Denel is confident that its participation in Africa’s largest defence and technology exhibition will lead to a growth in business and a stronger order book.
Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the Acting GCEO of Denel, says there was significant interest in the company’s products and systems from foreign delegations that attended the Africa Defence and Aerospace Exhibition in Tshwane recently.
“Exports already contribute 58% of Denel’s total annual revenue of more than R8-billion,” says Ntshepe. “Although we remain the primary partner of the South African defence and security forces we are also targeting more international partnerships and export opportunities in key regions such as South East Asia, the Middle East and the rest of the African continent.
One of the highlights of AAD 2016 was the signing of an agreement between Denel and Poly Technologies, China’s top state-owned defence supplier, to collaborate in the maritime sector. This will cover areas such as ship repairs, shipbuilding, naval systems and marine services.
One of Denel’s fastest-growing business units, Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime joined forces with the CSIR to develop and market local technology that can detect illegal fishing in South Africa’s coastal waters and the unauthorised dumping of waste oil into the ocean.
“We have strengthened our leadership position in landward defence and missile technology, but we are also making greater inroads in the technology-rich environments of cyber security, command and control and systems integration,” says Ntshepe.
Ntshepe says there is considerable interest in both local and international defence circles in the Africa Truck that was unveiled by Denel Vehicle Systems during AAD 2016. The versatile mine-protected vehicle is able to meet the logistical requirement of active peace-keeping forces that must be supported with equipment, fuel, supplies and ammunition.
“South Africa’s successful deployment of peace-keeping forces on the African continent is also focusing attention on the capabilities of the local defence industry,” says Ntshepe. “We have built a proven reputation for products and systems that have been tried and tested in battle conditions and that are uniquely suited to combat threats posed by irregular forces and terrorism.
Denel Dynamics is developing the Cheetah C-RAM missile that can counter rockets, artillery and mortars launched by militias and terrorist groups. When the Cheetah is integrated with the Oerlikon Skyshield developed by Rheinmetall Air Defence it offers a quickly deployable system that can be used in homeland defence and by expeditionary forces.
Denel has also collaborated with Saab, to integrate the locally developed Umkhonto surface-to-air-missile with the Swedish group’s Giraffe radar. This integrated system offers a highly cost-effective solution for countries requiring a complete air defence system.
Ntshepe says the Denel pavilion at AAD 2016 hosted a number of foreign delegations including Lt Gen Joachim Wundrak, the commander of German Air Operations who discussed plans to use the Denel Overberg Test Range in the southern Cape for the testing of its Taurus air-to-surface missile in 2017.
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