Armscor misses the boat on Project Hotel


In its latest annual report, for the financial year ending 31 March 2017, Armscor states it aimed at arriving at a contracting position for Project Hotel by the end of May 2017.

Last month (September) defenceWeb was told by Armscor Group Executive: Corporate Support, Solomzi Mbada, negotiations as regards the contracting position for a new hydrographic vessel and associated ship and shore infrastructure was “ongoing”.

Going into the background of what would have been part of the second largest military acquisition in South Africa since democracy, the Armscor report says of Project Hotel “conditional approval of the preferred supplier for this capability (a hydrographic vessel) was granted on 18 November 2016”.
“Following an agreement reached between Denel [Integrated Systems and] Maritime and the preferred bidders of both the hydrographic survey and patrol capability, preferred bidders regarding the involvement of Denel and the Simon’s Town Naval Dockyard in the execution of both projects, the contract negotiation process duly commenced on 27 February 2017 at the contractor’s premises in Durban. The contract negotiation process addresses all technical and commercial conditions, and is aimed at arriving at a contracting position by the end of May 2017,” the report states.

The other component of the planned acquisition for the SA Navy was for three offshore and three inshore patrol vessels to give the maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) a new multi-mission capability.

On this project – Biro – the report has it that conditional approval was granted in November 2016 and agreement reached between Denel and the preferred bidder regarding the involvement of Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime and the Simon’s Town Naval Dockyard in the execution of the project.

This was reportedly done in accordance with the original requirements and in the set out technical and commercial framework of the preferred bidder’s offers.

The offshore patrol vessels part of Project Biro was cancelled in August leaving only the inshore patrol vessels and Armscor has yet to name a contractor, with Cape Town-based Damen the preferred bidder.

On the midlife upgrade of the SA Navy’s four Valour Class frigates under Project Syne, the report indicates it started in February 2016 and is “currently in the concept phase” (the reporting period ends on 31 March, 2017).
“The focus of the concept phase has been to conduct functional studies aimed at clarifying functional and logistic requirements of both the platform and combat suite upgrade, to identify alternative options for satisfying the user requirements and to determine the optimum solution. The project aims to finalise the project study report, which will recommend the preferred option for execution during the next phase, which will commence during the second semester of 2018.”

On the Navy’s Heroine Class submarines, Armscor states the midlife upgrades for the underwater craft is in “the early phases of the acquisition process when feasibility studies are being conducted”. The project is expected to reach the contracting stage by 2020, 15 years after the first Type 209 submarine SAS Manthatisi was commissioned.