The Infantry Formation of the SA Army, especially those tasked with projects and acquisitions, will be keeping a weather eye on the Centurion premises of Denel Land Systems (DLS) between now and the December shut-down.
They will be watching to see if the forecast by Armscor in its latest annual report, that that first locally assembled pre-production model (PPM) of the long awaited Badger infantry combat vehicle (ICV), actually comes off the Lyttelton production line before the Christmas shutdown.
The State’s defence and security acquisition agency notes: “The project, for a new generation infantry combat vehicle products system (NGICV-PS) to replace the Ratel, has experienced several delays, primarily as a result of technical and procurement challenges experienced by DLS”.
“Delivery of the first pre-production models (PPMs) of the section variant that lead the development, industrialisation and production of the remaining variants, has been delayed by 20 months. Completion of the first three PPMs is expected by July and the first locally assembled PPM by December.
“Completion of the mortar variant development, originally planned for mid-2017, is now expected in March 2018 and completion of the missile variant development, planned for March 2017, has moved to November.
“The delays on Project Hoefyster and others has been the subject of continual discussion at top management level between Armscor and Denel and corrective actions are regularly monitored”.
Armscor also notes the technology transfer from Patria in Finland to South African industry is progressing “according to plan”.
This will ensure local industrialisation and production of the platforms happens “seamlessly”.
“In spite of delays incurred with the project, significant progress was made with development of the command, fire support, mortar and missile variants. All efforts are being made to ring the programme back on schedule and to ensure the production run of the first battalion of 88 vehicles will be completed by March 2019”.
The landward service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) originally sought to acquire 238 of the new combat vehicles, less than its requirement of 264. “Due to financial constraints, the full complement required has not yet been contracted,” the report notes adding 21 vehicle platforms were delivered by Patria Land and Armament rom Finland with the remaining vehicle platforms to be produced locally by DLS and its sub-contractors.
Turrets and weapon systems are locally developed and manufactured by DLS as prime contractor.