Landward forces will be well represented at this year’s AAD
This year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition will, in addition to showcasing the full spectrum of defence equipment, have a sizeable section devoted to ground forces and landward defence. The exhibition runs from September 14 to 18 at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion and is the ninth to be presented under the AAD banner. The exhibition is an extension of DEXSA, previously presented at the same air force base by, in rotation, Armscor, AMD, (CAASA) the Commercial Aviation Association of SA and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. The 1974 Lanseria airshow which grew into the Aerospace Africa civilian exhibition at the privately owned international airport, west of Pretoria, was also incorporated into AAD as it has been known for the past 18 years. “While AAD covers the full spectrum of defence equipment,” the exhibition organisers said in a statement, “the focus has been on ground forces equipment, which is where most African requirements lie. “Ground forces equipment and secure communications and elements of electronic warfare have also been the main areas of focus of the South African defence industry, although it has developed remarkable systems and equipment in the airborne and maritime environment, notably the Rooivalk attack helicopter, which is of obvious and considerable importance to ground forces, and the Umkhonto SAM, which is also offered as a ground-launched weapon.” State-owned Denel is a major player in South Africa’s defence industry, with most divisions active in developing and manufacturing equipment for ground forces –from combat vehicles and artillery systems and guided weapons at one end of the scale to explosive-sniffing dogs at the other. Two companies partly owned by Denel, Rheinmetall Denel Munition and Airbus Optronics develop and manufacture munitions and optical/optronic equipment.