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Defence & Aerospace

Casspir mine-protected vehicle continues to enjoy market success

By: Keith Campbell     21st July 2017 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced early this month that 21 of its Casspir NG2000 mine protected vehicles were ready for handing over to an African customer, completing an order for 45 of the vehicles. The first batch of 24 was delivered to the customer in December... 

Mercury probe passes key tests on way to 2018 launch

By: Keith Campbell     21st July 2017 The joint European Space Agency (ESA) and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) modular space probe BepiColombo has passed its final test in its launch and transit flight “stack” configuration, ESA announced on July 6. BepiColombo will become only the third spacecraft to explore the planet... 

Airbus DS test flies its new UAV in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     18th July 2017 South Africa’s Overberg Test Range was the site of the first flight of the Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus DS) Sagitta jet-powered unmanned air vehicle (UAV) demonstrator, the European company announced on Tuesday. The aircraft, a flying-wing design, flew autonomously over the test range (which... 

Airbus DS test flies its new UAV in South Africa
Photo by Airbus DS
The Sagitta UAV in flight at Overberg

Partnership formed to offer after-sales support for burgeoning drones industry

By: Dylan Slater     14th July 2017 To meet the needs of the rapidly expanding drones market, a new retail and aftersales support, repair and training network has been established through a partnership between technology support company weFix and drone training service provider Drone Racing Africa (DRA).  

Partnership formed to offer after-sales support for burgeoning drones industry
SCALING INDUSTRY A partnership between weFix and Drone Racing Africa aims to increase legal operations and improve after sales support

South Africa’s defence industry faces serious challenges but also sees future opportunities

By: Keith Campbell     14th July 2017 South Africa’s defence and aerospace industry forms a major part of the country’s high-technology manufacturing and services sector. Moreover, the high-level skills it has developed and is maintaining are benefitting other sectors of the economy as well. According to the South African Aerospace,... 

South Africa’s defence industry faces serious challenges but also sees future opportunities

Defence rakes in R19bn, despite major headwinds 

     13th July 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to senior journalist Keith Campbell about the state of South Africa’s defence industry. 

Defence rakes in R19bn, despite major headwinds
Defence rakes in R19bn, despite major headwinds

Defence minister must brief parliament on Gupta access to classified military information, says DA

By: African News Agency      10th July 2017 The extent of the wealthy, politically connected Gupta family’s “web of corruption” is becoming increasingly evident and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula needs to explain to parliament the “outrageous access” the Guptas had to classified military information, the Democratic Alliance (DA)... 

Defence minister must brief parliament on Gupta access to classified military information, says DA

Casspir mine protected vehicle continues to enjoy market success

By: Keith Campbell     5th July 2017 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced on Wednesday that 21 of its Casspir NG2000 mine protected vehicles were ready for handing over to an African customer, completing an order for 45 of the vehicles. The first batch of 24 was delivered to the customer in December... 

Casspir mine protected vehicle continues to enjoy market success
Photo by Denel
The completed Casspirs lined up, ready for delivery

Airbus unveils proposed new version of A380 SuperJumbo

By: Keith Campbell     30th June 2017 Major global plane maker Airbus on Monday unveiled a proposed refined version of its flagship product, the A380 SuperJumbo airliner. This proposal is designated the A380plus, and is intended to increase the aircraft’s economics and efficiency while retaining passenger comfort.  

SAAF shows off fire power and capabilities during yearly demonstration

By: Dylan Slater     30th June 2017 The South African Air Force (SAAF) showcased its air power capability to delegates and foreign airforce personnel during its yearly Air Power Capability Demonstration 2017 (APCD 2017) event – a live fire capability demonstration held at the Roodewal Weapons Range near Polokwane, in Limpopo,... 

SAAF shows off fire power and capabilities during yearly demonstration
Photo by Duane Daws
LIGHT ‘EM UP A South African Air Force Rooivalk helicopter dispenses flares before launching its payload of rockets at a target at Roodewal Weapons Range

Global aviation industry increasing focus on cyber threats

By: Keith Campbell     23rd June 2017 The global aviation industry is increasingly focusing on cybersecurity. “Cybersecurity … has become a  major concern,” highlighted International Air Transport Association (Iata) regional VP: Africa and the Middle East Muhammad Ali Albakri at a recent media briefing at OR Tambo International... 

