Sandock Austral keen to work with Indian defence companies


Sandock Austral has expressed a willingness to collaborate with defence companies in India as part of its strategy of fostering local and international partnerships in the global defence arena.

Speaking at the Second edition of the India–South Africa Business Summit hosted by the Indian High Commission in South Africa and South African High Commission in India on 24 February, Sandock Austral CEO Prasheen Maharaj said the company viewed its role in the defence sector as a player for good, with an ability to create peace and stability.

The primary objective of the summit was to promote cooperation in key sectors such as defence, mining, and capital equipment.

The Summit was aimed at promoting Indian and South African companies already doing successful business or having potential interest in doing business in the two countries, and allowing them to network with stakeholders.

Maharaj told the delegates attending the virtual summit that Sandock Austral prided itself on providing bespoke defence solutions for a variety of mission requirements in both the commercial and defence environments.

“We utilise cutting edge technologies by conducting research and development in niche technology projects, and therefore because we work in niche areas, we see ourselves as a cooperating collaborator rather than a competitor,” he said.

Highlighting some of what Sandock Austral offers, Maharaj explained that the company specialised in technology in the era of the fourth industrial revolution and positioned itself as leaders in cyber security as this was a key requirement for clients locally and internationally.

“In terms of these solutions, they include both the capability for domination or renewal, as well as through life support solutions, and not only just within the acquisition environment. As a systems integrator of choice, we work with one to four entities as a strategic intermediary while concurrently building our technology base of unique integrated products and services through selected development projects,” Maharaj said.

“We reiterate, we work in a very niche manner to be able to cooperate and collaborate and not necessarily compete. And in terms of input resources, we use knowledge nodes, talent pools, and our own capital funding, which are the primary components used by Sandock Austral to be able to provide the transformer technologies that our clients demand,” he said.

Sandock Austral is the largest black owned and managed defence company in South Africa and has a history spanning almost 50 years. It is currently building a hydrographic survey vessel for the SA Navy under Project Hotel.

He said the opportunity to collaborate with India could be invaluable to both countries.

“When we talk about future collaboration, we’re not only talking about opportunities in India and South Africa, we’re talking about opportunities on the African continent as a whole and other spaces or other locations or territories where Sandock Austral also has a strong presence and because of our strong presence and our understanding of those markets, we are more than willing to work with Indian defence organisations for exports into other markets… So we talk about true and real partnerships.

“We welcome the opportunity for mutually beneficial engagement with like-minded business partners in order to meet defence and security needs of our respective governments in particular, but more importantly, for our regions as a whole,” Maharaj added.

Last year, Sandock Austral and Ghanaian defence contractor Petram Fortis teamed up to offer maritime security solutions to Ghana through the newly established joint venture Petram Sandock Maritime Systems.

The Sandock Austral Group includes Sandock Austral Aerospace, Sandock Austral Shipyards, Sandock Austral Defence Engineering Systems and Torpedo South Africa. Capabilities cover weapons stations, missiles, radars, ship construction, and maritime surveillance aircraft, amongst others.