Denel’s export programme to Malaysia is starting to bear fruit other than the turret and weapons systems contract Denel Land Systems (DLS) was awarded in 2012, the company has said.
The South African government-owned defence industry conglomerate this week signed two agreements with counterparts in the Malaysian defence industry during the Defence Services Asia Exhibition (DSA) in Kuala Lumpur.
The agreements are part of the offset arrangements from the 2012 contract to supply turrets and integrated weapons systems for the Malaysian defence force’s new generation armoured vehicles. Designed and developed by DLS, the Malaysian contract is the single largest to be landed by Denel.
The agreements are seen as further cementing the relationship between the South African and Malaysian defence industries and Zwelakhe Ntshepe, acting chief executive, sees scope for further knowledge sharing and joint research, especially in the electronic warfare sector.
“This (the contracts) will open doors in Malaysian markets for others South African defence and manufacturing companies and provide a vital foothold into the rapidly expanding Asia/Pacific region,” he said.
One of the memorandums signed at DSA involves the University of Pretoria. Students from the National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM) will continue post-graduate studies in South Africa under the auspices of Professor Warren du Plessis, who leads Electronic Defence Research at UP.
The research will enable both countries to be at the leading edge in electronic warfare and apply this knowledge through technology to benefit their respective defence and security sectors, Denel said..
“The collaborative research will deepen the defence and technology relationships between South Africa and Malaysia and create centres of research excellence in these emerging economies,” said Stephan Burger, DLS chief executive.
The University of Pretoria has welcomed the agreement and sees it as an opportunity to work closer with Malaysian tertiary institutions, leading to long term collaborative research and development on electronic warfare.
The agreement follows a recent fact-finding tour of South African universities and the CSIR by senior NDUM management. The Malaysian tertiary institution plans to establish a centre of excellence for electronic defence research at NDUM and research done in South Africa will accelerate the initiative.
Denel works closely with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence, Defence Industry Division (DID) and the Technology Depository Agency (TDA) under the Ministry of Finance for the offset management of Denel’s programmes in Malaysia.
In line with ongoing defence collaboration between South Africa and Malaysia, Denel Aerostructures in March 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding with Strand Aerospace Malaysia covering knowledge transfer and possible subcontracting work. Under the agreement, Denel staff were to help Strand strengthen is technical capabilities in the area of Finite Element Analysis (FEA), through engineer mentoring and knowledge provision.
The collaboration is part of the number of defence and high-technology indirect offset initiatives between South African and Malaysian companies, managed by Malaysia Industry Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the Technology Depository Agency (TDA).
In 2011 Denel Land Systems signed a R3.5 billion contract to supply a range of turrets and integrated weapon systems to be fitted onto the Malaysian Army’s Pars 8X8 armoured vehicles. The major portion of this contract is being implemented in Malaysia over a seven year period.
The importance of South East Asia as a growth market for Denel is underscored through its presence at DSA 2016. The four day event brings together defence decision-makers and industry representatives from more than 50 countries.