More details on South African arms exports for 2014


More details have emerged regarding the export of South African military hardware last year, which amounted to almost R3 billion and included 326 armoured vehicles, which formed the bulk of exports by value.

OTT Technologies delivered a substantial number of vehicles last year, with dozens of its Puma M26 variant being exported. The Puma M26 is an eight ton, ten crew vehicle based on a Tata 4×4 driveline. In Kenyan service the Puma has performed well, surviving numerous improvised explosive device (IED) attacks during operations in Somalia.

According to data from the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), last year South Africa exported 31 M26s worth R71.2 million to Burkina Faso, 32 to Guinea (worth R78.3 million), 21 to Niger (worth R52 million), 39 to Senegal (worth R85 million) and Malawi received the last of 18 M26s ordered in 2013.

Paramount Group also exported a fair number of vehicles last year, including the last of 12 Marauder armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to Singapore (ordered in 2013) and 13 Maverick internal security vehicles ordered by Ghana in 2013.

The NCACC report lists eight armoured vehicles being exported to the Republic of Congo last year while SIPRI data says that 29 Mavericks were delivered between 2012 and 2014 to Congo under a 2012 contract.

Azerbaijan ordered 30 Marauders in 2012 and these were assembled in that country between 2013 and 2014, according to SIPRI. In 2012 the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industries (MDI) ordered 30 Marauder and 30 Matador mine protected vehicles, following the establishment of a joint production facility in the country and the production of an initial 15 Matador and 15 Marauders under a joint production agreement set up in 2009.

Paramount has also established local production of vehicles in Jordan, which last year agreed to manufacture 50 Mbombe vehicles through the newly established Arabian Defence Industries (ADI). This is a joint venture between King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) Investment Group (KIG) and Paramount.

The Middle East is a large customer for South African military hardware, ordering missiles, artillery and armoured vehicles amongst other items. South Africa delivered four artillery systems to Saudi Arabia (worth R30 million) and six gun/howitzers to the United Arab Emirates (R229 million) in 2014 – these almost certainly involve Denel Land Systems’ G5/G6 towed and self-propelled artillery.

In addition to this, Saudi Arabia received 100 vehicles, and the United Arab Emirates 26. It is believed the latter were part of a 2011 contract for 72 RG-31 Nyala armoured personnel carriers, deliveries of which began in 2013, according to SIPRI, under a $214 million deal. The 120 mm mortar carrier versions (with Singaporean mortars) are designated Agrab-2. The UAE also took delivery of 30 Mamba APCs manufacture by Reva between 2013 and 2014.

Malaysia was a large customer for South African military hardware last year, receiving turrets and missiles as part of a multi-billion rand order placed with Denel in 2012 for the Army’s new Pars infantry combat vehicles. According to the NCACC, Malaysia in 2014 received 11 turrets worth R235 million. Denel Land Systems is delivering turrets at the rate of four per month. Malaysia has ordered 123 LCT-30 infantry fighting vehicle turrets, 54 MCT armoured personnel carrier turrets and 54 Rogue APC turrets.

Algeria is one of the biggest arms importers in Africa and has done business with South Africa, particular in the field of missiles, ordering 100 Mokopa anti-tank missiles in 2012 under a R360 million deal. These are destined for use aboard its Lynx naval helicopters that will be deployed on its new Meko A-200 frigates. In 2012 Algeria also ordered 100 Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles for the frigates, according to SIPRI. The South African Navy also uses the Umkhonto aboard its own Meko frigates.

A major contract with Yemen concluded last year, involving 250 Qutaish-2 (Leopard) armour protected vehicles. According to SIPRI, the deal involves production of components and assembly in Yemen. Deliveries took place from 2009 to 2014.

Other weapons exports revealed in SIPRI data include the delivery to Egypt of 14 Mamba armoured personnel carriers, ordered in 2012, and the completion of deliveries of 25 Mambas to Equatorial Guinea. These were the Reva-3 and Reva-5 versions manufactured by ICP. DCD Protected Mobility continues to deliver Springbuck armoured vehicles to the Nigerian police under a contract that includes local assembly.

In addition to big ticket items like armoured vehicles, South Africa also exported hundreds of millions of rands worth of cannons, missiles, ammunition, small arms and electronic equipment in 2014. However, it is not clear what types of weapons were involved as the 2014 NCACC report does not elaborate on the details.

In total, South Africa exported R2.98 billion worth of hardware in 2014 compared to R3.2 billion the year before and R10.6 billion in 2012.