Global aviation industry increasing focus on cyber threats
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Cybersecurity is a major concern for the global aviation industry

Initiative addresses barriers to expand aerospace manufacturing

By: Nica Schreuder     23rd June 2017 The aerospace industry has, among others, two important international players – Airbus and Boeing. This applies to local aerospace as well as international aerospace manufacturing industries, all competing to be part of the global supply chain. Aerospace manufacturing in South Africa is dependent... 

Initiative addresses  barriers to expand  aerospace manufacturing
TO INFINITY European aircraft manufacturer Airbus plays an important role in the world’s aerospace manufacturing industry

Local defence sector seeks strategic support from government

By: Keith Campbell     23rd June 2017 Pre-Cabinet level discussions are under way within the Government about transferring State-owned defence industrial group Denel from the aegis of the Department of Public Works to that of the Department of Defence (DoD). This was stated by Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube at a recent function... 

Ansys outperforms in tough FY17

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st June 2017 AltX-listed Ansys celebrated a successful turnaround, its thirtieth year in operation and its tenth year as a listed company with a surge in earnings in what CEO Teddy Daka described as an exceptional 12 months to March 31. The technology-based solutions company had registered a second... 

Proposed new version of A380 SuperJumbo unveiled

By: Keith Campbell     19th June 2017 Major global plane maker Airbus on Monday unveiled a proposed refined version of its flagship product, the A380 SuperJumbo airliner. This proposal is designated the A380plus, and is intended to increase the aircraft’s economics and efficiency while retaining passenger comfort. The A380plus... 

Brazilian agency providing remote sensing training for African countries

By: Keith Campbell     16th June 2017 Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE – National Institute for Space Research) has been providing training for Earth observation (EO) specialists from African and other countries (in Asia and Latin America), under its Capacitree programme, which is a capacity-building project... 

Expanding drone market holds big investment and job potential

By: Dylan Slater     16th June 2017 Large market value and a broad spectrum of industries, ranging from agriculture, mining, transport and logistics, to filmmaking are being disrupted by remotely piloted aircraft, otherwise known as drones, according to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

New era in large satellite propulsion marked by recent launch

By: Keith Campbell     16th June 2017 The world’s first high-power satellite employing an all-electrical propulsion system, Eutelsat 172B, has been successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana, manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space announced on June 2. The new satellite will provide broadcast, in-flight broadband, and improved... 

World’s longest-wingspan aircraft begins testing

By: Dylan Slater     16th June 2017 The title of the world’s largest aircraft by wingspan has been claimed by the newly constructed Stratolaunch Aircraft, currently under development at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California, in the US.  

World’s longest-wingspan aircraft begins testing
WORLD RECORD The Stratolaunch has a wingspan of 117 m, which is 33 m longer than the six-engined Antonov An-225 Mriya

State defence group Denel could be transferred from Public Enterprises to Defence 

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 Pre-Cabinet level discussions are under way within the government about transferring State-owned defence industrial group Denel from the aegis of the Department of Public Works to that of the Department of Defence (DoD). This was stated by Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube at a function marking the... 

State defence group Denel could be transferred from Public Enterprises to Defence
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Secretary of Defence Sam Gulube

Boeing unveils plans to lower costs of launching small satellites

By: Dylan Slater     9th June 2017 US aerospace company Boeing and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) announced last month that they would collaborate on a project to design, build and test a technology demonstration vehicle capable of launching small payloads into low earth orbit as part of Darpa’s... 

Boeing unveils plans to lower costs of launching small satellites
REUSABILITY Being able to reuse launch vehicles will reduce the cost of orbiting small satellites

Civil air cargo version of the Super Hercules transport makes first flight

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 The civilian version of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules military airlift aircraft, the LM-100J, made its maiden flight on May 25, the company announced on the same day. This first flight was from the company’s plant at Marietta in the US State of Georgia, and during it the aircraft... 

Denel purchase of aero engine company approved with conditions

By: Keith Campbell     9th June 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on late last month.  

Local commercial and general aviation sector under policy pressures

By: Keith Campbell     2nd June 2017 The commercial and general aviation (GA) sector in South Africa is currently facing significant challenges that really need to be addressed if it is to remain healthy over the coming years. So cautions the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa).  

