Over a dozen companies supporting SANDF’s capability and technology programmes


Local aerospace and defence companies are providing a wide range of equipment and support to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) from infantry fighting vehicles to parachutes, according to the Department of Defence (DoD).

In its 2016/17 annual report the DoD said it had a number of engagements with the South African defence industry. On the landward side, one of the biggest engagements is with Denel Land Systems, which provides mortars, auxiliary equipment for portable mine detection equipment, gyroscopic systems for artillery, G6 self-propelled howitzer upgrades and Badger infantry combat vehicles.

Other companies that support the SANDF’s landward capabilities include Barloworld and Bell Equipment (providing earth-moving vehicles); Malutsa (water purification and water bottling equipment); ECM Technologies and Common Sense Technologies (portable mine detectors and personal protective clothing used during the detection of mines respectively); SAAB (portable kitchens); OTT Solutions and Desert Wolf (15-man field cooking units); and RCS (deployable mess facilities).

Denel Integrated Solutions and Maritime (Denel ISM), together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) provides command and control solutions for the Ground Based Air Defence Systems (GBADS) while Denel ISM and Rheinmetall Air Defence provide services, equipment and support for “the new generation ground-to-air missile”. This is presumably the Starstreak or Umkhonto.

Several “common weapons capability” programmes are established with the local industry. Nanoteq provides cryptographic capabilities; Volt Ampere provides electricity generation capabilities; Reutech provides a family of tactical radios (under Project Radiate); the CSIR provides system-engineering support for the Defence Communication Network; and Saab provides maintenance and support for tactical command and control (radios).

Lelebotse Projects and Veecraft Marine support the South African Special Forces, with Lelebotse supplying high altitude parachute systems and Veecraft providing workboats and a passenger ferries.

The DoD annual report states that under the Landward Technology Programme, technology programmes have been established with the Detonic, Ballistic and Explosive Laboratory (DBEL) of the CSIR, Armscor, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, Flamengro, Reutech and Denel.

Similarly, under the Maritime Technology Programme, “domain knowledge is mostly generated by the Institute of Maritime technology (IMT) of Armscor. Technology programmes are established with Armscor, CSIR, Reutech, Thales South Africa and Protoclea.”

Aerospace technology involves managing the test and evaluation range at Overberg Test Range and the Skua high-speed target test facility of Denel. “The following industries are made use of by the Aerospace Technology Programme: Armscor, Denel, CSIR, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, Flamengro and Reutech.”
“Defence Science and Engineering Technology (DSET) expertise is developed to address knowledge and technology capability requirements. The Department manages seven technology development programmes with the defence industry.” Protechnik and Ergotech provide scientific and engineering support in terms of biological and chemical defence capabilities and ergonomic capabilities respectively.

In the field of navigation, command and control and information security, programmes have been established with Armscor, CSIR, GEW Technologies, Saab South Africa, Reutech, Ciphertech, Nanotech, Incomar, Tellumat and Denel.