Denel taking aim at south-east Asia

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State-owned defence and technology conglomerate Denel is in Kuala Lumpur this week where it is seeking buyers for products and services ranging from landward defence to guided weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Defence Service Asia (DSA) exhibition and conference is rated as a top Asian defence and security exhibition. DSA was first presented in 1988 and the current exhibition, which runs until Thursday (9 May) at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), is number 18.

Speaking ahead of DSA 2024, Denel Chief Executive Tsepo Monaheng said the exhibition was a showcase for the quality and range of Denel products. A statement has him saying Denel enjoys a global reputation for its landward defence products and guided weapons systems which compete with the rest of the world at a time when there is a significant increase in demand for innovative and cost-effective products.

“Denel has longstanding ties with the defence community in Malaysia and we will use DSA 24 to consolidate our foothold and grow our presence in south-east Asia and beyond,” said Monaheng.

“Our presence at DSA 24 indicates Denel is ready for business,” Monaheng said, adding the company intends to meet high-powered defence analysts and decision-makers and seek opportunities for trade and collaboration throughout broader south-east Asia.

Denel is offering a range of solutions at DSA 2024, such as its Umkhonto missile, which has been a Denel signature product for more than 20 years and is being modernised and upgraded to meet new client needs.

“Experience has shown Umkhonto-IR provides all-round defence against simultaneous air attacks from missiles and aircraft. Its accuracy and price places it among the most sought after missiles in its class,” according to Denel.

The company is also pushing its Ingwe anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) that can be launched from helicopters and fire-on-the-move land platforms such as fighting vehicles. Denel is also displaying the state-owned company’s portfolio of landward combat and mine-protected vehicles to visitors and decision-makers who visit its stand, including the RG series (RG41 combat vehicle, RG31 and RG21 armoured personnel carriers etc.).

“Through our historic partnerships with Malaysia we have built a strong reputation in the broader Asian region and the quality of our turrets, long range artillery and mine-resistant vehicles is well-respected,” the statement has Monaheng saying.

Denel is getting back onto the international defence trade show scene, and this saw it take part in the second World Defence Show in Saudi Arabia in February. At that event, Denel showcased its missiles (Umkhonto, Ingwe etc.), air defence systems, precision guided munitions, artillery systems (G6, T5-52), unmanned aerial vehicle (Seeker 400), and small arms (NTW-20 anti-material rifle and DM-82 mortar), amongst others.

The company’s participation was described as an opportunity for Denel to demonstrate that it still designs, manufacture and delivers high-technology products that is comparable and better than what is produced in the rest of the world.

Denel’s participation follows on a successful technology demonstration held at the Alkantpan range in the Northern Cape in August last year, which was attended by decision-makers and analysts from ten countries.

A newly restructured Denel is seeking new markets for its products and systems, as it has settled its salary backlog in order to resume production and stabilise the company. Treasury recapitalisation has enabled Denel to restructure, right-size and reposition towards its new business model that is, amongst others, taking it from six divisions to four operating units (Guided Weapons, Land, Air, and Integrated Systems).

Other South African exhibitors at DSA 2024 include Milkor, Rapid Mobile, and Reunert Applied Electronics. Milkor is showcasing its Milkor 380 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which can be fitted with several hundred kilograms of weapons and sensors.