It’s business as usual for State-owned defence industry conglomerate Denel at this week’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition as Parliamentary and legal skirmishes stand down in favour on concentrating on showcasing its high-tech security and defence products and services.
The Irene, Centurion, headquartered Denel will sign an agreement with Polly Technologies of China during AAD, which opens its doors for trade visitors on Wednesday, 14 September.
Poly Technologies is, according to acting Denel chief executive Zwelakhe Ntshepe, China’s top State-owned defence supplier and the agreement to be entered into with the South African defence industry major will focus on the maritime sector. Ship repairs, shipbuilding, naval systems and marine services are among the areas marked out for collaboration.
This ties in with the recent announcement of Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime (Denel ISM) taking over management of the Simon’s Town naval dockyard. The dockyard, a strategic national asset, was previously operated by Armscor and management of the facility was earlier this year handed back to the SA Navy which, with the approval of Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has requested Denel ISM to manage it.
Also on the maritime front, Denel will join forces with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop and market local technology in the form of the deep sea monitoring system SeaFAR. The system has been successfully utilised to track vessels that have switched off vessel identification aids and are either fishing illegally or dumping without authorisation in South Africa territorial waters.
Denel will also use AAD as the launch platform for its Africa Truck, a demonstrator model developed by Denel Vehicle Systems (DVS) to meet the national defence force’s need for logistic and transport vehicles.
Ntshepe said the Africa Truck was based on Denel’s existing mine protection technology and could also be utilised by peacekeeping support forces deployed in Africa.
The multi-facetted defence and security group will also use AAD as the launch platform for a business unit dedicated to cyber warfare and counter-measures to combat the often insidious and always invasive methods used by cyber criminals.
On the missile front Denel Dynamics will show developments in the Cheetah C-RAM missile, planned as an efficient deterrent to rockets, artillery and mortars in the hands of militias and terrorist groups. The Cheetah C-RAM will be integrated with the Oerlikon Skyshield developed by Rheinmetall Air Defence to offer a speedily deployable system for use in homeland defence and by expeditionary forces.
A full scale model of the SA Regional Aircraft (SARA) developed in collaboration with universities and research houses will also be on show at the Denel pavilion. SARA is, a Denel spokesman said, a national flagship project to develop a passenger aircraft to service smaller regional routes not covered by major airlines.
“AAD 2016 will demonstrate that Denel remains the leading defence and technology company in Africa. We are strengthening existing capabilities in the landward defence and vehicle sectors and increasingly moving into command and control, missile technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cyberspace,” Ntshepe said.