Denel out in force at LAAD in Rio


Opportunities for South African defence and security products in South and Latin America are growing and Denel is stepping up its marketing efforts in these markets.

The state-owned defence industry conglomerate will be one of more than 700 exhibitors from 50 countries taking part in LAAD 2015, the international defence and security exhibition hosted by Brazil, which starts tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro.
“We have a strong relationship with the Brazilian defence industry through the joint development of the A-Darter air-to-air missile, which has successfully completed advanced in-flight testing and we are confident it will be a global leader in its class when production starts within the next 12 months,” Riaz Saloojee, Denel Group chief executive, said ahead of the exhibition which ends on Friday.

Denel will also use LAAD to profile the Rooivalk combat helicopter as a capable system for guerrilla warfare within the context of its successful deployment in suppressing armed conflict in Africa.

Saloojee said Rooivalk’s deployment in the DRC as part of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) had created a global awareness of the capabilities of the South African defence industry.
“We proved we can deliver on complex defence systems from design through to the industrialisation and manufacturing phases and then onto effective deployment,” he said.

Denel Land Systems (DLS) will showcase the MT-105 turret weapon system which is being evaluated by the Brazilian army for its new VBR-MR armoured car. The MT-105 combines Denel’s proven experience in turret design and manufacturing with recent innovations in fire control.

The decision by the SA Army to commission Denel to manufacture the Badger infantry combat vehicle demonstrated local forces confidence in the local industry to provide frontline equipment.
“This is an important factor when we are marketing other landward defence products such as the T5-52 truck-mounted artillery and the small- and medium calibre range of ammunition manufactured by Denel PMP,” Saloojee said.

Denel will maximise that its products are designed for rugged terrains and climate conditions similar to those found in South America. Most of the company’s products are battle-proven and have been deployed in operationally.
“The quality of diplomatic and trade ties between South Africa and countries in Latin and South America is of great importance for the defence industry because many contracts require government-to-government participation,” Saloojee said.

South Africa and Brazil are both members of the BRICS alliance and this presents Denel with opportunities to strengthen its ties with the Brazilian defence sector.