RG-31 Nyala MK5E

The RG-31 Nyala is a light multipurpose vehicle with armor to resist the impact of anti-vehicle mines. Since it was chosen as a UN multipurpose vehicle, its use has become popular among different military and peacekeeping forces. Which include Canada, Spain, France, Colombia, Netherlands, Rwanda, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The RG-31 is known as Nyala, which means antelope in Afrikaans, and was initially developed in South Africa, although it currently has different operational variants. Initially its main use is to transport troops, although it can also be adapted to operate as a combat ambulance and command center.

Its great appeal lies in two factors. A non-aggressive appearance, which makes it ideal for peacekeeping missions. The second, a very efficient design that provides great protection thanks to its welded steel ‘V’-shaped monocoque chassis and a very high suspension. This makes the Nyala capable of withstanding an explosion equivalent to that caused by two TM-57 anti-tank mines exploding simultaneously.

Estación de Armamento Móvil equipado con ametralladora de 12.7mm
Mobile Weapons Station equipped with 12.7mm machine gun

This armored combat vehicle can be unarmed or equipped with a mobile weapons station, either configured with a machine gun of caliber between 5.56mm, 7.62mm and 12.7mm; a 40mm automatic grenade launcher, anti-tank missiles or observation posts. This weapons system allows the Nyala to be attacked and defended safely by the operator, since he controls the weapon remotely from inside the vehicle, without having to expose himself to receiving bullet impacts.


The Spanish Army has around 200 RG-31 Nyala MK5E with different configurations. All of them have been manufactured in Spain, in the Sevillian town of Alcalá de Guadaira.

The Nyala has a range of 700 kilometers at a maximum speed of 90Km/h and is capable of overcoming negative slopes of 60% and positive slopes of 25%. Furthermore, thanks to its size it can be easily transported on transport aircraft such as the old C-130 Hercules or the new A400M. Due to its efficiency and safety in combat zones, it has become one of the soldiers’ favorite vehicles.

Convoy de RG-31 Nyalas del Ejército de Tierra de España de patrulla en la ruta Lithium, Afganistán
Convoy of RG-31 Nyalas of the Spanish Army on patrol on the Lithium route, Afghanistan

At the moment, the Spanish RG-31 have only participated in combat and peacekeeping missions in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operations. While in Spain they have only been seen in military parades or exhibitions. Despite being distributed in different combat units, it is the ‘Guzmán el Bueno’ Mechanized Infantry Brigade, based in Cerro Muriano, Córdoba, that has the most RG-31 Nyala units.