Defence manufacturer Denel will use the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) in Tshwane later this month to showcase the unique quality of its products and services to prospective global clients.
Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the Group Executive Marketing, of Denel SOC said the company is pursuing an accelerated strategy to market its products in a number of global target markets, most notably Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific regions.
The AAD exhibition will attract some 120 international delegations and 20 000 trade visitors to Air Force Base Waterkloof from 19 to 23 September. Ntshepe said Denel will exhibit a full range of products across the spectrum of its capabilities in the landward defence, aerospace and aviation sectors.
He said Denel has, through the years, developed some niche products and capabilities that are global leaders in their fields. “Many of our systems being used by the SANDF [South African National Defence Force], are well-proven in an operational environment and can be readily adapted to meet the requirements of prospective clients.”
Denel Land Systems (DLS) recently announced a R3.5 billion contract to supply a range of turrets and integrated weapon systems to be fitted on armoured vehicles for the Malaysian army. This is the biggest export contract in Denel’s history.
Another DLS product, the Badger infantry combat vehicle has been developed to meet the requirements of the South African Army for a vehicle that can be used in both peacekeeping operations and high-intensity warfare.
“The Badger is more than 70% local content,” said Ntshepe, “locally designed and customised to meet the unique requirements of operational deployment in an African environment.”
Denel Dynamics is collaborating with Brazil on the development of the A-Darter air-to-air missile system with production expected to commence in 2014. The A-Darter was successfully fired from the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter jet in February 2012.
The company will also display its Seeker II unmanned aerial vehicle and its next generation product, the Seeker 400 tactical UAV to its prospective clients.
Denel Aviation is actively marketing its abilities to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to both helicopter and fixed wing aircraft flying in Africa. The company is responsible for the servicing of aircraft in the SA Air Force’s fleet and also accredited to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for Eurocopter and Lockheed Martin aircraft.
The company’s most well known product, the Rooivalk combat support helicopter that was designed, industrialised and manufactured for the SAAF over a period of more than 25 years, will occupy a prominent position at AAD, the company said.
Denel Aerostructures is the only company outside of Europe to be a top-tier manufacturer of critical parts for the Airbus A400M. The parts were designed in South Africa and are being manufactured at Denel’s Kempton Park campus and then shipped out for assembly on to the A400M in Seville, Spain.
Ntshepe said the experience gained in participating in major international projects will enable the company to successfully pursue other contracts and take a leading role in South Africa’s own plans to expand its maritime patrol capacity.
Ntshepe said AAD would also underline Denel’s position as a strategic national asset whose products and services are increasingly being utilised outside the defence environment.
“Our products and services can help to combat rhino poaching, drug and contraband smuggling, counter cable theft and assist in the international efforts to address the scourge of piracy.
“Denel has a number of initiatives in place to support the quality of maths and science education and to attract and train students and artisans in the engineering sciences. As a manufacturer of high-technology products Denel will be a key player in the implementation of the government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan and the broader national developmental objectives of skills development and enterprise development,” said Ntshepe.