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Land Systems OMC is a South African company that produces a range of armoured vehicles which have been successfully exported and are in service with, amongst others, the U.S., Canadian and South African militaries. It is a division of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa, located in Benoni, South Africa.[1]

The OMC segment of the name is the initialism under which the Olifant Manufacturing Co. of South Africa was most commonly known during its existence. The original company was established specifically for the task of creating the Olifant tank for the South African Army. It has maintained this initialism through all its subsequent name and ownership changes.

Ownership

Reunert

OMC's existence as an independent company was short-lived however, and early into its life it was taken over by Reunert, which subsequently turned it into a division called Reumech OMC. It was under this name that OMC saw its most prolific level of vehicle development, as the SA Army's involvement in the Border War in Angola created a massive need for ever more advanced and capable vehicles. In 1997 Reunert acquired TFM Industries defense systems unit and along with it came the designs for the Mamba APC.

Vehicles created by the company during this period include the Rooikat AFV, Okapi, Mamba APC, Casspir APC and the 6x6 chassis used by the G6 howitzer.

Vickers

Following South Africa's re admittance to the international arena following democratic elections in 1994, a number of foreign defence industry companies expressed significant interest in purchasing the company. Eventually it was Britain's Vickers plc that won, purchasing the company and renaming it Vickers OMC.

Alvis

This continued until Alvis, also of Britain, purchased Vickers' defence division, including OMC. Continuing with tradition, Alvis renamed the company to Alvis OMC.

BAE Systems

The most recent chapter in the company's history was written in 2004, when BAE Systems purchased the military vehicle division of Alvis. OMC then became part of BAE Systems' Land Systems, again undergoing a name change to Land Systems OMC.

Vehicles

Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC)

OMC vehicles were developed for and successfully deployed in Angola and Namibia during the South African Border War. This harsh environment demanded good mobility as well as protection against anti-tank mines. The Casspir APC pioneered technology such as specially welded and shaped hulls to provided protection against mines. OMC's modern armoured personnel carriers are popular with most international peace keeping forces, because of the level of mine-protection offered as well as the ease of maintenance and manoeuvrability of wheeled APCs.

Countries and organizations using these vehicles include South Africa, Canada, the United Nations, United States, Sweden and Blackwater Security amongst others.

Rapid deployment vehicle

  • Wasp rapid deployment vehicle, air deployable light 4x4 vehicle for airborne and special forces.

Armoured fighting vehicle (AFV)

  • Rooikat, 8 wheeled AFV armed with a 76 mm gun (In service with the SA Army) a version with a 105 mm gun is also available.

Self-propelled howitzer

References

External links

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