Ratel ZT3

Crew 3 + 6 infantry
Main Armament ZT3 ATGW 3 Tube Launcer mounted on top of turret
Secondary Armament 1 × 7.62mm co-axial MG
1 × 7.62mm GPMG on commander’s cupola
1 × 7.62mm GPMG in AA mount on rear of vehicl
4 × 81mm smoke grenade launchers
Ammunition 12 Missiles stored in the hull + 3 in the launcher
1200 rounds 7.62mm
Combat Mass 18.5ton
Hull length 7.21m
Width 2.7m
Height 3.11m
Engine 12 litre six cylinder in line turbo diesel
Power output 230kW
Fuel 480 litres
Road Speed 105km/h
Off Road Speed 30km/h
Road Range 1000km
Off Road Range 600km
Gradient 27ยบ
Step 0.6m
Trench 1.15m
Ford 1.2m


This is one of the newest variants of the Ratel first being deployed in the late 1980s. This version is a standard Ratel modified to carry a turret designed to carry three ZT3 missiles and spare missiles for the launcher. It replaced one Ratel 90 in each troop of the Armoured Car Squadrons to give the units an added long range Anti Tank capability.

With the development of the ZT3 the South African Army finally has a potent Anti Tank missile capable of engaging modern MBTs, closing a dangerous gap in its inventory. By fitting the system to a Ratel this system has become available to the Mechanised Infantry providing the formations with an additional Anti Tank capacity. As with the Ratel 81 the modifications has reduced the amount of passengers from 9 to 6. Another disadvantage is that the launcher has to be loaded from the outside exposing the crew to possible enemy fire.

Length: 1.75m
Diameter: 0.127m
Weight of Missile: 28.5kg
Min Range: 250m
Max Range: 5 000m
Warhead: HEAT
Armour Penetration: 1 000m
Control: Semi Active Laser Homing

The variant first saw combat during Operation Modular in 1987 when four pre-production variants were deployed with 32 Bn. Despite initial technical problems with the missiles the variant proved itself capable of taking on Soviet armour at long ranges as the designers intended. During one notable engagement one of the pre-production vehicles destroyed three tanks at ranges over 2000m within 10 minutes. The missile has been extensively updated and in its present configuration is capable of handling reactive armour.

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