Following a chance meeting at the SAAB stand at the Avalon Air show in March 2001, we were approached later in the year about the construction of a vehicle and system being marketed to the Australian Army. The system built by SAAB is a modified GIRAFFE Surface search RADAR system mounted onto a telescopic mast fitted to the top of a special container. This unit contains a generator, cooling system and radar displays for a crew to monitor any vehicle, aircraft or helicopter in its sweep area.
In late 2009 SAAB contracted DMG to construct a 1:16 scale model of the complete system including the MAX SX45 8 wheel drive truck chassis. After some research a manufacturer in Germany was found of the MAN SX45 and one was purchased. The kit produced by AFV-Models is beautifully made and can be completed as a radio controlled version.
The rest of the model including all the modifications to the MAN SX45, the container, support leg system and RADAR was all scratch built. The plans were scanned into our computer and parts drawn and laser cut on our EPILOG engraver/cutter. Lots of new parts for both the truck and RADAR unit were also moulded as more models will possibly be constructed over the next year or so.
The model can be displayed in either its folded transport mode or have the legs folded down with the RADAR raised in its operational mode. The model was built with the driver's cabin fully detailed and painted in the Australian Army three tone, Tan, Olive Drab and Black camouflage scheme. The model was mounted onto a large polished timber base with a very tall display case to cover the model when the RADAR is elevated. The model measures some 800mm in height when raised. Both SAAB Australia and DMG were very happy with the finished model and it was presented to the Minister of Defence, the Honourable Stephen Smith in December 2010 for display by the operating unit of the ARMY.
A second model has also now been completed and was handed over to SAAB for display at the AVALON Air Show in March 2011. This model was slightly modified and incorporates a rotating RADAR Array which draws a lot of attention. This model is used for various defence exhibitions by SAAB. Several more models may be constructed in the near future.
Click on one of the following images for a larger version.