Missile manufacturer Denel Dynamics has taken a step closer to selling the Ingwe missile to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by teaming up with the ITEAC Group.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 16 September by Denel Dynamics CEO Tsepo Monaheng and Dr Amin Al-Shanqiti, Board Chairman and CEO of ITEAC at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition held at Air Force Base Waterkloof.
Monaheng explained to defenceWeb after the signing that the State-owned missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer had been trying to find areas of business expansion and partnerships in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for some years.
Although Denel Dynamics had entered into co-operation agreements with the King Abdullah Centre for Science and Technology (KACST) and Military Industries Corporation (MIC), these were very small scale ventures.
It has been reported previously that Denel Dynamics were working with the Saudi military to create an armed version of the Seeker 400 UAV, having supplied unarmed UAVs to the region previously. Despite repeated efforts, Denel Dynamics has not yet sold missiles to Saudi Arabia.
“We are looking at different business models. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has communicated that the way forward for the participation of foreign defence industry companies in selling our equipment and systems would (be) to partner with local companies,” Monaheng said.
It was during a South African delegation visit to Saudi Arabia in 2015 that discussions started in earnest when Dr Amin, Co-Chair of the Saudi-South African Business Council (SASABC), expressed interest in cooperation with Denel.
Although ITEAC is not currently involved in missile development, they have defence and security experience.
“ITEAC is one of the leading companies in Saudi,” Dr Amin said, “I think we find a good alignment with what we are looking for with Denel as one of the leading companies on the defence side.”
Dr Amin says that their main objective is the technology and know-how transfer. This will include setting up local manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia for the Ingwe missile.
the missile was successfully demonstrated in country last year when it was fired from a local vehicle.
If approved, manufacture of the missile in country will be undertaken in a phased approach. The first batch will most likely be manufactured in South Africa, with the know-how for manufacturing being provided to ITEAC to enable them to manufacture with Denel’s support.
Dr Amin is confident of success. “We have a very high quality product at a competitive price. So that will give (us) a good position…We are also interested in some other products from Denel that we can see there is a demand in the local market.”
The ZT3 Ingwe (Leopard) is a multi-role laser guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), capable of being launched from both vehicles and helicopters.
The missile features a tandem warhead that can penetrate up to 1000 mm of Rolled Homogeneous Armour (RHA) after a single layer of reactive armour and has a range from 250 metres to over 5 kilometres. The system is designed to ensure that it can be installed easily on most aircraft, with other platform options include heavy IFV turrets fitted with stabilised sighting systems, to light vehicles and even tripod-mounted solutions.
Besides the South African Army, where it is mounted on the Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicle and will be integrated onto the Badger IFV, other customers include the Algerian Air Force (Mi-24 Mk III Super Hind), Iraq (Eurocopter EC635) and the Malaysian Army (DefTech AV8 armoured combat vehicle).