Next week a team from the United States military will visit South Africa to interact with local defence companies to learn more about the capabilities that exist within the defence industry.
This is according to the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence (AMD) Industries Association of South Africa, which said the visit will take place between 9 and 13 March 2020.
The visit will come after a November 2019 meeting between the South African Department of Defence and the US military.
“Part of the deliberations between the two countries centred on the need for the South African Defence Industry to take or make use of opportunities that the US Defence Force procurement process avail. It was noted that not many South African Defence Industry (SADI) companies are part of the supply chain of the US Armed Forces. This is despite the fact that the US has one of the largest standing armies in the world,” the SA AMD Export Council (SAAMDEC) said.
“The US Armed Forces further expressed their desire for SADI to explore and exploit opportunities that their procurement process provide. Furthermore, there was a realisation that SADI has much to offer that the US can benefit from or make use of.
“To remedy this anomaly, it was then decided that during the first quarter of 2020 the US Armed Forces will despatch a team to come and interact with a select group of SADI companies with the intention of understanding the capabilities that exist in RSA. Companies that will be found to have niche technologies will then be integrated into the USDF procurement process – with potential of lending contracts from the US Defence Force or collaboration/partnerships in Research & Development”.
The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (Devcom) has a number of modernisation priority areas and these include its Long Range Precision Fires missile, next generation combat vehicle technology, future vertical lift platforms, network/Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), air/missile defence systems and enhancing solider lethality.
- Update: On 2 March the US delegation indicated it has postponed the visit due to travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. No new date was given.