Denel has established a joint venture with Abu Dhabi-based Tawazun Holdings for the development, manufacturing, assembly and integration of precision-guided weapon systems, the company announced today at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition currently being held at Air Force Base Waterkloof.
The joint venture is with Denel Dynamics, trading as Tawazun Dynamics, owned 51% by Tawazun Holdings and 49% by Denel. It will provide precision-guided weapon system manufacturing and integration, as well as product system management services to the defence force of the United Arab Emirates and other international clients.
Geographically, this is the first deal of its kind for Denel Dynamics where the partnership is located outside of South Africa, creating an international footprint.
Riaz Saloojee, the Group Chief Executive, of Denel, said the joint venture will strengthen Denel’s reputation as a global defence manufacturer and provide it with another important foothold in a strategically important region.
“Denel possesses world-class technology, systems and processes and a proven ability to transform conventional air munitions into precision-guided weapon systems. This high-level skills investment will be our core contribution to the newly established company,” said Saloojee.
Denel Dynamics is already successfully partnering with Brazil in developing the A-Darter air-to-air-missile, with production scheduled to start at the end of 2014.
Also included in its range of precision-guided products and missile systems are the Umkhonto-IR air defence missile systems, the Ingwe and Mokopa anti-armour missile systems, precision-guided munitions and the Raptor II stand-off weapons. Denel Dynamics has the unique ability to offer turnkey armed surveillance UAVS (e.g. Seeker-400) equipped with its in-house missile solutions (e.g. Mokopa).
Manufacturing will be central to Tawazun Dynamics’ operations. This will enable Denel Dynamics, traditionally a very strong development house with a relatively small production capacity, to expand and strengthen another side to its business.
Tawazun Holdings is a strategic investment holding company focused on defence and specialised manufacturing, owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. The Tawazun Dynamics production facility will be located in the Tawazun Industrial Park in Al-Ajban, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.
Saloojee said that Denel has enjoyed a very productive long-term relationship with the United Arab Emirates and the new company will help to strengthen and deepen these ties. The UAE is strategically located in the global markets and is investing strongly in industrial knowledge-building.
“This makes it a logical partner for Denel and supports our commitment to be a leading player in advanced manufacturing and systems engineering. Through Tawazun Dynamics we will also strengthen the profile of the South African Defence Industry in a very strategic region,” said Saloojee.
The Chief Executive Officer of Tawazun Holding, H.E. Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, said that, “The creation of Tawazun Dynamics marks the next chapter of Tawazun’s continued focus on the development of the UAE as the leading regional hub in defence and specialised engineering and manufacturing.”
“It is critical for us to work with partners who share our long-term vision and our organisational values. We believe that Denel, with its focus on operational excellence, corporate governance and sustainable growth, matches our own ambitions and that our partnership will be a long-term and mutually-beneficial one.”
Saloojee said the joint venture with Tawazun will provide Denel with an important foothold in a strategically important region. In terms of the new marketing strategy, Denel will focus on entering new markets in Africa, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific Region and Latin America.
Denel’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates stretches back over decades following the delivery of G5 and G6 self-propelled artillery systems. The UAE air force has been using the Seeker range of unmanned aerial vehicles for more than two decades and last year renewed the contract with Denel Dynamics for the maintenance of the system.
At Eurosatory in 2010 Denel became the first defence company to sign a partnership with the UAE’s Offset Programme Bureau.