When Denel finally published its 2019/20 annual report on 1 February the biggest news was its R1.952 billion net loss, but the company also highlighted progress on missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and vehicle exports.
Former Interim Group CEO Talib Sadik noted that during 2019/20 Denel’s business divisions recorded several highlights. Denel Dynamics’ Cheetah counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) missile development work for the year was successfully completed with the conclusion of the System Requirements Review. In addition to the approval of the system and subsystem requirement specifications, a programme management baseline was also reviewed and accepted.
Denel Land Systems delivered the 100th modular armoured vehicle turret for the Malaysian armed forces in terms of a multi-million rand export contract. A thermal imager test and repair facility was inaugurated at Defence Services Sdn Bhd (DSSB) in Nilai, Malaysia. This is the first of its kind in Malaysia and was made possible by Denel.
During the latter part of 2019, Denel Vehicle System signed a ‘significant’ vehicle contract with a customer in the United Arab Emirates for the manufacture of 33 RG31 vehicles with the potential for future orders.
Denel Aeronautics delivered the first two of 12 refurbished Cheetah fighters to Draken International in October 2019 under Project Dragon while Denel Dynamics acquired the interim military type certificate for its Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle. The latter is in use with the ‘end user’, understood to be South Africa’s Defence Intelligence.
Denel noted the difficult export environment due to subdued defence spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but noted that it “is in good standing with the United Nations, which provides access to humanitarian and peace-keeping initiatives, with some contracts currently being executed.”
The defence conglomerate added that the Latin American region is still heavily invested in acquisitions of weapon systems and, despite defence cuts, still offers opportunities for Denel. However, it cautioned that “the poor economic outlook for this region is, however, expected to further erode market opportunities,” Denel said.