Technology transfer, human capital development and new markets are at the heart of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into between Denel Aerostructures (DAe) and Strand Aerospace Malaysia.
The agreement, signed by DAe chief executive Ismail Dockrat and Naguib Mohd Nor, chief operating officer of Strand Aerospace, is one of three MOUs entered into by various Malaysian entities with South African companies in terms of offset agreements for the R3.5 billion contract for integrated weapon systems that will be fitted to Malaysian armoured infantry fighting vehicles.
The partnership was brokered by the Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT). It oversees development of Malaysia’s aerospace industry and is also the organisation responsible for indirect offset management in the 13 state federation.
Strand Aerospace is the lead company in Malaysia’s economic transformation programme initiative to grow the country’s engineering services sector. The agreement with DAe is in line with the programme’s objectives, according to officials.
Specific fields of collaboration include tooling design and aircraft structural engineering.
A statement issued during the signing ceremony said: “With a strong existing base, Malaysia is well positioned to grow engineering services. It has a large number of engineering graduates to fill its workforce needs. It also has a strong domestic demand, driven by the local aerospace manufacturing and MRO industries. This co-operation (the MOU) will look to leverage on DAe’s strong experience in manufacturing and design engineering in the development of indigenous South African aerospace programmes to support development of Strand’s Malaysian engineers”.
The DAe/Strand MOU was one of three signed, with five more in the pipeline as part of the overall offset programme for Denel turrets.
Other MOUs signed on Friday were between South Africa’s Embryo Plus and Malaysia’s ETD Makmur on animal husbandry co-operation and Intsimbi of South Africa and Malaysia’s Miyazu that will see co-operation and technology transfer in the tool, die and mould field, Engineering News reports.
Other identified offsets where MOUs still have to be finalised include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), laser additive manufacturing and the automotive industry.
Zailani Safari, director of Malaysia’s Technology Depository Agency, said the offset programme was one that would benefit both countries.