Denel and Poly Technologies, part of China’s mammoth state owned Poly Defence group, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces in SA’s maritime rejuvenation. Poly Technologies aims to take a stake in the Simons Town shipyard and join Denel in constructing three naval vessels.
The strategic alliance was signed on 16 September by Denel’s acting Group CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe and the Vice President of Poly Technologies Inc, Liu Jianmin at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition at Air Force Base Waterkloof.
Poly Technologies is likely to make an investment in the recapitalization of the Simons Town dockyard as part of its management takeover by Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime (Denel ISM). Denel officials declined to give the figure of the Chinese investment and a press statement from Denel only said that the two state owned companies would combine to collaborate in the rejuvenation and growth of the local maritime sector. More immediately, the two companies will collaborate in the construction of three naval vessels for the SA Navy.
Poly Technologies is involved in almost every defence sector including dockyard construction, ship building, tank and armoured vehicle manufacturing, and fighter aircraft production. The group was established in 1984 and describes itself in a company brochure as, “a defence system holistic solution provider.” The company says it co-operates with over 100 countries.
Denel did say that it would build three vessels for the South African navy with Poly Technologies in either Simons Town or Durban. This will presumably be if Poly Technologies wins the SA Navy’s Projects Biro and Hotel for hydrographic, inshore and offshore patrol vessels.
The designs Poly Technologies is offering include a Hydrographic Survey Vessel (HSV43 4300T), which will have an overall length of 100.9 m and a displacement of 4 300 tons. The vessel will have a helicopter landing deck on its stern and be equipped with four 12.7 mm machine guns.
Another vessel that could be built by Denel and Poly Technologies is an 85 m Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV85) which will have a displacement of 2 080 tons. This will have a helicopter landing pad and could be equipped with a main gun of up to 76 mm.
The third vessel being offered is a 60 m Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV60) with a displacement of 1 000 tons. This vessel will carry four 12.7mm machine guns and a Reutech Solutions 20 mm Super Rogue turret.
Two years ago Denel set up a new division, Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime to growth its maritime and naval business. Other Denel divisions – Denel Dynamics and Denel Land Systems – have previously worked with Poly Defence.
Denel said the collaboration with Poly is aligned with the objectives of Operation Phakisa, the broad South African initiative to promote growth and development in the oceans economy, including maritime transport and the shipping industry.
“We are thrilled to partner with Poly Technologies,” said Ntshepe. “There is a synergy between our two companies that will lead to a beneficial relationship and add value to our primary client,” the SA Navy.
Jianmin said the combined skills and expertise pf the two entities will bring new life to the entire South African maritime sector. “We are delighted with our partnership with Denel and look forward to deepen and strengthen this relationship.”