like

Haynes Manual for the Centurion acquired, confirms most olifants are based off the Mk.5 and 5/1 and states that the frontal composite (assumed turret and hull) is capable of absorbing 125mm APFSDS as featured on the T-64 at “*standard engagement distances”, this indacates approximately 405 to 410mm of Kinetic protection on the turret face at least (assuming 1km SED)

*(from research this seems to be approximately 800m to 1000m, though I have had great trouble coming up with any solid sources for this being the standard engagement range of the Olifant let alone the centurion, most sources I have either state “Long range” or “Standard engagement range/distance” without citing any specific numbers)

Pages Sourced: Haynes manual 58 and 59