Denel is Defence Review ready for command and control


One who shares Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s enthusiasm for the Defence Review is Denel chief executive, Riaz Saloojee.

The man who heads up the state-owned defence industry group said the decision to be a key player in the command and control domain will provide the South Africa defence and security sector with full independence in this vital area of national security.
“The Defence Review identified control and command as ‘a sovereign defence capability’ which should be under full national control and without reliance on any foreign assistance,” he said.

The Defence Review is currently part of the Parliamentary bureaucracy and even the Minister cannot specify or stipulate when the document will be tabled for debate in the House.

That has not deterred her from using public platforms to speak out about the need for its implementation.

Speaking after the official opening of the Aerospace Africa and Defence exhibition at AFB Waterkloof in Centurion last week she said the document, compiled by Review committee chairman Roelf Meyer and his co-committee members, “talked precisely” to the re-organisation and re-engineering of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
“We can’t wait for Parliament and Treasury to buy into what is contained in the Defence Review report. We are desperate to acquire these capabilities,” she said.

Saloojee is adamant Denel is ready to stand up and be counted in the command and control arena.
“This (command and control) is one of the most sensitive areas in the security environment, so most countries rely on their national defence industries to provide strategic command and control capabilities. Denel is the only company in South Africa that can meet these requirements.
“As a state-owned company, we know exactly what the needs and requirements of the national forces are. We have already delivered on the strategically important ground-based air-defence system (GBADS) and our expertise and activities cover a wide range of defence requirements from unmanned aerial vehicle systems to missiles to landward defence systems and now also into space technology,” Saloojee said.

He sees Denel as being “best placed” to assist the SANDF in leading the design and development of a comprehensive command and control network working in collaboration with other relevant centres of excellence including Armscor and the CSIR.

The key requirement of modern warfare is how to integrate land, air and maritime systems into a comprehensive strategy. Information gleaned from satellites, UAVs, reconnaissance planes and human intelligence must be accumulated, analysed and interpreted to provide commanders with a strategic awareness on which to base decisions.
“Denel’s unique capability is in the field of systems integration. We are systems architects who can take existing SANDF equipment and new products it might acquire and integrate into a comprehensive and integrated network,” Saloojee said adding development of this type of capability will not only benefit the defence force but can be also be made available to other agencies such as immigration services, border control, traffic agencies, nature conservation and the SA Police Service.