With Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 literally around the corner, exhibition lead partners the Commercial Aviation Association of SA (CAASA) confirmed a pair of K8 jets and a CASA 212 from the Zimbabwe Air Force as well as a pair of trainers from Sudan will be at AB Waterkloof.
Leon Dillman, CAASA chief executive, also confirmed the latest of a long line of business jets from French manufacturer Dassault – the Falcon 8X – will be at the Centurion air force base from September 19 to 23. Business jets from Gulfstream and Canada-based Bombardier as well as Diamond aircraft from Austria will also be present.
Dillman said the five US Air Force aircraft – C-17 Globemaster, C-130J Super Hercules, LC-130 Snowbird, KC-135 Stratotanker and Boeing P-8 Poseidon would be on static display with vehicles and other equipment inside. This, he said, will give an indication of the inter-operability with South African military equipment as well as that manufactured by the local defence industry.
“Further updates will be released as and when confirmation of aircraft arrivals is received,” he said.
CAASA is the lead partner to host AAD this year at AFB Waterkloof. Each of the partners – Armscor, the SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industry Association (AMD) and the Department of Defence (DOD), has the opportunity on a rotation basis to stage the exhibition. The 2018 edition bears the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Aerospace and Defence Potential” – hinting at the stimulus high technology provides in the development of South Africa and the continent.
“It is undeniable that high technology as found in the aerospace and defence sphere has immense positive economic impact and potential for skills development, critical in South Africa, not to mention building our strategic capabilities,” said Dillman.
In light of the threats posed by cyber-attacks and the increasing prevalence of drones in both military and civil applications, Dillman said AAD2018 will feature seminars on both issues.
Worldwide, seminars are issued to convey focused information to top-level decision-makers and media. This is a new addition to the AAD menu that will run over exhibition’s three trade days.
The organisers have again provided compact venues with seating capacity of 50 for product launches and media briefings, which proved popular at AAD 2016.