Denel going big at IDEX


Denel maintains it’s open for business and will use IDEX in the Abu Dhabi emirate of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) later this month to show it’s back in the wake of a hiatus caused largely by grand corruption and an ensuing loss of income and operating capital.

Ahead of the 20 to 24 February exhibition, this year marking its 30th anniversary, interim Denel chief executive Mike Kgobe is upbeat.

“We want to demonstrate to the world Denel is open for business,” a Denel statement has him saying, adding: “the reputation of our products and services remains high among industry decision makers and analysts and will be reinforced in Abu Dhabi.

IDEX, the acronym for the UAE International Defence Exhibition and Conference, in Abu Dhabi is expected to attract more than 1 100 exhibitors from 50 countries. Notwithstanding COVID-19 limitations, the 2021 edition of IDEX drew sixty-two thousand plus visitors.

Kgobe sees Denel’s presence as “meaningful and catalytic” with a focus on technology that built the State-owned defence and technology conglomerate’s reputation prior to its hollowing out, subsequent retrenchments and restructuring.

Products including the Rooivalk combat support helicopter and the G6 artillery system are still global leaders and Denel is increasingly known for integrated network capabilities seen in the ground-based air defence system (GBADS).

Kgobe said Denel’s participation will provide an opportunity to share the new Denel strategy and turnaround plan, supported by the shareholder (government) with key stakeholders. Denel is progressing with “bold streamlining steps and refocusing operations to build a sustainable business and return to profitability,” the statement has it, adding the Irene, Centurion headquartered SOE (State-owned enterprise) remains innovative with the ability to evolve and deliver world class products across the spectrum of aerospace, defence and related technologies – from land to sea, to air, to the cyber and security environments.

“IDEX has been the premier exhibition of its kind in the Middle East and Northern Africa region for more than 30 years,” Kgobe said, saying “this is a significant platform” for Denel.

Denel will use IDEX to “restore strong relationships” with customers and stakeholders, “leverage smart partnerships” and “reconfirm the Denel brand in the global defence technology environment”.

IDEX also offers Denel the opportunity to acquaint itself with new trends in technology and explore new market opportunities.

“Denel remains a valuable national asset. We are open for business and can leverage the superior quality of our product range and exceptional service. Our presence at IDEX 2023 will confirm this,” Kgobe concluded.

Other South African companies at IDEX 2023 include DCD Protected Mobility, Etion Create, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, Imperial Armour, Mega Control Systems, MOH-9 Armour Ceramics, Radel, RapidM, RationTech, Redeployable Camp Systems SA, Reutech, Rippel Effect, Shrike Marine, SME Exports, Unipro, Zabra Protection and industry representative body AMD.