While industry analysts expect the global demand for armoured vehicles to be negatively affected by the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the African market is demonstrating potential for growth in the coming decade.
Indigenous and foreign companies are looking to increase their share in this promising market. South African company DCD Protected Mobility, renowned of its Husky mine detection vehicle with a proven track record in Afghanistan, earlier announced it would refocus on Africa. Recognising the regional growth opportunities, the company opened a R100 million armoured vehicles manufacturing facility in Isando in June.
Tawazun Holdings, which is based in the UAE, signed an agreement last year to set up a factory in Algeria for the joint production of NIMR armoured vehicles. The company initially aims to produce more than 200 4×4 vehicles.
Projections on the value of the African armoured vehicles market over the coming decade vary between $10.8 and $20 billion. Demand is driven by economic growth in the region, internal and external security threats, territorial and ethnic disputes, and modernisation by armed forces.
Countries in the Horn of Africa, Sahel-Maghreb and West-Africa are expected to invest in armoured vehicles to enhance their capability to fight Islamic insurgencies. In particular, highly mobile, well-protected and heavily armed armoured vehicles are required for counter-terrorism operations.
Algeria is expected to remain one of the leading markets in the region, having procured 54 Fuchs armoured vehicles in 2011 under a $248 million contract, and potentially receiving a further 1,200 in the coming decade.
The Libyan Army’s fleet is also in need of modernisation, in particular after its civil war, with a requirement for tanks being a priority. In February 2013, the country received more than 20 Puma armoured cars from Iveco, and a $51 million deal with Excalibur Army, Tatra and VOP CZ has been reported for the supply of 350 armoured vehicles including the amphibious BRDM and the BVP-1.
More opportunities are present in Kenya, which has announced a $700 million defence budget that makes provision for the acquisition of armoured vehicles in FY13-14. Requirements include logistics vehicles and armoured personnel carriers to enable contribution to peacekeeping missions as well as a replacement for its Vickers Mk 3 main battle tanks.
Many sub-Saharan countries that deal with a lower terrorism threat are looking for the procurement of lightly armed, well-protected, high mobility infantry fighting, transport and logistics vehicles.
South-Africa continues to offer growth potential. In September, the country at last awarded a R8 billion contract to Denel Land Systems for 264 Badger 8×8 infantry combat vehicles to be produced over the coming ten years. Within the budget, production rate is at 24 a year, with the first Badger expected to be delivered in the second half of 2016.