US military visit to SA cancelled over coronavirus


The US military delegation that was due to arrive in South Africa next week to interact with local defence companies will no longer be coming as the visit has been postponed due to travel restrictions over the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The visit was supposed to take place between 9 and 13 March, with the US delegation learning about the capabilities that exist within the South African defence industry.

However, US Army Futures Command said “we have been directed to postpone our upcoming visit to South Africa. US Army Africa has ordered cancellation of travel to several locations, including the continent of Africa until further notice as a precaution to the evolving situation with the Coronavirus.”

The American team apologised for having to postpone and hopes to visit later in the year once authorised to travel again.

The visit was planned after a November 2019 meeting between the South African Department of Defence and the US military. The South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) Export Council was to have facilitated the meeting.

The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (Devcom) has a number of modernisation priority areas and these include its Long Range Precision Fires missile, next generation combat vehicle technology, future vertical lift platforms, network/Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), air/missile defence systems and enhancing solider lethality. The US delegation would have examined South African expertise in these and other areas.