ARMSCOR awarded a multibillion-rand contract to Denel for the production of 200 armoured military vehicles, the parties said on Monday.
"The 8x8 Badger is a best-of-breed vehicle in its class and will contribute to the modernisation of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)," they said.
"The recent involvement of South African troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has again emphasised the need for protective mobility on the battlefield, which the Badger now provides."
Defence secretary Sam Gulube said the production order represented an important chapter in the SANDF’s history.
"It provides a much-needed capability for troops involved in critical peacekeeping operations in other African countries."
Denel CEO Riaz Saloojee said the contract was the most significant signed with a South African company in the past 10 years. "(It) demonstrates government’s and the SANDF’s confidence in the ability of the local industry to provide frontline equipment."
Armscor acting CEO Sipho Mkwanazi said the Badger would benefit the SANDF. "We have set stringent conditions for ensuring local content and supplier development. The production of the Badger is expected to create about 2,000 jobs during its production period."
Armscor concluded a contract with Denel in 2007 for the development of a new-generation infantry combat vehicle. The initial development of the vehicle platform was done by Finnish contractor Patria, but manufacturing of the production units will take place in South Africa.