Denel Land Systems’ (DLS) billing as a consolidated, project-based, systems designer and integrator of combat turrets, artillery and infantry systems, small arms and armoured vehicles is upheld by a recent maintenance, repair and overhaul contract for 1,900 police assault rifles and the sale of 1,000 SS-77 machine guns.
These, along with other DLS work including the new infantry fighting vehicle for the SA Army, saw the Lyttelton, Centurion headquartered business division contribute 28% of Denel’s revenue in the 2014/15 financial year.
DLS has, according to the latest Denel annual report, for the 2014/15 financial year, completed maintenance, repair and overhaul of 1,500 SA Police Service R5 assault rifles with 400 still awaiting refurbishment in the year under review.
As is the case with the majority of arms sales, no detail is provided of the purchaser of a thousand SS-77 machine guns apart from reporting the armament went to the Middle East.
Other work DLS’ 630 employees were involved in during the year under review included bringing industrialisation and production on phase two of the new infantry fighting vehicle – the Badger – ahead of schedule and a renewal of interest in the new generation Casspir (NG2000) particularly from African countries.
Also on the continent, Mechem, the specialist demining and camp provision arm of DLS, completed a number of demining and explosive remnants of war (ERW) clearing projects. This, the annual report said, saw large tracts of land and road handed back to several countries, assisting citizens in returning their lives to normality.
Mechem has also expanded its camp provision and management contracts with the UN near African conflict areas.
DLS revenue grew by 51% when compared to the previous financial reporting period with a growth of 33% in export revenue, again showing the importance of exports to the survival of the local defence industry.
Denel Land Systems recorded a revenue of R1.627 billion for the 2015 financial year, up from R1.078 billion the year before, with 67% of revenue coming from overseas. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were up by 55% to R65 million, compared to R42 million in 2014.