Chaka for Special Forces


The South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) has asked Saab Systems Grintek to tender its Chaka Command and Control (C2) application to the Special Forces. The request, issued May 17, must be answered by June 7, the Armscor tender system shows.

Saab is being asked to supply, install, configure and test the system and related components to SANDF Special Forces as well as to provide training.

The request is in addition to a R30 million-plus contract awarded to Saab in mid-2008 provide the C2 system to the South African Army for use at the brigade-and-below level. Saab pipped to the post several other contenders, including international contractors, with a locally-developed solution named for the Zulu Napoleon. Saab SA CE Riaz Salojee at the time said the contract was “hotly contested” as “whoever wins has business for the next 30 to 40 years”.

The company said Chaka enables a brigade commander and his staff to enjoy situational awareness unequal to that available in the SANDF up to now, plan operations and electronically send the resulting operational orders to subordinate commanders and control the execution of their plans.

The system architecture the Army bought consisted of a static C2 system to support brigade headquarters, mobile C2 systems to support battalion and company commanders, and location sensors, called “Impi” to track own forces. Bidders had to fulfil a range of requirements, including a commitment to “having a local support and enhancement capability within SA that can maintain/upgrade the full software suite for at least 10 years after commissioning”.