A honey badger. A creature noted for it's strong, sharp claws and thick hide, resistant to bee stings.
a Ratel is also a kind of large six-wheeled armoured truck with a mounted gun, manufactured by the South African defence industry (read: war machine). It was designed as a infantry combat vehicle (troop carrier and gun mount). It is usually fitted with a 20 mm or 90 mm gun, but can also be equiped with a machine gun, a missile launcher, mortar, or used as armoured command, logistics and recovery vehicles. There have even been anti-tank guided missiles mounted on this chassis.
Ratels were used by the South African defence force in the cross-border warfare of the 1980s, and also for internal enforcement in the late 1980's.
The weight of all of a ratel around 18 tons. It takes three crew: Driver, commander and gunner, plus up to 8 passengers (i.e. an infantry squad) at the gun-ports (Numbers are different where otherwise noted below for the various models). The ratel was designed in the 1970s during the arms embargo.
The main models are:
- Ratel-20: with a 20mm gun
- Ratel 12.7 Command: Carries up to 7 passengers.
- Ratel 60: with a 60mm gun.
- Ratel 90: with a 90mm gun, a "fire support vehicle" with a crew of four, plus up to seven passengers.
The ratel's design is characteristic of South African military vehicles - with a very high body (Think an extra-long, extra-high, brown SUV with no chrome and a big diesel engine), and a V shaped underbody.. The high draught allows the vehicle to bundu-bash, and the V shape is designed to deflect a landmine blast occuring underneath. The Ratel's windows are small and armoured, but large enough to aim a rifle through when opened (four firing ports on each side).
If you have ever seen British military armoured car as used in Northern Ireland, well a Ratel looks nothing that. A British armoured car is low on the ground, looks like a Land rover covered in iron plate. It would be most likely useless off the tarmac.