Defence contract boosts order book

Heavy going: Rotherham-based MTL has won a contract to supply the hulls for Mamba armoured vehicles that are built in South Africa.
Heavy going: Rotherham-based MTL has won a contract to supply the hulls for Mamba armoured vehicles that are built in South Africa.
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MTL Group has broken into the South African defence market, wining a contract to make armoured hulls for Pretoria-based military, law enforcement, government and security vehicle manufacturer Panzer Technologies.

Hulls, made at MTL’s Rotherham plant, will be used on Panzer’s well-established and popular Mamba vehicles, which are used as armoured personnel carriers, carrying up to 11 soldiers, or as security vehicles, carrying cash. The armoured vehicles using MTL’s hulls are intended for use in peace-keeping operations and will be shipped ready for final assembly to South Africa.

MTL’s defence sales manager, Simon Hurst, said: “This is an important order for MTL Group. The Mamba vehicle has been around a long time and has proven itself over and over again.”

The Rotherham company says it won the order thanks to its Design for Manufacture (DFM) service, as well as its state of the art manufacturing capability and competitive pricing.

“The customer liked the idea that we wouldn’t just weld the product rather that we would support and provide a DFM review that would enhance the product,” added Mr Hurst.

As part of its Design for Manufacturing service, MTL looks for areas where it can improve on the design its customer provides, by reducing weight and cost and improving protection, in the case of military vehicles.

MTL says the service has really taken off, prompting many leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to start working with the company at the design stage.

“The key thing our customers like is the innovation we bring, we are helping designers around the world to improve the integrity of the structure whilst reducing manufacturing costs,” said Mr Hurst.

MTL Group is hoping to build on its South African success when it exhibits its one piece blast floors and IMPAS perforated steel armour, which offers a lower cost option to both ceramics and composites, at African Aero Defence 2012 in Johannesburg in September.