SA defence industry seeking export orders at IDEX


The South African defence industry’s assault on the large and lucrative Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market this month will be headed by Denel and the Paramount Group with at least another 16 local companies in the hunt for export orders at IDEX.

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference that kicks off 10 days from now at the Abi Dhabi national Exhibition Centre is widely regarded as one of the leading defence exhibitions in the world. In addition to the land, sea and air components the United Arab Emirates exhibition also includes live demonstrations and a dedicated unmanned systems and technologies section.

Denel, the SA government owned defence industry conglomerate, has existing partnership with Middle Eastern countries and will be looking to further cement these. Denel group companies are, according to acting chief executive Zwelakhe Ntshepe, well known in the MENA region for artillery, armoured vehicles and munitions and will be building on their reputations at IDEX.

Not much is known of what the Paramount Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned defence industry player, will be exhibiting in the UAE. What is known is the weaponised version of AHRLAC (Advanced High Performance, reconnaissance, Light Aircraft) will be an integral part of its product and service display. While not confirmed at the time of publication, it is expected that Paramount will also have a number of its armoured vehicles in the UAE.

Defence and security acquisition agency Armscor is one of a number of South African representatives that will be part and parcel of a combined Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)/AMD (SA Aero, Maritime and Defence Industries Association) South African pavilion.

Centurion headquartered specialist accommodation manufacturer and supplier Canvas and Tent has also committed itself to the South African pavilion as has the DCD Group, Desert Wolf Consulting, Reutech Communications, Rippel Effect and Tellumat. Other companies on the South African pavilion include Cliff’s Way (aerospace) Gelvenor (textile and fabric engineers), Stepahead Military Headgear and Cochrane Steel (perimeter security defence).

IDEX opens on February 19 and finishes on February 23.