Denel will be loud and proud at AAD


State-owned defence and technology conglomerate Denel, seemingly back on track after years of State Capture and poor management hardships, is putting itself back in the public eye with “a distinct presence” at next week’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition.

Ahead of next Wednesday’s (21 September’s) first trade day at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof, Mike Kgobe, interim chief executive for Irene headquartered Denel, said: “We are redefining the future of Denel and AAD 2022 will be an ideal platform to demonstrate to the aerospace, defence and related technology sectors – and the public – the company is, again, rebuilding and refocusing for growth”.

“AAD brings some of the world’s top aerospace and defence decision-makers and industry analysts together and we intend to showcase products which built Denel’s global reputation and offer insights into our future strategy.”

Denel, according to the man in the Denel Group hot seat since the beginning of September, is taking bold steps to streamline and refocus operations to build a sustainable business and return to profitability.

It remains an innovative company with the ability to deliver world-class products across the spectrum of aerospace, defence and related technologies – across land, sea and air and on to the cyber and security environments, the company said.

Denel continues to play a critical role in meeting South Africa’s strategic security requirements Kgobe asserts, adding: “It may have lost critical skills in recent years and suffered reputational damage because of lapses in governance and state capture, but it is recapturing lost ground following a complete overhaul of the board, executive and governance structures”.

Denel recently announced a comprehensive five-year plan to revitalise the company, reduce operating divisions to focus on core business areas in the air, land, sea and space domains, with a diversification drive into the security sector.

This will build on Denel’s market reputation and battle-proven products in aeronautics (manned and unmanned aircraft and target drones) inclusive of world class test and evaluation capabilities, artillery and infantry weapons, combat vehicles, guided weapons and precision guided munitions as well as small to medium calibre ammunition.

Among the industry-leading products Denel will display at AAD are the Rooivalk attack helicopter, the G5-45 long-range gun-howitzer and the RG31 and RG32 mine-protected vehicles.

Advanced guided weapons capabilities including A-Darter air-to-air missile, Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles and Ingwe and Mokopa surface target missiles will also be showcased.

“These systems represent the pinnacle of South Africa’s aerospace, defence and related technology sectors. We want to show Denel remains capable of producing world-class systems while in the forefront of research and innovation for new products,” Kgobe said in a statement.

AAD 2022 is seen as a pivotal event for the South African aerospace, defence and related technology sectors coming when global industry’s attention is shifting to high-end research in fields such as integrated systems, artificial intelligence and other niche products.

“The South African public must have confidence there is a high-technology company which is also at the leading edge of research and product development. Denel is a significant public asset and adds strategic value to South African society by ensuring our defence force, police and security services have access to modern technology and a dedicated support network.”

The current turnaround and restructuring enjoy full backing from government the interim chief executive said, adding: “Denel is confident it can return to profitability in the next five years”.