Saab and Denel collaborating on air defence with Giraffe radar, Umkhonto missile


Saab and Denel will at this week’s Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition showcase a complete air defence solution with the Saab multi-mission Giraffe AMB surveillance radar and the Denel Dynamics Umkhonto surface-to-air missile.

Saab today said the Giraffe AMB has been in South Africa the past six months and completed successful firings with Umkhonto.
“The collaboration between Denel and Saab further highlights the close ties between the respective defence industries, as illustrated with the Umkhonto Ground-based Air Defence System. The design philosophy and performance of the Giraffe AMB and the Umkhonto missile system strengthens and complements each other in various ways, which results in a world-class state-of-the-art-system when used together,” Saab said.

Saab will be offering its Giraffe series of radars for the SA National Defence Force’s Project Chutney. A request for proposals for this is yet to be released.
“Denel and Saab have been working together on a diverse range of projects in the past, which amongst others, involved the Gripen aircraft and the A-Darter missile,” said Hans Rosén, head of Saab Africa.

Saab will at AAD be part of a situational awareness/command and control demonstration with other companies such as Reutech and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Killian Swift, Saab’s Deputy Head of Country Unit Africa, said Saab is pushing into South Africa and sees a big need for border protection, especially around the country’s coastline. Saab is promoting its civil security offerings, is looking at maritime security, mobile medical facilities and participating in Project Biro for new offshore and inshore patrol vessels. Saab could supply combat management systems, electronic support measures and electronic intelligence etc. for Biro.
“Saab is present in South Africa, and through its local South African company, Saab Grintek Defence, has consolidated its position on the African continent and is today a leading high-tech manufacturer, integrator and employer serving the security, aerospace and defence markets,” Saab said.

Trevor Raman, President and CEO at Saab Grintek Defence, said that as Saab has supplied a full field camp in Somalia, the company is looking at Project Teamster, the South African National Defence Force’s project to replace its field cooking capabilities.

Some of Saab Grintek Defence’s most important products include the Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) and Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS), health and usage monitoring system (HUMS), and submarine and surface vessel laser and radio frequency warning systems, amongst others.

LEDS 50 has been exported while the more advanced LEDS 100 and 150 are still in the development stage – LEDS 150 is an active protection system. Saab is looking for an investment partner and launch customer to take the project forward. Raman said the system was almost ahead of the market and Saab had to wait for customer demand to emerge. Discussions are underway with a number of companies and Saab is working on technology demonstrators. The LEDS 150 concept is evolving and Saab is looking at using it for convoy protection.

Saab Grintek Defence in 2015 recorded R1 070 million in sales across 30 customer countries. Of the R1 070 million in sales, R880 million was for exports. The company has 719 employees and this is growing, with R1.5 billion in new orders.

Saab Grintek Defence recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Power SED to promote defence trade manufacturing in India and create export opportunities for South Africa. It follows an agreement earlier this year when Saab and Tata Power SED announced they had started manufacturing LEDS 50 for the Indian market and for export. The system was previously made in South Africa only. Tata Power SED will eventually manufacture a large part of the system in India and also do final assembly. Tata will also be responsible for marketing the system in India.

Saab said the agreement was preemptive ahead of expected orders for land and air systems from the Indian market and was part of Saab’s response to the Make in India initiative.

Saab aims to position itself ahead of major land systems acquisitions in India, such as the upgrade of tanks and the future acquisition of infantry combat vehicles. The company said for the first time private industry in India is involved in the design and development of a local armoured vehicle in India.

Saab has sold its IDAS in India, which is in use aboard the HAL Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter, and is looking at other helicopters made by HAL, such as its Light Combat Helicopter, and expects more IDAS sales from the country.