SA defence industry to showcase latest advances at Aerospace Simulation and Training Symposium


As the Fourth Industrial Revolution transforms simulation and training technologies, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is joining forces next week with the SA defence industry to explore the latest developments in immersive simulation systems, war gaming tools and sensor technologies at the inaugural Aerospace Simulation and Training Symposium.

The primary objective of this symposium, which will be held on 10 and 11 July at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria, is to bring together the defence industry and the SANDF to create effective defence systems and solutions that will safeguard South Africa’s sovereignty.

Sixteen companies will seize this opportunity to showcase their tools and technologies, specifically tailored to the needs of the SANDF, to ensure peace and order within the country.

The integration of simulation technology into South Africa’s defence sector has proven to be a gamechanger. Simulators and systems enhance training effectiveness, reduce costs, and ensure readiness across different military domains. As South Africa continues to embrace technological advancements, simulation will undoubtedly play a vital role in maintaining a robust and modern defence force in a time of severe budget cuts.

A surprisingly large number of companies have developed various simulation and training equipment tools for the local and export markets, making South Africa the military simulation and training leader in Africa. Many local companies have supplied the South African National Defence Force with air, land and sea solutions – the SANDF is a keen proponent of simulation training, whether it be laser-based R4 assault rifle ranges, Gripen flight simulators, or Army vehicle simulators.

TMI Simulation Solutions, for example, has delivered vehicle training simulators to the SA Army, 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles to the Malaysian Army and were subcontractors on the Gripen flight simulators and computer-based training solutions for Gripen clients.

Cybicom Atlas Defence (CAD), for its part, built a land-based submarine combat team trainer for the South African Navy, has exported several submarine periscope simulators, and has provided a concept helicopter flight deck simulator and concept bridge simulator to the SA Navy.

Global Command & Control Technologies (GC2T) is another company that has supplied simulation systems to the South African National Defence Force. Their offerings, including the BattleTek constructive simulation solution, have allowed the SA Army to enhance key warfare skills through simulator-based training, reducing the costs associated with live-fire exercises.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has not only excelled in vehicle and airborne simulations but has also developed electronic warfare simulation products. For example, the CSIR’s Sensors and Electronic Warfare Engagement Simulation (SEWES) and Optronic Scene Simulator (OSSIM) are capable of simulating various radiofrequency and infrared engagement scenarios; and the Inundu airborne pod can be used for electronic warfare training, testing and evaluation.

As the original equipment manufacturer of the SA Air Force’s Gripen fighter jets, Saab also provided a flight simulator. Its local footprint, SAAB Grintek Defence, manufactures and develops integrated electronic warfare self-protection systems; the company offers electronic warfare, sensor technology, laser warning, and training systems, as well as avionics and security and support solutions.

While not heavily involved in the defence sector, South African company Naledi3d Factory has over twenty-two years of experience in 3D and VR (virtual reality) simulation and content development across Africa, primarily in education and vocational training, workplace health and safety and health. Its experience over the past decade has expanded to include immersive XR (extended reality) industry training on multiple platforms across the globe, including in the USA, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

As an aerospace solutions provider, Incomar offers test flight and development services using operationally qualified test pilots, and also specialises in aircraft modification and 6-DOF (six degrees of freedom) modelling, simulation and unmanned air systems, as well as weapons development.

These and other companies will showcase their aerospace and defence simulation and training solutions to the SA Air Force, Army, Navy and captains of industry at the upcoming Symposium, with other participants including leading players in the industry, namely Milkor, Reutech, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Armiger, Hensoldt, and DFR Kwakudi.

For more information, contact AMD Admin Officer Magda Cloete: [email protected]

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