Cybicom upbeat in spite of challenging times for the industry


Cybicom Atlas Defence recorded a busy year last year in spite of it being a difficult time for the defence industry, and anticipates business growth this year, as well as contracts from the Navy for torpedoes and other items resulting from Projects Hotel and Biro.

“2015 was a difficult year for the defence industry in general. With shrinking defence budgets aligned with a depreciating Rand it created a challenging environment in which many fell and few thrived. The value generated by the local defence industry must not be underestimated as a source of training, technology development, support for the South African Defence Forces, socio economic development, job creation, and as a revenue generator,” Cybicom Atlas Defence (CAD) said.

CAD specialises in the integration of naval systems and development of modelling and simulation software. Some of its highlights from last year included ongoing maintenance and support for the South African Navy, contracts with the South African National Space Agency, the signature of a new contract with the Institute for Maritime Technology for their maritime domain awareness programme and the sale of various simulators and stimulators to local and overseas clients.

During 2015 CAD and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) upgraded the prototype Helicopter Flight Trainer to advanced demonstrator/pre-production model status. This was partially funded by the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative, an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This could lead to the CSIR and CAD collaborating on the manufacture of locally developed simulators, CAD said.

The South African Navy provided access to its Simulation Facility at the Maritime School in Simons Town for the purpose of evaluating local simulation products, CAD said, noting that it currently has the several items under evaluation, including Instructor Work Station, Helicopter Flight Deck Trainer, Naval Bridge Simulator, CMS console and the updated Helicopter Flight Trainer.

CAD said it was attracting work outside South Africa for submarine related services and had exported its first fully qualified (and locally design and developed) Submarine Escape Hatch Signalling system to South Korea.

Also last year, CAD launched its Ondulus radar simulator, at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in September. Cybicom said the physics based simulator is able to give a highly realistic replication of the behaviour of waves generated by radar systems on vehicles and aircraft in conditions at any location. The system could be of use in radar training, testing, and research and development.

Ondulus is to be made available as part of the modelling and simulation suite sold by Presagis, a Canadian company for which Cybicom is an agent. Ondulus is designed to work with the Presagis VAPS XT in order to provide a realistic real time simulation experience.

Looking ahead, CAD said it was cautiously optimistic and is keeping an eye on the results of the Projects Hotel and Biro bids, for a new hydrographic survey vessel and three offshore and three inshore patrol vessels for the SA Navy. CAD submitted its offers for both project request for proposals released by Armscor last year.
“There is an early indication that the export aspect of our business should grow with interest emanating from South America and the Middle East in various products developed by CAD over the last few years. It is anticipated that the request for proposal will be issued for the replacement of the current submarine torpedoes during 2016. As the locally appointed custodian of the submarine combat system we are ready to integrate and support the winner of the torpedo shoot out,” CAD said.