1 October 2012
CONTACT FIRST TO SEE SX45 – Tarin Kot, Afghanistan
CONTACT magazine was the first Australian media outlet to clap eyes on (and photograph) the ADF’s new MAN heavy rigid trucks, two of which are now painted in AusCam and working on operations in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.
In December last year, the government announced that Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia had been selected as preferred tenderer to provide up to 2700 protected and unprotected medium and heavy vehicles under Project LAND 121 Phase 3B.
However, the two MAN SX45 heavy rigid trucks in Tarin Kot were actually delivered as part of the Giraffe-based C-RAM system — counter rocket, artillery and mortar warning system.
Both trucks had bolt-on armour fitted in Sweden before they were delivered to TK in two C-17 sorties — the Giraffe module alone weighing about 30 tonnes.
Once delivered, complete with their Giraffe radar systems, they were driven on site, their radar towers erected and the CRAM capability up and running within the hour.
Exactly two weeks after arrival, the Australian-owned and operated CRAM successfully detected the one and only incoming rocket fired at the base since it was switched on and gave sufficient warning to the base for everyone to dive for cover.
After the attack, several Australians who heard the rocket go over their heads and land less than 50m away, later thanked the CRAM crew for potentially saving their lives.
Australia’s recent procurement of three Giraffe radars was the final stage of Project LAND 19 Phase 7A under an $86.2 million contract, which included support services — including the MAN trucks.