Hawk NWS, Naval dockyard wins Armscor CE prize


The Hawk Mk120 lead-in fighter system programme’s Navigation and Weapon System (NWS) has won the technical side of this year’s annual Armscor CE’s award, awarded Thursday night, while the Armscor Simon’s Town Dockyard won the non-technical prize for securing a contract to maintain the British Antarctic patrol ship, HMS Endurance.

Armscor sys the NWS team was led by Bennie Burger.


“The design concept of the NWS was that the trainee pilot would be lead gradually from the [Pilatus PC7 MkII] Astra baseline to system management of the Mission System embodied in the Gripen aircraft (Gripenisation).

“Emphasis was placed on reducing the pilot transition between the Hawk and the Gripen by incorporating Gripen symbology and switching modes in the Hawk architecture. This includes radar training although there is no radar in the Hawk aircraft.”

An Armscor news release adds the Human Machine Interface was “developed around a centralised Head Up Display and three Multi-function Head Down Displays showing the full range of navigation sensors, weapons and systems data.


“The aircraft cockpit and instrument lighting is Night Vision Goggle compatible to allow utilisation of a FLIR and Night Vision Goggles for night missions.

“The hardware and software were developed according to sound and proper engineering principles which included low level testing on integration benches. The ultimate testing was done by an integrated flight test team consisting of representatives from the industry, the SAAF’s Flight Test Pilot and Flight Test Engineer at the SAAF’s Test Flight Development Centre near Bredasdorp in the Overberg district,” Armscor added.

“Software Conformity Reviews were undertaken it declared that the software complies with the highest levels of assurance, against the required international standard.

“The aircraft is certified to operate in all weather conditions day and night performing air combat manoeuvres and accurately delivering weapons.

“The successful development of the complex NWS programme is a substantial achievement for South Africa as it represents a new level of sophistication in integration and software certification.

A truly and proudly South African product developed and tested to meet international standards.”

Project Endurance

The non-technical winner was Project Endurance, led by John Sutherland. They were rewarded for the work carried out to secure a maintenance contract for the Royal Navy Antarctic Patrol Vessel HMS Endurance.


It was the Dockyard’s first major contract under Armscor.

Armscor notes the Endurance is a Class 1A1 Ice Breaker. “Her hull is constructed of High Grade thick steel and her bow especially strengthened to break through Antarctic ice.”

The ship displaces 6100mt, has a top speed of 15 knots and carries two ice modified AgustaWestland Lynx maritime helicopters.

“The Endurance is stationed in the remote Falkland Islands and her role is critical to defending the United Kingdom’s sovereignty of the islands. To this end she carries a contingent of Royal Marines.”

“The project required the contracting out of about forty percent of the work to local industry. Project managers were exposed to international best practice and to meet the project requirements a number of new practices and procedures were developed that have already been put into practice on South African Navy maintenance projects. In the process Armscor has established itself as a serious participant in the global ship repair arena.”