Denel’s inability is cited as a major reason for the more than four-year delay experienced to date in any tangible progress with the long-awaited new Badger infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the SA Army.
In terms of the revised Project Hoefyster, the Infantry Formation will start receiving new Badger IFVs by 2022 – the first of 244 units in nine variants. They will replace some of the Ratel fleet as the main mobility equipment for the mechanised infantry, Denel chief executive Danie du Toit said in a statement in November.
Approached by defenceWeb for a status update on Hoefyster, Armscor, via Advocate Ndodomzi Mvambo, Acting Group Executive: Corporate Support, said the project was “being managed in the context of project management with regular engagements with contracted parties”.
According to him Hoefyster “has been delayed for more than four and a half years due to Denel’s inability to perform”.
“The Department of Defence is evaluating the impact of this delay with a view to pronounce on the best possible course of the project,” he said adding “further information on progress will be provided in due course”.
This was in response to defenceWeb asking for an indication of when manufacture and assembly would commence as well as when production is expected to start and the duration of production to meet the 244-unit order.
Denel indicated in its last annual report production of the Badger and its variants was, at the time of publication (the end of the 2018/19 financial year), 32 months behind schedule. The delay was ascribed to development issues with software, fire support manufacture, missile and mortar variant engineering development models, technical challenges and Denel’s financial situation, apparently largely due to state capture.