More inertia on Hoefyster


The Department of Defence has not yet placed a production order for the Hoefyster project. The Chief Defence Materiél Antonie Visser says the reason for the delay is that the Military Command Council (MCC) has not yet granted the final authorisation of the project.

Hoefyster is the project name of the South African Army’s scheme to acquire some 264 locally-engineered Patria AMV at a cost – in 2007 – of R8.4 billion. The vehicles are being purchased for the mechanised forces as the Badger infantry combat vehicles.
“It is not known when will the final authorisation be granted by the MCC,” Visser said in answer to a question in the National Council of Provinces by Congress of the People MP DB Feldman. Visser noted state arm acquisition agency Armscor, on behalf of the DoD, had accepted the Product Baseline (A) of the Section Variant to be built under Project Hoefyster on September 10 last year. “The prescribed K225 (Armscor inspection release certificate) was issued for the Hoefyster project.”

Visser continued that as soon as authorisation is granted by the MCC, the Hoefyster Project Team will compile an Acquisition Plan as prescribed in the Departmental Acquisition Policy and Procedures. “A contract can be placed by Armscor on Denel Land Systems as soon as all the prescribed Departmental Authorisation Committees have approved the Acquisition Plan.”

Denel Land Systems was contracted in May 2007 to supply the Badger in five variants: section carrier, command, mortar, support and anti-tank. A R1.048 billion order to develop a prototype of each was awarded later that same month. Once accepted by the military, 12 pre-production vehicles will be built. The first 37 production vehicles will be built by Patria in Finland.

Hoefyster was registered as a project in 1997. Unusually, the awarding of a contract was announced by then-Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin in his budget vote speech in the National Assembly on May 17, 2007. Normally, such announcements are made by the military.

Feldman had late last year also enquired after Hoefyster. “The Hoefyster project has not been shelved,” the Ministry of Public Enterprises said in a written answer in December. “In accordance with the contract, DLS is still implementing the Development Phase of the contract,” the ministry added. “The Department of Defence will make the decision on whether or not to proceed with the Industrialisation and Production Phase before the end of 2010/11.” That is obviously no longer the case.