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Al Tariq deliveries back on track

An Al Tariq guided weapon.Denel Dynamics and Tawazun have delivered 600 Al Tariq guided weapons to the United Arab Emirates under a project that was delayed due to technical challenges.

This is according to the latest Denel annual report, which said that a total of 350 full weapons kits plus 320 sub-kits have been delivered to date under the Mbarc I and Mbarc II programmes.

Denel concluded a contract during 2010/11 to the value of R1.2 billion for the sale of Al Tariq precision-guided munitions with a follow-on contract to the value of R400 million concluded in 2014/15.

“The programme experienced a number of delays during the development phase, resulting in a production lag which has been recovered,” Denel said, citing challenges “as a result of the highly complex technical nature of the development phase.”

The weapons have been integrated onto the customer’s platforms and deployed in operational conditions “with very positive feedback from the users.” Al Tariq has been integrated onto the UAE Air Force’s Mirage 2000 fighters.

“A centre of excellence for manufacturing of these weapons is being established in the buying country as a part of a joint venture established by Denel and that country’s partner, which also contributes to Denel’s offset programme. The programme accounted for revenue of R428 million (2014/15: R299 million) during the year,” according to the Denel annual report.

During the 2016/17 financial year Denel’s focus will be on the production of the imaging infrared version of the weapon, which has undergone successful flight trials.

The Al Tariq is a product of Tawazun Dynamics, a joint venture between the UAE’s Tawazun Holdings (51%) and Denel (49%). Its mandate is to manufacture, integrate and support precision-guided weapons to the UAE and international clients. Denel Dynamics in 2002 began development of the Umbani (Lightning)/Al Tariq guided bomb kit, which can be fitted to Mk 81 (120 kg), Mk 82 (240 kg) or Mk 83 (450 kg) bombs.

Several guidance options are available, including autopilot with GPS and INS guidance or terminal laser or imaging infrared guidance, which will give a circular error probability of three metres. The weapon can also be pre-programmed to engage targets from specific directions and at different dive angles, depending on the target.

Standard range is 40 kilometres but increases to 120 kilometres with a folding wing kit but the extended range version with a rocket motor has a range of over 200 kilometres. The system can be fitted with a proximity fuse for area targeting, using a pre-fragmented warhead. The weapon is easily integrated onto aircraft as it uses a normal dumb bomb pylon to carry the weapon – it is wirelessly programmed from the cockpit.

During the last financial year, Denel Dynamics noted it had delivered the first batch of Umkhonto surface to air missiles for two frigates for an international customer in North Africa (Algeria) and delivered an initial batch of Ingwe anti-tank missile on EC635 helicopters (Iraq). “The user has deployed the system and is testing it operationally,” Denel said. The Umkhonto contract value is R800 million and revenue of R157 million (2014/15: R251 million) was recognised during the most recent financial year.

Denel was contracted for the supply and integration of the Mokopa long-range anti-armour missile on a helicopter platform for a North African client (for Algeria’s Super Lynx maritime helicopters). “All the on-board guidance equipment for the helicopters was delivered this year, as well as the first batch of production missiles. The value of the programme is R370 million and revenue of R74 million (2014/15: R136 million) was recognised during the year,” the 2015/16 annual report said.

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