South Africa imported R169.5 million worth of military hardware, including aircraft, ammunition, small arms and electronics, in 2013, according to figures from the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).
Some of the imported items last year included a Gazelle helicopter from France (R2.025 million), which was classified as an attack helicopter.
According to the NCACC’s annual 2013 report, South Africa imported 114 missiles from France, at a cost of R74 million. It is not clear what type of missiles they were.
A substantial amount of military equipment was imported from Singapore, including R38 million worth of various types of ammunition. 155 mm artillery rounds, 120 mm mortar bombs and 76/62 mm artillery rounds were also imported from the Asian country at a combined cost of R2.5 million.
On the ammunition side, 3 600 rounds of 30 x 165 mm ammunition was imported from Bulgaria at a cost of nearly R1 million and 1 600 rounds of 30 mm ammunition were imported from Norway in 2013.
With regard to small arms, 42 machineguns and 153 7.62 mm rifles were imported from Zimbabwe at a total cost of cost of R172 000 while 20 7.62 x 51 mm rifles were imported from the UK, for R576 000.
Several 40 mm grenade launchers were imported from Germany, Italy, the United States and Turkey. Since only small numbers were involved, it is possible they were acquired for evaluation purposes. Similarly small numbers of 9 mm, 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm submachineguns and assault rifles were imported from France, Italy, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and United States last year.
A variety of electronic equipment was imported into South Africa from Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France and Germany, including cameras, thermal imagers, night vision equipment, radios, fire control computers and simulators. These imports had a combined value of R24 million, according to the NCACC document.