SVI and Armormax major contenders for Armscor’s Land Cruiser tender

SVI and Armormax major contenders for Armscor’s Land Cruiser tender

SVI and Armormax major contenders for Armscor’s Land Cruiser tender

The South African Defence Acquisition Agency, Armscor, has recently announced a significant tender for the development of specialized 6×6 vehicles tailored for the South African Special Forces. This initiative is part of a broader effort to augment the operational capabilities and firepower of the forces during critical missions.

Two potential contenders are South African-based SVI and Armormax with their Max 9 and TAC-6 respectively.

The tender, identified as EWSD/2024/18, seeks to procure a modified version of the Toyota Land Cruiser Single Cab, transformed into a 6×6 vehicle with an automatic transmission. The modifications are expected to include a front Bull Bar and a rear flatbed load carrier with a capacity of 3.5 tons, complete with appropriate tie-down points.


Key technical specifications for the vehicle include:

  • An automatic transmission system.
  • Differential locks on each axle.
  • A selectable drive mode system allowing transitions between 6×2, 6×4, and 6×6 configurations.
  • A minimum ground clearance of 235 mm.
  • A non-pneumatic suspension system.
  • A standard Toyota Land Cruiser V8 diesel engine, utilizing new parts exclusively.

The delivery of the modified vehicles is anticipated by 31 July 2024, with testing and qualification expected to be finalized by 30 August 2024. The tender outlines a dual-order system, where two separate orders will be placed with different bidders to facilitate operational testing and evaluation (OT&E). This approach aims to ensure a thorough assessment before advancing to subsequent development stages.

Following the OT&E phase, a separate tender will be issued for the integration of an armoured cab and a user-specific rear platform into the accepted or preferred vehicle platform. The ultimate goal is to procure 26 complete vehicle systems, adhering to the specifications and standards established in the preceding phases.

The tender process is designed to be highly competitive, with a preference points system in place to determine the top two bidders, should more than two meet all critical criteria. In the case where only one bidder fulfills all requirements, a single order will be awarded.

The operational testing and evaluation phase will be conducted under specific conditions at the Gerotek testing facility, encompassing various performance tests such as rollover angle evaluation, side slope verification, step climb capability, incline capability, overcoming suspension track obstacles, and sand trail testing.

Bidders are expected to commit to a minimum ten-year support period for the modified vehicles, including the provision of necessary spare parts.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has a history of utilizing Land Cruisers, especially for border patrol operations. The Special Forces have previously acquired modified Land Cruisers equipped with armoured cabs and weapon platforms, enhancing their tactical edge in the field.

The vehicles were supplied by SVI, which has also developed a 6×6 Land Cruiser and will most likely compete with Armormax Defence for the new Armscor tender, as Armormax also offers a modified 6×6 Land Cruiser (TAC-6) that can be armoured.

Johannesburg-based Armormax Defence recently officially launched the TAC-6, a 6×6 multi-purpose vehicle that promises to redefine the standards of agility and versatility in both civil and military applications. Originally developed for the French Special Forces, the TAC-6 is now poised to serve a wide array of roles, from firefighting to acting as a weapons carrier.

The TAC-6 is built upon the robust Land Cruiser 79 series, but it has undergone such extensive reengineering that it stands as a significantly more capable machine. The addition of an extra axle not only enhances its offroad agility but also increases its payload capacity to a gross vehicle mass of up to seven tons. Armormax Defence emphasizes that the TAC-6 is over-engineered to guarantee reliability in the most unforgiving environments where failure is not an option.


Meanwhile, In February, SVI delivered two 4×4 and four six-wheeled Max 3 armoured vehicles to the SANDF. They were fitted with armour and modified cabs on their load beds. The Max 3 is based on the proven Land Cruiser 79 chassis.


This tender represents a strategic opportunity for industry leaders in vehicle modification and armoured solutions to contribute to the enhancement of the SANDF’s operational readiness and effectiveness.

Furthermore, the South African Army is on the hunt for new armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to bolster its border patrol capabilities. Seven prominent South African defence companies have stepped up to the challenge, submitting their vehicles for rigorous testing and evaluation along the nation’s borderlines.

Earlier this year, in January, Armscor initiated the search by releasing a request for information (RFI), specifying the need for a 2+8 seat APC tailored for counter-insurgency operations. Among the participants in this rigorous evaluation process, DCD Protected Mobility is presenting an impressive lineup, including the Springbuck SD, Springbuck HD with Command & Control system (in conjunction with GC2T), Springbuck Multi-Platform, and potentially, the Husky, showcasing a comprehensive solution.