Global Command & Control Technologies (GC2T) is one of the newest defence companies to emerge in South Africa, specialising in command, control, training and simulation solutions.
GC2T emerged from Saab Grintek Defence after the latter divested some of its portfolios, which were then taken over by GC2T. Saab first announced the divestment in March 2019, saying that around 50 Saab employees would be affected, leaving 730 staff at Saab’s facilities in Centurion and Cape Town, focussing on the development and production of mainly electronic warfare and avionics systems for the global market.
African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (AEEI – formerly Sekunjalo Investments) and AYO Technology Solutions are now the new shareholders of GC2T. AEEI had in 2015 acquired a 25% stake in Saab Grintek Defence for approximately R125 million.
GC2T says it offers decision augmentation solutions (including command and control) to defence -, security – and related technology customers. This “decision augmentation through integrated technology is intended to enhance the quality and tempo of leadership cognitive processes and pre-emptive decision making.”
GC2T does so through creating an accurate and timely operational picture through the fusion and exchange of sensor data and information to support the decision-making process.
The company’s core products are Chaka, Chaka Warrior Soldier System, ChakaNav, Surveillance Control and Air Defence System (SCAD), Distributed Ancillary Information Display System (DAID) and BattleTek.
Chaka, developed entirely in South Africa, is a scalable command and control system that provides near real time situational awareness and messaging across a range of communications bearers, including combat net radio, local area networks, wide area networks, satellite and point-to-point serial links. This capability is currently deployed in support of COVID-19 related operations across South Africa.
The Chaka Warrior Soldier System allows navigation, tracking and tasking for individual soldiers. The operator can also upload information into the command net, allowing full integration into Chaka and SCAD.
SCAD is comprised of four sub-products, a Ground Command and Control System (GCCS) that provides flight plan data for planned and active air movements, Air Picture Display System (APDS) to control in-flight activities, Current Intelligence System (CURIS) that provides real time intelligence information, and a Record and Playback System (RPS) that records up to five radar channels, all local area network traffic and up to 512 audio channels simultaneously for debriefing, training and incident investigation purposes.
GC2T’s Distributed Ancillary Information Display (DAID) system monitors the status of airfield systems and logistics as part of a networked management solution. It is in use at all local airports in South Africa.
BattleTek is a constructive simulation/war gaming system that caters for single arm of service to joint, combined and coordinated military operations. BattleTek caters for simulation exercises on the tactical to operational levels of war and is used to test and improve Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs), doctrine and procedures. GC2T offers the BattleTek 4 constructive simulation system. BattleTek has typically been used prior to national events like the 2010 Soccer World Cup as well as in preparation for multi-national exercises or inter-departmental contingency training.
Another GC2T product is the ChakaNav tactical navigation system, which has been designed for navigation in GPS-denied areas. It incorporates a high-performance inertial navigation system (INS) that combines microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors, GPS receiver and Kalman filtering algorithms to provide optimal estimation of position, velocity and orientation. The integrated inertial measuring unit ensures jamming-free operation and a multi-language option enables successful joint multinational operations.
GC2T also offers asset tracking solutions that can track anything from a human to a combat platform thus providing the decision maker (military or commercial) with positional information globally.
GC2T is the sovereign command and control provider of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and provides the South African Air Force, Special Forces and Navy with Chaka, Impi, Air Picture Display System, Current Intelligence System, Ground Command and Control System (GCCS) and Distributed Ancillary Display System products.
The company has also supplied Chaka to the Angolan Special Forces and BattleTek to Malaysia. Other customers include Namibia, Germany, and Sweden. GC2T is also involved in strategic initiatives on the African continent such as “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020” as one of the flagship projects of the wider developmental blueprint Agenda 2063, adopted by the African Union in 2013.
GC2T is also able to provide support to other government agencies for things like disaster management, ports and maritime security and management, airports management, border management, environmental protection, police command and control etc.
Although the declining South African defence budget has meant GC2T focusses mostly on exports for its revenue, it is still fully supporting the SANDF and other government departments as a sovereign command and control, training and simulation provider.