Feature: Denel pushing Rooivalk Mk 2, export orders

February 16, 2016

 

Denel is in discussions with various government departments including the South African Air Force (SAAF) on upgrading the Rooivalk combat helicopter and developing a next generation Rooivalk Mk 2, which is being marketed to potential foreign clients.

Denel revealed plans for the next generation Rooivalk during a demonstration event at the Denel Overberg Test Range (DOTR) in the Western Cape earlier this month, during which the Rooivalk fired two Mokopa precision guided missiles as part of ongoing qualification testing.

Mike Kgobe, CEO of Denel Aviation, told defenceWeb that the demonstration was based on renewed interest expressed in the helicopter, especially following its performance with the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said February’s demonstration was aimed at talking to the broader community about the Rooivalk, with interested countries present at the demonstration, including delegations from Poland and Nigeria. Poland is currently seeking new attack helicopters under its Kruk programme while Nigeria has an urgent operational requirement for attack helicopters to combat Boko Haram militants.

Egypt is also believed to be potentially interested, especially after the United States delayed the delivery of AH-64 Apache helicopters following the military’s removal of Mohammed Morsi from power. Although Egypt recently ordered 46 Ka-52K helicopters from Russia, these are earmarked for its Mistral class vessels and the country still requires land-based attack helicopters.

Denel is in discussions with various government departments including the South African Air Force (SAAF) on upgrading the Rooivalk combat helicopter and developing a next generation Rooivalk Mk 2, which is being marketed to potential foreign clients.

Denel revealed plans for the next generation Rooivalk during a demonstration event at the Denel Overberg Test Range (DOTR) in the Western Cape earlier this month, during which the Rooivalk fired two Mokopa precision guided missiles as part of ongoing qualification testing.

Mike Kgobe, CEO of Denel Aviation, told defenceWeb that the demonstration was based on renewed interest expressed in the helicopter, especially following its performance with the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said February’s demonstration was aimed at talking to the broader community about the Rooivalk, with interested countries present at the demonstration, including delegations from Poland and Nigeria. Poland is currently seeking new attack helicopters under its Kruk programme while Nigeria has an urgent operational requirement for attack helicopters to combat Boko Haram militants.

Egypt is also believed to be potentially interested, especially after the United States delayed the delivery of AH-64 Apache helicopters following the military’s removal of Mohammed Morsi from power. Although Egypt recently ordered 46 Ka-52K helicopters from Russia, these are earmarked for its Mistral class vessels and the country still requires land-based attack helicopters.

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