Local commercial and general aviation sector under policy pressures

Boeing business internship 2018 programme application period to open next week

By: Keith Campbell     1st June 2017 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing on Thursday announced that the application period for its International Business Internship Programme (IBIP), which is now open to South African students, will start on June 6 and close on July 15. This registration period for internships that will run... 

Boeing business internship 2018 programme application period to open next week
Photo by Bloomberg
Boeing logo

South Africa’s latest nanosatellite now in orbit

By: Keith Campbell     31st May 2017 The Department of Science and Technology (DST) announced on Wednesday that South African nanosatellite nSight1 had been successfully launched from the International Space Station last week, on May 24. nSight1 was designed and built by SCS Space, part of the local SCS Aerospace Group, and is the... 

South Africa’s latest nanosatellite now in orbit
Photo by SCS Space
The nSight1 nanosatellite, before it was sent into space

Finance Minister Gigaba continues to oppose Denel Asia deal

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 The National Treasury on Friday reaffirmed, in a press release, that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba continues to oppose the proposed joint venture between the State-owned Denel defence industrial group and VR Laser Asia, intended to create a company called Denel Asia. The press release was issued... 

South Africa’s space agency develops system to monitor crops

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 The Earth Observation (EO) Directorate of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has developed an advanced crop-monitoring system for South Africa that will also be made available to other African countries, in due course. “We are able to monitor their [the crops’] condition through... 

Local company invests in space worthiness of new generation of space imagers

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 South African private-sector space company SCS Space is looking forward to establishing the spaceworthiness credentials of its Gecko imager, which is mounted on South Africa’s nSight-1 nanosatellite and which was scheduled to have been launched from the International Space Station on May 23.... 

Competition Commission approves Denel buy of local aero-engine company

By: Keith Campbell     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that State-owned defence and aerospace group Denel be allowed to buy local aero-engine company Turbomeca Africa (TMA). The recommendation was given to the Competition Tribunal. The Commission announced this decision on Thursday.  

Denel contradicts Gigaba’s reported stance on VR Laser Asia

By: African News Agency      24th May 2017 Denel on Wednesday contradicted reports that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had ordered the State-owned arms manufacturer to dissolve its controversial joint venture with VR Laser Asia, a company linked to the Gupta business empire, and withdraw its litigation against National Treasury for... 

Denel set on expanding business in Asia-Pacific region

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 State-owned Denel on Tuesday said it was dead set on expanding its business in the Asia-Pacific markets, despite an affidavit, lodged by former Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile, stating that its joint venture (JV) partner is a technically insolvent company. The aerospace and defence... 

Denel, Defence Minister to talk about industry strategy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th May 2017 Defence and aerospace company Denel will on Friday discuss the Defence Industry Strategy document, designed to provide guidelines for productive government–industry cooperation and partnership, with Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the National Defence Industry... 

China’s first home-grown commercial jetliner makes maiden flight

By: Keith Campbell     19th May 2017 In what could be the most significant development in global commercial aviation since the prototype of the first Airbus airliner (the A300) made its maiden flight in late 1972, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (Comac’s) C919 single-aisle airliner made its first flight, from Shanghai... 

Eskom Academy trains over 500 contractors

     19th May 2017 Over the last three years, State-owned power utility Eskom’s enterprise development programme, the Contractor Academy, trained 518 contractors from all nine provinces, with the youth accounting for about 60% of participants. The programme started as a pilot programme in 2008 and has since grown... 

Eskom Academy trains over  500 contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
ESKOM CONTRACTOR ACADEMY The academy trained 518 contractors from all nine provinces

Five mobile transformers delivered to Mkondeni unit

     19th May 2017 Five mobile transformers were delivered to State-owned power utility Eskom’s Mkondeni unit in KwaZulu-Natal in March.  The plan to purchase the five 132/88-22/11KV mobile transformers started in 2011 and was followed by a rigorous procurement process. Industrial corporation Siemens was awarded... 

Five mobile transformers delivered to Mkondeni unit
ALTERNATIVE POWER Five mobile transformers delivered to Eskom’s Mkondeni unit can be used to replace existing equipment during scheduled maintenance

Denel says it continues talks with National Treasury over Denel Asia JV

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 State-owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate Denel on Tuesday said it was in ongoing talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown regarding its multibillion-rand joint venture (JV) deal with VR Laser Asia, which led to the creation of Denel... 

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