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Armored Cars: ICP REVA III

November 28, 2016


It’s not surprising to learn South African companies are still making waves in the armored vehicles market. After all, it’s the cradle of the first mine-resistant trucks and when US forces were caught in their Iraqi quagmire the startup called Integrated Convoy Protection heeded the call. The company was founded by a group of former South Africa National Defense Force (SANDF) veterans whose collective backgrounds influenced a product whose best traits are an appealing price point and battlefield ruggedness.

Since then ICP have grown to a formidable player in the arms industry with more of its REVA vehicles in active war zones than the competition from Europe. Its most popular model is the middleweight REVA III. At just nine metric tons it’s considerably lighter than its peers; an advantageous feature when it’s driven over third world roads and highways that would crumble beneath whales like the Kirpi, for example.

Optimized for lean production the REVA III is a further improvement over the original REVA Security armored car that was meant as a police and private vehicle. In 2008 the new REVA III was good enough–with a reinforced monocoque V-hull–to inspire large orders from the Iraqi government. With production facilities split between Jordan and South Africa the REVA III was assembled from a basic 4×4 truck chassis and a V-hull. It used Allison SP2500 automatic transmission and a Cummins 6BTA turbo diesel engine producing 163 horsepower, giving it a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour.


The REVA III’s layout is far from sophisticated and resembles the Mamba Mk3. It’s a truck cab sitting on an elongated hull. A peculiar identifier is the absence of doors for the driver and co-driver. Instead the entrance and exit of the vehicle is from a rear swing door. Beside the swing door is a step ladder to access two roof hatches that serve as turrets. Robust armored panels are found on either side of the vehicle housing equipment lockers. Bulletproof glass windows with built-in firing ports offer visibility while travelling or during combat. Spare tires are found attached to the side of the vehicle and the rear door.

Despite its modest weight (for an MRAP) the REVA III offers its passengers, two crew and eight soldiers, STANAG III level protection and blast resistance from at least 14 kilograms of high explosive. This doesn’t mean it’s an invincible platform. As a favorite of armies on a budget REVAs have either been wrecked or damaged in Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Thailand, and Yemen after absorbing massive blasts or shaped charges.


The REVA V is a larger variant of the REVA III.

Still, fallen REVA’s are a testament to the vehicle’s rightful place in the badlands of terrorism and insurgency. ICP used the success of the REVA III as the basis for continuous improvement. The family now extends to six vehicles. It begins with the REVA Security and its tougher sibling the REVA III.

The REVA V has a larger engine and an elongated passenger compartment for additional soldiers. The REVA VI is a 26 ton 6×6 recovery vehicle recognizable for the crane on its bed. The REVA Ambulance is self-explanatory. The REVA Scout is an open top 4×4 commando recce vehicle similar to the Supacat Jackal.

The two outliers in the REVA lineage are jeeps called the Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV) and the Scavenger.

The REVA III doesn’t attract customers with its looks. But it does possess the characteristics of a dependable workhorse for troops on the move.