MLS scores in China
Written by Leon Engelbrecht, Friday, 05 November 2010
MLS CE Dewald Hattingh says indications are that China may need as many as 10 000 MRAP vehicles to cover their internal needs and equip peacekeeping missions. The PLA is the largest military in the world mustering some three million soldiers, sailors and airmen, of whom some 2.5 million are in full-time service. It is said to operate over 8500 main battle tanks but just over 1000 infantry combat vehicles and 3500 armoured personnel carrier of various designs – and none mine protected.
Hattingh says he was invited by Poly Technologies to talks on the fringes of the DSEi defence exhibition in London in September last year. “After negotiations and a formulated RfP [request for proposal], we drafted a MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] on the 14th of September 2009 in London. I changed the design to accommodate the special requests for China and after a few visits to Beijing and the Chinese industry, the design was signed off,” Hattingh says.
Poly Technologies decided on Changan Industries, a major manufacturer of vehicles and ammunition in China, as MLS' Chinese manufacturing partner. Eight engineers visited South Africa in the first quarter of the year and some changes were made to the design and finally signed off. During this visit of three weeks, two hulls were build and the process demonstrated to the visiting engineers.
MLS next sent a prototype hull and component parts to Changan's Chong Qing facility and a team consisting of three South African engineers led by Tos Visser followed to assemble and transfer skills to their Chinese counterparts. The South Africans stayed for six weeks. Andre van Eeden chief designer at MLS partner Laser Sprint also visited China for a week to oversee aspects of the the process. “The first prototype vehicle was a huge success and a major achievement if one takes the distances and language barriers into consideration,” Hattingh says.
Hattingh notes Poly Technologies will be sending more engineers to be trained in the MRAP manufacturing process. Nine more vehicles will be part-manufactured in South Africa under the contract and exported to China in kit form for assembly there. Changan will take over manufacture at that point and is licenced to build 289 more vehicles. “We are committed to give close support and quality control assistance to secure our royalties,” Hattingh says. After that intellectual property will be handed over to Changan against a fee. “Our commitment is to assist with transfering of skills, providing parts and constant support for the project.”
Revolutionary aircraft showcasing Africa's advanced aerospace capability takes to skies
by Paramount Group, 21 August 2014
Ninety-eight percent of all 6 000 parts of the AHRLAC aircraft were designed and produced locally by the engineering team, says Paramount Group.
South African launch: INTENS Image Intensifier tube, 4G Night Vision standard
by ECM Technologies, 21 August 2014
Developed by PHOTONIS, the tube is a multi-mission night vision tool, and will be unveiled at Africa Aerospace and Defence in September.
US-Africa Summit 2014: Africa on the agenda or too little too late?
by Paramount Group, 20 August 2014
A revitalised viewpoint on Africa, and its challenges and opportunities for investors, should take centre stage at US-Africa Summit 2014, says Paramount Group.
Airbus Defence and Space improves air surveillance capabilities of Indonesian Air Force
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 19 August 2014
The company has provided the Indonesian Air Force with the latest aircraft identification and air surveillance equipment.
Sustained revenue growth, strong order book drive Denel's new growth era
by Denel Corporate, 18 August 2014
The company's financial results show revenue growth of 17%, improved profit and the largest multi-year order book in its history.
Atlantis Aviation offers air-land integration, close air support, airborne ISTAR training to Africa
by Atlantis Corporation, 14 August 2014
Close Air Solutions is a single source for international training services in all aspects of close air support.