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Ratel ZT-3

Anti-Tank Vehicle

Variant Specifications*

First Produced/Service Dates: 1987 (First Combat)
Manufactured by: Missile: Denel Dynamics (Formerly Kentron Dynamics)
Crew: 4
Armament: Main: (3) 127mm Swift or Ingwe Anti-Tank Guided Missiles; Co-Axial: 7.62mm M1919 Browning Machine Gun (BMG) and Turret (Commander's Station): 7.62mm BMG.
Miscellaneous Info: The primary purpose of the Ratel Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) series was to produce an indigenous South African built Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The result was the main series variant, the Ratel 20 ICV.  All other series variants stem from this vehicle, including the Ratel ZT-3 Anti-Tank Vehicle. 90 were built over its lifetime in the Mark 2 & 3 configurations.

Although the Ratel 90 Fire Support Vehicle was put into service with South African forces, there had been an early decision to also attempt to utilize an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system on the Ratel series.  However, the popular wire-guided systems (specifically the Euromissile MILAN system) were eliminated for a number of reasons, most notably due to their short-range and them being hampered by the heavy brush of the likely Southern African battlefields. Not until the South Africans developed their own wire-less ATGM system, did this plan come to fruition. That system was named the ZT-3 Swift Missile, which was guided by a laser command link.

To mount that weapon, the basic Ratel 20 ICV hull was mated with a modified Ratel 60 ICV turret, which housed a newly designed pod carrying three (3) missiles. Twelve spare missiles were also carried in the hull.  Upgraded missiles soon followed, now named the Ingwe ("Leopard" in Afrikaans).  The Ingwe is a laser guided, beam-rider missile when compared to the earlier Swift. The first iteration of the Ingwe, contained a single-charge HEAT warhead, but later versions used a tandem-head charge.  The most capable version of the Ingwe missiles are the ZT-3A2, which have fully-automatic guidance systems and longer range.  Ratels equipped with the new missile are also referred to as the ZT-3A2. 

*For specifications common to all variants in this series of vehicles, go to our Warwheels.net Ratel Index.
Data Sheet Available:   None Available


Reference Source/Provider
Ratel ZT-3 Anti-Tank Vehicle Photos Chris Baxter - Owner of BaxMod
Ratel ZT-3A2 Anti-Tank Vehicle Photos Marius van Aardt - South Africa

References Available


Reference Source/Provider
Ratel ZT-3 Anti-Tank Vehicle Information & Photos Weapons-Systems.net
ZT-3 Swift Anti-Tank Guided Missile Launcher Information & Photos Army-Guide.com

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider


For information common to all variants in this series of vehicles, go to our

WarWheels.Net Ratel Index